Save Ohio libraries!

Posted: Saturday, June 20, 2009, 4:10 pm

Emergency call to action! The state legislature is working to finalize Ohio's next biennium budget by June 30.

At a news conference on Friday, June 19, the Governor proposed a cut to state funding for public libraries of $227.3 million in fiscal years 2010 and 2011 as part of his plan to fill the $3.2 billion gap in the budget that must be balanced by the Ohio General Assembly's Conference Committee by June 30. This cut is in addition to the 20% reduction in funding that libraries are already facing, because their funding comes from 2.22% of the state's declining General Revenue Fund. This will mean an almost 50% cut in state funding for Ohio's public libraries. Libraries would close or significantly reduce hours and services.

With some 70% of the state's 251 public libraries relying solely on state funding to fund their operations, the reduction in funding will mean that many will close branches or drastically reduce hours and services. The Governor's proposed funding cuts come at a time when Ohio's public libraries are experiencing unprecedented increases in demands for services. In every community throughout the state, Ohioans are turning to their public library for free high speed Internet access and help with employment searches, children and teens are enjoying summer reading programs, and people of all ages are turning to the library as a lifeline during these difficult economic times. Ohio's public libraries offer CRITICAL services to those looking for jobs and operating small businesses. Public libraries are an integral part of education, which Governor Strickland says is critical to the state's economic recovery. But it is unlikely that many of Ohio's public library systems, especially those without local levies, can remain open with this proposed cut.

About 30% of Ohio's public libraries have local property tax levies that supplement the state's funding. However, with the Governor's proposed drastic cut in the state funding for libraries, even those libraries will face decisions regarding substantial reductions in hours of operation, materials, and staffing. Worthington Libraries would lose more than $1 million per year in state revenue. The library board would decide, with input from the public, what reductions in services and hours would be made.

For additional information on how this impacts the Library, call 614-807-2601 or 614-807-2602.

How can I help?

Contact your legislators

Let your state legislators and the governor know what your library means to you! You can even use a form to generate an email message that you can send to your Senator or Representative.

Locate your State Representative or State Senator.

Worthington-area residents can call or click below to directly e-mail their elected officials:

Spread the word!

After contacting your legislators, help us spread the word to your family, friends, neighbors and colleagues. Here are some suggestions:

  • Update your Facebook status
    _____ contacted my elected officials to help save Ohio libraries and you should too. Find out more: http://tinyurl.com/save-oh-lib
  • Post a tweet on Twitter
    I contacted my elected officials to help save Ohio libraries and you should too. Find out more: http://tinyurl.com/save-oh-lib
  • Change your profile picture on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites
    Right click on the image at left, save it to your desktop, and upload as your profile picture to show your support of Ohio libraries
  • Send an email to your family, friends, neighbors and colleagues
    Ohio libraries are in jeopardy. I contacted the governor and my legislators to let them know what my library means to me. Find out how you can help, too: http://tinyurl.com/save-oh-lib

Learn more

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