Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ohio libraries are in jeopardy!!

Governor Ted Strickland wants to cut state funding to Ohio public libraries by 50%!!  With 70% of Ohio libraries relying SOLELY on state funding, many libraries will have to close, or drastically cut their hours and staff.  

Please contact Governor Strickland (Tel: 614-466-3555 or 614-644-4357) and your local Representatives and State Senator about this appalling decision before July 1st!!


Why are Ohio libraries in trouble? [From Ohio Library Council]

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.The proposal amounts to a 30% cut in funding for Ohio's public libraries. 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.

Libraries could close or face significant reductions in operations as a result of the Governor's proposal. 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 beginning 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 these proposed cuts.

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 cuts in the state funding for libraries, even those libraries will face decisions regarding substantial reductions in hours of operation, materials, and staffing.


To learn more about Ohio's library crisis and to help save Ohio libraries please visit these sites:

Facebook - Save Ohio Libraries (25,928 members as of 5:05pm)
Use Twitter hashtag #saveohiolibraries
@Ted_Strickland on Twitter

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