OHIO LIBRARY FUNDING EMERGENCY | PUBLIC HELP NEEDED
Greene County, Ohio: On Friday, Governor Strickland proposed a last minute change to the State Budget: the new budget cuts funding for Ohio’s Libraries by an additional $100 million dollars a year for the next two years.
Public libraries are a vital lifeline to job hunting information, education, and family fun in a down economy. The Greene County Public Library system receives 55% of its funding from the State of Ohio. This funding rises and falls with the State’s income, and funding for libraries has already fallen dramatically in the current recession. If the Governor’s new cuts become permanent, it will devastate the services the library provides to children, teens, adults and seniors throughout Greene County even as Library use is at an all time high.
Under the Governor’s proposal, the funding for Ohio’s libraries would drop to nearly half of 2008 levels. The cost to the Greene County Public Library would be $2.2 million in 2009 and $3.5 million in 2010. The cut for this year would be in addition to the $3.3 million reduction the library is already facing because of declining state tax revenues.
"We have already absorbed large drops in state funding while working as hard as we can to not reduce services for our wonderful patrons," said Karl Colón, Director of the Greene County Public Library system. "But, without this key state funding, we will have to make deep cuts in hours, eliminate services, and possibly even close branches in the future."
The library is asking the public to help protect the funding by contacting their representatives and the Governor’s office by phone and email this week. Contact information for those offices is below and can also be found on the library's website and in all library locations.
Governor Ted Strickland
(614) 644-4357 (Fax)
http://governor.ohio.gov and click “contact”
Representative Jarrod Martin
(614) 719-3970 (Fax)
Representative Robert Hackett
(614) 719-6984 (Fax)
Senator Chris Widener
Melissa Dabe, Marketing / Media Officer
Greene County Public Library
937-352-4000 ext. 1206