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Like your library? It might be gone by July 1st

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Politics Like your library? It might be gone by July 1st

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  • #76821

    Please e-mail the Governor or contact your state legislator to save Ohio libraries!

    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 will mean a more than 50% cut in funding for many of Ohio’s public libraries. Libraries could close or face significant reductions in operations as a result of the Governor’s proposal. 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.

    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.

    Excerpted from here .

    More info here .

    #281535

    joev
    Participant

    I think ALL state government programs are facing huge cuts. Libraries are important, but I’d rather see limited resources directed at health services for the poor.

    #281536
    Jeff Regensburger
    Jeff Regensburger
    Participant

    The upswing in public library use during this down economy really does speak to their value. I’ve lost track of how many local and national news stories I’ve seen over the last six months that describe both the increase in library use and the kinds of critical work being done there. Access to the internet (for online job searching and applications), resume help, test prep materials, and adult education resources are just a few of the timely services that people are taking advantage of.

    #281537
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    jeff_r wrote >>
    Access to the internet (for online job searching and applications), resume help, test prep materials, and adult education resources are just a few of the timely services that people are taking advantage of.

    +1 to that. Libraries are the only access that some have to computers. And with so many services moving online-only (think of how many jobs are only being listed on Craigslist and not in the newspaper) I think it’s pretty important to keep that easy accessible to the public.

    #281538

    joev wrote >>
    I think ALL state government programs are facing huge cuts. Libraries are important, but I’d rather see limited resources directed at health services for the poor.

    There’s also a difference between facing “huge cuts” and decimating a public service. Libraries have already experienced a 20% reduction in their budgets–no one is saying that libraries should be held harmless, but there has to be a better way of allocating budget cuts that doesn’t completely shut down vital public services.

    #281539

    misskitty
    Participant

    I remember a wile back reading an article about charging for rentals ( movies and cd’s) not for much I think it was like fifty cents a day or something. What ever happened with that ? If a little bit like that would help them I would not be bothered by paying for it.

    #281540

    Core_Models
    Member

    I think that is actually a great idea kitty.

    #281541

    jeff_r wrote >>
    Access to the internet (for online job searching and applications), resume help, test prep materials, and adult education resources are just a few of the timely services that people are taking advantage of.

    It would be an absolute travesty for this type of legislation to pass. As Jeff mentioned, libraries are not only repositories of GREAT information, but they’re repositories of great resources. One of my fondest memories from my childhood was meeting Buster Douglas at the MLK branch library. This was right after he gave Mike Tyson the business and achieved his first heavy weight title. :D

    #281542

    catnfiddle
    Participant

    This is awful. Between school funding and now this, I don’t understand why Ohio is surprised at how many recent graduates leave the state.

    #281543

    joev
    Participant

    thefightinglibrarian wrote >>

    joev wrote >>
    I think ALL state government programs are facing huge cuts. Libraries are important, but I’d rather see limited resources directed at health services for the poor.

    There’s also a difference between facing “huge cuts” and decimating a public service. Libraries have already experienced a 20% reduction in their budgets–no one is saying that libraries should be held harmless, but there has to be a better way of allocating budget cuts that doesn’t completely shut down vital public services.

    Is anyone looking at the whole budget picture? It’s easy to defend one program when the cost of doing so is nebulous. EVERYTHING that can be cut has been recommended to be cut. I’m not suggesting that libraries should be shut down – I love libraries. I think Ohio’s funding system for libraries is a relic of a better time – manyvlibraries are supported by the state only – only a small number have local levy support. Yes, people should have access to the internet, and reading materials. Maybe a large cut would restrict these options, but maybe libraries could adjust by limiting hours, cutting aquisitions or cutting staff rather than shutting down. Or they could search for local support in the form of levies, donations, etc. I realize that this is your livelihood, thefightinglibrarian, but there are a ton of services the state will have to be getting out of the business of providing altogether, and lots of people’s jobs are at risk.

    #281544
    Jeff Regensburger
    Jeff Regensburger
    Participant

    It’s great to see that so many board members recognize the value of public libraries in Ohio. Right now, the most effective thing supporters can do is call or email the Governor and the legislators and share your concerns.

    Here’s Governor Strickland’s phone number: 614-466-3555

    …and here’s how to contact the Governor online.

    If you’re not sure what to say or how to say it, here’s how I phrased my concerns:

    I strongly object to the Governor’s proposed cuts to Ohio’s public library funding, especially in light of the current and unprecedented increase in demands for services. In every community throughout the state Ohioans are turning to their public library for free high speed Internet access, help with employment searches and resume writing, computer training, adult education services, and basic literacy skills.

    Ohio’s public libraries offer these critical services to EVERYONE in our State. They’re among our most democratic of institutions. Additionally, public libraries play an integral role in education, something the Governor himself acknowledges is key to the state’s economic recovery.

    I understand that these are difficult times, and tough decisions must be made, but the proposed reductions to the Public Library Fund are extreme. I urge Governor Strickland and the State Legislators reconsider these proposed cuts. Ohio needs great libraries; now, more than ever!.

    #281545

    chaptal
    Participant

    These are tough times and if revenues do not increase they may get much worse. Here’s what I sent to my state representative. Similar letters were sent to my state senator and Governor Strickland.

    “I understand that economic times are tough and that difficult choices must be made but cutting 227 million dollars from libraries in Ohio is not the right decision to make.

    Is forcing libraries to close if they do not have local support, or those with the privilege of having community backing through local tax levies to cut programs and services the answer? These days libraries are more than places you can check out a book. Libraries have become the backbone of a community, providing services to the poor and helping to bridge a huge technology gap that is happening in society by offering the extensive use of computers and other forms of technology so that citizens can educate and market themselves.

    Representative Stewart you have to know that your constituents rely heavily on the Hilltop Library to provide their educative and entertainment needs. Many people in your district are using the library to apply for jobs, learn how to build a resume or simply to set up an email account.

    Denying Ohio’s and your voters the use of their public libraries is not going to bring them up to speed with the challenges in today’s economy. I would like you to vote against this budget cut and wish you well in providing an alternative to balancing the state budget.”

    #281546
    Jeff Regensburger
    Jeff Regensburger
    Participant

    chaptal wrote >>
    These are tough times and if revenues do not increase they may get much worse. Here’s what I sent to my state representative. Similar letters were sent to my state senator and Governor Strickland.
    “I understand that economic times are tough and that difficult choices must be made but cutting 227 million dollars from libraries in Ohio is not the right decision to make.
    Is forcing libraries to close if they do not have local support, or those with the privilege of having community backing through local tax levies to cut programs and services the answer? These days libraries are more than places you can check out a book. Libraries have become the backbone of a community, providing services to the poor and helping to bridge a huge technology gap that is happening in society by offering the extensive use of computers and other forms of technology so that citizens can educate and market themselves.
    Representative Stewart you have to know that your constituents rely heavily on the Hilltop Library to provide their educative and entertainment needs. Many people in your district are using the library to apply for jobs, learn how to build a resume or simply to set up an email account.
    Denying Ohio’s and your voters the use of their public libraries is not going to bring them up to speed with the challenges in today’s economy. I would like you to vote against this budget cut and wish you well in providing an alternative to balancing the state budget.”

    OMG!!!AWESOEM!!11!!

    Seriously. I got goosebumps reading that…and I’m totally stealing it!

    Thank you so much!

    #281547

    ratzo
    Member

    I’ve stolen it too!

    #281548

    Elizabeth Lessner
    Participant

    great letter, chaptal. the downtown library is one of my favorite places in columbus.

    after the giant windstorm last fall, many of us on campus and clintonville were without power for many days, some as long as two weeks. the whetstone library became a welcoming place for many neighbors to enjoy some cool air, recharge cell phones to stay connected to family and loved ones and spend time on the computers. it was a small gesture but it meant a lot to so many of us during that time and made us feel grateful for our neighborhood library.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 219 total)

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