Ohio Library Council, libraries lead effort to save library funding

Contact: Marci Merola

Office for Library Advocacy

(312) 280-2431



For immediate release

June 23, 2009

Chicago—The Ohio Library Council (OLC) and the Ohio library community hope to stave off governor’s proposal to cut public library funding 30%, which, when coupled with a recent 20% cut in tax revenue, constitutes a 50% cut for 2010 and 2011 Fiscal Years.

A 50% reduction in funding would result in library closings and shortened hours and reduced services at a time when library usage has increased at an unprecedented level.

"Our libraries have been slashing their budgets for months to find ways to maintain library services with a 20% reduction in state dollars,” according to Scott Shafer, President of the OLC and Director of the Lima Public Library. “Reductions of this magnitude will force libraries to close completely, close branches, and/or drastically cut hours and services – beginning July 1.”

Public libraries are an integral part of education, which Governor Strickland says is critical to the state's economic recovery, according to the OLC website. But it is unlikely that many of Ohio's public library systems, especially those without local levies, can remain open with these proposed cuts.

The Ohio Library Council offers its libraries resources to prevent this proposal from moving forward. They can be found at
http://www.olc.org/SaveOhioLibraries.asp. Ohio libraries are launching campaigns at the local level, including the Toledo Public Library:
http://www.toledolibrary.org/ .

The OLC encourages all Ohioans to contact the Governor’s office to express their opposition to his proposal to cut library funding, and to urge their legislators to reject the Governor’s plan. The proposal is currently in Conference Committee. The decision should be made no later than June 30, 2009, say sources in Ohio.