Monday, June 22, 2009

Save Ohio Libraries

What. A. Day.

Honestly, what can I say? I would love to post another of my (imesho) wonderful book reviews, etc., but, as you can imagine, I have more pressing matters on my mind.

Things like…will I have a job after next week?

Granted, many closures won’t be overnight. But to those who use the library everyday – whether as an employer or as a patron – it will.

Imagine – no more storytimes for children.

Imagine – no more bookmobile or homebound services.

Imagine – no more community meeting rooms available for tutoring, little league registrations, Girl Scout meetings and more.

Imagine – no more running to the library to borrow that book your child needs for school tomorrow.

Imagine – no more public library.

It’s what may very well happen if the current budget proposal passes.

From a message sent by the Ohio Library Council:

With some 70% of the state's 251 public libraries relying solely on the PLF to fund their operations, the reduction in funding will mean that many will close completely, close branches, or drastically cut hours and services.

This afternoon I had a meeting at our smallest branch, and finished out the day there. Our director stopped by to drop off a sign to post at the library. He told us that there is just no saying what they will have to do. After crunching some numbers, they realized that even laying off everyone at all five branches AND in our mobile library services department it wouldn’t be enough to cover the budget deficit.

What makes this worse is that we actually have a levy that passed just a couple of years ago. What about all of the libraries throughout the state that couldn’t pass a needed levy? The libraries that rely nearly completely on state funding?

A woman stopped into the branch today. She was almost speechless over the news. Since losing her job she has used library resources nearly everyday: Newspapers to look at the want ads. The internet to search for employment opportunities. The computers to print out resumes and cover letters. This is not an unusual situation.

From the website Save Ohio Libraries:

Below are the e-mail addresses for the Conference Committee. They will be the ones determining the final budget. They need to hear from everyone state-wide!


Vernon Sykes
Phone: 614- 466-3100
Fax: 614-719-6944

Jay Goyal
Phone: 614-466-5802
Fax: 614-719-3973

Ron Amstutz
Phone: 614-466-1474
Fax: 614-719-0003


Dale Miller
Phone: 614-466-5123

John Carey
Phone: 614-466-8156

Mark Wagoner
Phone: 614-466-8060

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