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Save Ohio Libraries!

General: Doug Evans
Media: Lynda Murray

Why are Ohio public libraries in trouble?
What can I do to help Save Ohio Libraries?
What can my library do to help Save Ohio Libraries?
Where can I find more information about this issue?
News and Blogs Info!

OLC Response to Governor's Letter

Projected Funding Cuts for Each Library
PDF or Excel Spreadsheet

Join Save Ohio Libraries on Facebook!

Why are Ohio public libraries in trouble?

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.

What can I do to help Save Ohio Libraries?

The OLC has learned of a number public rallies in support of libraries that are going on across the state at local libraries and their branches. A citizen-initiated rally at the Statehouse at 11:30 a.m. on Thurs., June 25 also has been scheduled. This activity further demonstrates the groundswell of grassroots support that is being expressed throughout the state. Below is the list of rallies that we are aware of at this point. If you are aware of other rallies that have been organized, please let us know, and they will be included on the list.

The OLC appreciates the groundswell of grassroots support and all the variety of efforts that the public is making to voice their opposition to the Governor's proposed cuts.

Contact your legislators! Let your state legislators and the governor know what your library means to you! Locate your State Representative or State Senator.

Governor Ted Strickland
614-466-3555 or 614-644-4357
contact online
Post a message on Governor Strickland's Facebook page.

Senator Bill Harris,
President of the Senate


Senator John Carey,
Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee


Representative Armond Budish,
Speaker of the House

Representative Vernon Sykes,
Chairman of the House Finance Committee


Spread the word!

After contacting your legislators, help us spread the word to your family, friends, neighbors and colleagues. Here are some suggestions:

Update your Facebook status.

_____ contacted my elected officials to help save Ohio libraries and you should too. Find out more: http://www.saveohiolibraries.com

Post a tweet on Twitter.

I contacted my elected officials to help save Ohio libraries and you should too. Find out more: http://www.saveohiolibraries.com

Change your profile picture on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites.

Right click on the Save Ohio Libraries image, save it to your desktop, and upload as your profile picture to show your support of Ohio libraries!

Save Ohio Libraries

Send an email to your family, friends, neighbors and colleagues!

"Ohio libraries are in jeopardy. I contacted the governor and my legislators to let them know what my library means to me. Find out how you can help, too: http://www.saveohiolibraries.com"

What can my library do to help Save Ohio Libraries?

This is a drastic measure proposed by the Governor and it will require a dramatic and immediate response from the libraries and our patrons.

The General Assembly Conference Committee will likely make their decision about this proposal this week. Here are the things that libraries should do IMMEDIATELY:

•  E-mail your patrons and ask them to e-mail or call your state representatives and the Governor 614-466-3555 or 614-644-4357 Immediately!
•  Make signs and handouts for all of your buildings. In some cases, it is appropriate to say "This Branch May Close If The Governor's 50% Cut Is Approved - Call the Governor at 614-466-3555 or 614-644-4357 and State Representative (fill in yours) and State Senator (fill in yours)."
•  Contact your editorial boards immediately and ask for a meeting as soon as possible.
•  Hold an emergency meeting of your board to discuss this cut and make sure to invite your local press.
•  Put a message on your Web site and include links to your state legislators e-mail address and the Governor. For a sample go to Worthington Libraries.
•  Post information on their Facebook pages and Twitter feeds. Go to Worthington Libraries for sample language.
•  Do a press release on the impact this will have on your library. Remember this cut begins July 1!
•  Work together with other libraries in your area.

This must be accomplished THIS WEEK!

The OLC is working with the Ohio General Assembly to make sure they don't accept this proposal. We are developing a press release for Monday morning (we will send that to all directors). We are working with Jon Iten on a memo that will review the legal steps necessary to close or merge libraries should that become necessary. We will keep you apprised of the situation.

Here are some suggested groups for libraries to target with their messages to Save Ohio Libraries. Encourage these groups to ask their constituents to contact the Governor and their legislators.

  • homeschool parents
  • meeting room users
  • senior centers served by bookmobile outreach
  • bookmobile users
  • job applicants (those interested in library employment)
  • school superintendents
  • safety partners (sheriff, fire, etc.)
  • Chamber of Commerce executive directors
  • daycare administrators
  • Programmers for summer reading club (those hired temporarily for the summer for youth services)
  • City Council
  • Mayor's office
  • convention and visitors bureaus

Where can I find more information about this issue?

News | Blogs

OLC Crisis Communications Activities Updated (6/24/09)

News Release 6/22/09

Talking Points 6/22/09

Akron Beacon Journal, June 21, 2009

http://www.starbeacon.com/local/local_story_172234513.html Star Beacon, June 21, 2009

NBC4i Columbus, June 22, 2009

10TV Columbus , June 22, 2009

WSYX6, Columbus , June 22, 2009

Library Journal, June 23, 2009

Business First Columbus, June 22, 2009


The Morning Journal, June 23, 2009


The Morning Journal, June 23, 2009

The Chronicle-Telegram, June 23, 2009

Newark Advocate, June 23, 2009


Steubenville Herald Star, June 23, 2009

Toledo Blade, June 23, 2009

Strickland calls for a sea change on slots
The Columbus Dispatch, June 20, 2009

Governor proposes slots
Ohio.com, June 20, 2009

State budget cuts could close some libraries
Dayton Daily News, June 19, 2009

Ohio Governor Proposes Halving State Support; Many Libraries Could Close
Library Journal, June 19, 2009


Lori Askeland on Village Council, June 21, 2009

Shuttered Library

Library Geek Woes, June 21, 2009

http://citymousegoeswest.blogspot.com/2009/06/libraries.html City Mouse Goes West, June 23, 2009

Elephants on Bicycles, June 23, 2009

Columbus Underground podcast, June 24, 2009

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