Please Help Save Ohio Libraries – Time is Running Out
A message from the Akron-Summit County Public Library
This is an urgent message to all of our customers, friends and supporters. The Akron-Summit County Public Library (ASCPL) and the other 250 public libraries across the state are facing further funding cuts that will have serious consequences to Ohio libraries.
Ohio Governor Ted Strickland has proposed a balanced budget framework for 2009-2011 that amounts to a 50 percent cut to the Public Library Fund (PLF). This proposal is devastating for 70 percent of all Ohio public libraries that depend on the PLF as their only significant funding. Approximately half of all Akron-Summit County Public Library’s funding is generated from the state.
The Conference Committee is considering the proposal this week and then will send it back to the state legislators.
The Governor’s budget will cut $227.3 million from the PLF. This figure is IN ADDITION to the reductions that libraries have already experienced as a result of declining revenue.
We know that Ohio’s public libraries are the community’s lifeline to a better life. The Governor’s proposed funding cuts come at a time when ASCPL and all of Ohio’s public libraries are experiencing unprecedented increases in demands for services due to the economic downturn facing us all. At ASCPL alone, the number of items borrowed has increased by 56% percent in a 10-year period. Program and meeting attendance figures are at a record high. Demand for FREE computer Internet access is at an all-time high as patrons seek information on employment opportunities, and submit resumes for potential new jobs. Children and teens maintain their reading skills by participating in summer reading programs. Senior citizens receive many services from the library including delivery of books to their homes.
ASCPL and public libraries throughout the state are standing up to STOP this budget proposal by the Governor, and we’re asking our customers, friends and supporters to act today to help us SAVE OUR LIBRARIES! With Gov. Strickland’s budget proposal, libraries across the state would have to reduce hours or close branches, reduce children’s reading programs and the delivery of books to seniors, close on Sundays, have fewer new books and DVDS, and provide fewer services to small businesses and to job-seekers.
We are urging the community to email or call the Governor TODAY (Governor’s office: 614-466-3555)! A complete list of contact e-mail addresses and phone numbers for the Governor, and state legislators is available.
Your action is critical for the future of the Akron-Summit County Public Library, and our neighboring Summit County libraries including Barberton, Peninsula, Cuyahoga Falls, Stow, Twinsburg, Hudson, and all public libraries in the great state of Ohio.
We will do EVERYTHING in our power to SAVE OUR LIBRARIES and we’re asking your assistance at this critical time in our history. Our future and especially the future of our children and grandchildren depend on our swift action TODAY! Call or e-mail the Governor, Conference Committee and state legislators by Thursday, June 25.