June 19, 2019

Ohio Public Libraries “Trying to Head Off More Funding Cuts”

From the Sandusky Register:

Public libraries in Ohio face another cut in state funding unless state lawmakers choose to take action in the new state budget.

Libraries in Ohio enjoy more generous state funding than libraries in virtually any other state, but Ohio’s libraries have been battered by cuts in recent years, and librarians are trying to head off more bad news.

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Lawmakers reconvening in the coming weeks in Columbus will be working on a new two-year budget that will take effect July 1.

The last budget was relatively generous. Lawmakers raised the percentage of the state’s general revenue fund going to libraries from 1.66 percent to 1.7 percent for the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years.

That did provide a boost at first, said Michelle Francis, director of government and legal services for the Ohio. In 2015, state aid to libraries was $380.8 million, an increase of about $35 million.

In 2016, however, funding fell to $377 million, part of a general trend of disappointing state tax revenues, she said.

Worse, the boost from 1.66 percent to 1.7 percent was only temporary, she said. Unless lawmakers act, the percentage of revenue going to libraries reverts to 1.66 percent, she said.

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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