Public Libraries Face Budget Cuts at State and Federal Level
Dear Barberton Residents:
I am very appreciative of the support the Barberton Public Library receives from our community through state funding and our local operating levy, which was renewed for five years in 2015. We would not be able to serve you at the current level without this support.
I want to share information with you about the present status of funding for Ohio’s public libraries. At the state level, we are fortunate to be funded through the Public Library Fund (PLF), which receives a percentage of the state’s tax revenues from Ohio’s General Revenue Fund (GRF). Revenue sources for the GRF include the state personal income tax, sales and use tax, business taxes, etc.The PLF is currently set at 1.7% of the GRF, but House Bill 49 will cut that funding to 1.66% on July 1, 2017. This will reduce state funding for public libraries, including Barberton, by $7.7 million in the fiscal year of 2018 alone. The PLF accounts for approximately 57% of our library’s day-to-day operating funds. We rely heavily on the PLF to fund operating hours, books, e-books, movies, music, and other materials and services to the community.
|Original Source: Ohio Library Council|
On the federal level, The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has been targeted for elimination. The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) administered by IMLS provides critically important funding for our nation’s libraries. While we do not receive direct federal funding here at the Barberton Public Library, the State Library of Ohio uses federal funding for services that are available to Barberton residents. Numerous statewide collaborations, especially shared technological resources, digital content, databases and other services, would be significantly impacted by the elimination of the IMLS. Locally, we would likely lose access to web-based career development programs, databases, and other services offered through our partnership with the State Library and the Ohio Public Library Information Network.
The Ohio Library Council (OLC) is working with Ohio’s public libraries to educate members of the Ohio General Assembly and on the status of our PLF funding. We know that Ohioans value our public libraries and that public libraries create opportunities that transform lives. We are working with OLC to protect state funding for our libraries. I encourage you to use your social media presence to #ProtectThePLF here in Ohio and to contact your state and federal legislators to express your views on public library funding.
|To support the Ohio Public Library Fund contact your state legislator.
|Contact Senator Tavia Galonski.|
|Contact Senator Vernon Sykes.|
|Look up my state legislator.|
|To support federal library funding and the IMLS.
|Contact President Trump.|
|Contact Senator Sherrod Brown.|
|Contact Senator Rob Portman.|
|Contact Congressman Tim Ryan.|
|Look up my Congressional representative.|