The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
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June 2009

What’s New · Library Funding Update

Update from the Ohio Library Council Executive Director

OLC staff has been in daily communication - sometimes twice a day - with the public library directors across the state regarding the state budget and public library funding.

Here's what we know:

  • Legislators have been listening to their constituents and are working very hard to minimize any funding cuts to public libraries.
  • Public libraries MAY experience some funding cut but every indication is that it will not be near the 30% cut proposed by the Governor.
  • The General Assembly approved an interim budget through July 7, and public library funding continues at 2.22% of the state's general tax revenue and with no cuts at this time.
  • The House already has introduced a resolution to allow for a second budget extension through July 14, if it appears the 2010-11 budget cannot be approved by July 7.

Here's what we don't know:

  • How much of a cut, if any, public libraries will experience in the biennium budget.
  • When the biennium budget will be approved.
  • If there are issues besides slot machines that are still unresolved.

While things may appear to be relatively calm right now, a lot of activity is going on behind the scenes. This is a normal part of the budget process. The OLC's work continues - just in a less public arena. OLC staff and our contacts in the legislature and the Governor's office are in constant communication. All parties have been receptive to our message and the discussions have been productive.

We will continue to keep you informed. Please watch your library's Website for updates. Thank you again for your continued support.

Doug Evans
Executive Director
Ohio Library Council

Funding Background

On Friday, June 19, the Governor proposed a state budget cut of 50% for Public Library Funding. This would be devastating to our libraries—and you responded.

You sent over 35,000 emails to our legislators and deluged them with phone calls. The good news is that your voice has been heard by the Ohio General Assembly and the Governor.

Although the proposal to cut Public Library Funding was not their suggestion, almost all members of the Ohio General Assembly have now issued statements in support of libraries.

We thank everyone for contacting the legislators about the importance of libraries, especially at a time when people need them most. Your efforts have clearly had an impact!

Additional information about library funding.

The Funding Crisis in the News