August 2018

About Us · Library Funding

How is the Library Funded?

In January 2008, the Public Library Fund (PLF) replaced the Library and Local Government Support Fund, which had funded Ohio's public libraries since 1986. In establishing the PLF, the state broadened the base of library funding to include all general revenue taxes and fixed the percentage for libraries at 2.2 percent of collections. By mid-2009, the percentage was reduced to 1.97 percent. The 2012-13 biennium budget set library funding at 95% of prior year distributions, less new deductions that fund the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. The 2014-15 biennium budget eliminated the fixed monthly distribution and returned to the percentage of revenue funding approach. The current biennium budget decreased the percentage from 1.97 percent to 1.66 percent in the first year but increased slightly in July 2015 to 1.7%. In 2015, the PLF provided 65.46% of all revenue received by our Library.

In November 2013, Hamilton County voters overwhelmingly renewed a 1-mill operating levy for ten years for the Library. Although this levy is a dependable source of revenue through 2023 and has offset the loss of state revenue, it does not provide any potential for growth. In May 2018, nearly 63% of voters approved a levy that will allow the Library to address substantial facility needs and fund the award-winning services and programs customers have come to expect. This levy will provide a dependable source of revenue for purchasing high-demand circulation items such as eBooks, DVDs, CDs, print books, and more.

2017 Revenue:

Public Library Fund, State of Ohio 38,303,279.41 64.58%
Property Taxes 18,212,917.32 30.71%
Patron Fines and Fees 1,218,580.33 2.05%
Earnings on Investments 281,690.67 0.47%
Contributions, Gifts, and Donations 117,025.00 0.20%
Miscellaneous Revenue** 1,176,120.85 1.98%

**Restricted grants, Passport fees, supply sales, property rentals/sales, refunds, digital services.

What are the Library’s expenditures?

2017 Disbursements:

Salaries 27,151,705.89 47.44%
Benefits 8,394,613.60 14.67%
Supplies 1,333,151.28 2.33%
Purchased Services 8,804,267.11 15.38%
Library Materials and Information 8,898,219.22 15.55%
Capital Outlay 486,320.23 .85%
Other Objects 171,414.03 0.30%
Interfund Advances and Transfers 2,000,000 3.49%

The Library continues to maintain tight control over expenses while improving services.

In 2017, as part of the new Strategic Plan, the Library laid the groundwork for the most significant building plan in its 160-year history. The results of 18 months of work by staff and architects will address many facility needs with the work to make all branches accessible to those with disabilities a top priority.

Financial Reporting and Audits

The Library's excellence in financial reporting was once again recognized through receipt of both the Auditor of State Award of Distinction and also a Certificate of Achievement from the Government Finance Officers Association for its 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). Copies of the Library's annual state audits from 1999 to the present may be accessed from the Ohio Auditor of State's website.