I believe in libraries. I grew up loving Summer Reading Programs. I enjoyed reading, but the summer reading programs were extra motivation to read a lot over the summer. This is a great way for kids to not fall behind in school. When the next Fall comes up, and the school year starts, their minds won't be mush. For a variety of reasons I agree with the statement that "Summer Reading Programs Save Lives". Perhaps that's drastic for you?
There is no denying that in many cities libraries are the only source of free internet that the community has. In times when less people are able to afford computers and internet access, this service helps people find jobs and construct resumes.
While private grants could help to support the libraries, I believe they need to stay public to continue the guarantee of equal access to everyone.
The following is taken from the Library Council website.
Why are Ohio public libraries in trouble?
At a news conference on Friday, June 19, the Governor proposed a cut to state funding for public libraries of $227.3 million in fiscal years 2010 and 2011 as part of his plan to fill the $3.2 billion gap in the budget that must be balanced by the Ohio General Assembly's Conference Committee by June 30.
The proposal amounts to a 30% cut in funding for Ohio's public libraries. This cut is in addition to the 20% reduction in funding that libraries are already facing, because their funding comes from 2.22% of the state's declining General Revenue Fund.
Libraries could close or face significant reductions in operations as a result of the Governor's proposal. With some 70% of the state's 251 public libraries relying solely on state funding to fund their operations, the reduction in funding will mean that many will close branches or drastically reduce hours and services.
The Governor's proposed funding cuts come at a time when Ohio's public libraries are experiencing unprecedented increases in demands for services. In every community throughout the state, Ohioans are turning to their public library for free high speed Internet access and help with employment searches, children and teens are beginning summer reading programs, and people of all ages are turning to the library as a lifeline during these difficult economic times. Ohio's public libraries offer CRITICAL services to those looking for jobs and operating small businesses. Public libraries are an integral part of education, which Governor Strickland says is critical to the state's economic recovery. But it is unlikely that many of Ohio's public library systems, especially those without local levies, can remain open with these proposed cuts.
About 30% of Ohio's public libraries have local property tax levies that supplement the state's funding. However, with the Governor's proposed drastic cuts in the state funding for libraries, even those libraries will face decisions regarding substantial reductions in hours of operation, materials, and staffing.
So what can you do?
Please join the facebook group.
And then call or email the governor and your Representatives:
Governor Ted Strickland: 614-466-3555 or 614-644-4357
Senator Bill Harris, President of the Senate: 614-466-8086
Senator John Carey, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee: 614-466-8156
Representative Armond Budish, Speaker of the House: 614-466-5441
Representative Vernon Sykes,Chairman of the House Finance Committee: 614-466-3100
Save Our Libraries. Save our place for free, unrestricted self-motivated LEARNING.