Monday, June 22, 2009

If you love your library ...

... please contact your state legislator and the governor!

Gov. Ted Strickland's proposed biennium budget would decrease funding to state libraries by $200 million -- which is in addition to money that has already been cut from libraries that have seen a decline in revenue. You can view the proposal here.

Libraries are a staple in any community, but especially so now that the country has been in a recession. Libraries already are doing more with less, as residents are turning more to the free services they offer. But if the proposal passes, services will be reduced and hours will be cut. Some libraries may even close. For more information about the proposal, see the Ohio Library Council Web site.

Contact your state legislator and the governor to let them know how you feel about the proposed biennium budget.

You can find your representative by entering your ZIP code at and your senators at

Click here to contact Strickland directly with your thoughts and concerns. You may call his office at 614-466-3555 or fax at 614-466-9354. Or contact him through his Facebook page, where you can post comments on his wall.

You may also contact members of the conference committee, who will be helping make the decision on the budget. Though they do not represent the area, they will be part of a decision that affects the entire state and should listen to what residents of the state of Ohio think about the proposal.
Vernon Sykes, Akron area. Phone: 614- 466-3100. Fax: 614-719-6944.
Jay Goyal, Mansfield area. Phone: 614-466-5802. Fax: 614-719-3973.
Ron Amstutz, Wayne County area. Phone: 614-466-1474. Fax: 614-719-0003.
Dale Miller, Cleveland area. Phone: 614-466-5123.
John Carey, Wellston area. Phone: 614-466-8156.
Mark Wagoner. Phone: 614-466-8060.

Here are some sample letters you can send:

"I am writing to urge you to advocate for the preservation of public library funding in Ohio. I understand that the governor is proposing a 50 percent cut to public library funding. This would be a devastating move in light of the economy’s effect on public access to information, technology and jobs. People need public libraries during an economic downturn more than ever, to stay informed, apply for jobs, and continue their education and acquisition of skills. Many Ohioans will need to retrain for new jobs and successfully transition to new careers, and if support for these activities is diminished, they will likely cost the state more for health care and public assistance. All Ohioans benefit when public libraries are funded adequately. Please help Ohioans help themselves by maintaining public library funding at last year’s levels."

"It has been brought to my attention that the state is considering reducing the amount of revenue it allots to the State Library Fund. Due to the decrease in overall revenue, the fund has already been hit with substantial cuts and I implore you not to vote for a further reduction. These reductions would effectively reduce the fund by nearly 50 percent from the levels of revenue in 2008. Many public libraries in Ohio operate solely on money from this fund and do not enjoy additional support from local sources. This proposed cut will disproportionately effect areas in Ohio who can least afford to lose this valuable resource. I realize that there are many difficult decisions you must make when trying to balance the state budget, but public libraries are needed more than ever in these times. I fear that these cuts will close many public libraries permanently and that would be a sad state of affairs indeed."

"I have just learned about the proposal from Gov. Strickland in regards to the massive cutting of library funding over the next two years. While I understand that we as a nation and state are facing difficult times, I believe that if you vote to accept this proposal, you will cause irreperable damage to many communities across the state of Ohio. The library to me is a gateway to education, business, personal awareness and improvement, and community. I would hate to see what many communities will look like across the state if this proposal is accepted."

Call, send e-mails.
Please make your opinions heard.
Save our libraries.

-- Cheryl Sadler



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