Toledo Talk

Governor Strickland's proposed budget cuts public library funding by 50 percent

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.

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. This will mean a more than 50% cut in funding for many of Ohio's public libraries. Libraries could close or face significant reductions in operations as a result of the Governor's proposal.

With about 70% of the state’s public libraries relying solely on state funding to fund their library, the reduction in funding will mean that many will close branches or drastically reduce hours and services. Libraries bring critical services to the community, such as early childhood education, job help, free internet access and a place for everyone to come together as a community.

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.

The Governor's proposed funding cuts come at a time when Ohio's public libraries are experiencing unprecedented increases in demands for services.1

Source: Jun 20, 2009 - Worthington Libraries

Web Sites

SaveOhioLibraries.com

Twitter: search on saveohiolibraries

Facebook group: Save Ohio Libraries

YouTube: Libraries lend a hand in tough times

Jun 22 Local Media

WTOL

Mid-day WTOL Jun 22, 2009 tweet points to WTOL story titled Local libraries brace for big funding cuts - (story being updated) :

Big cuts could be coming to your local library. Ohio's governor is looking to slash significant state funding to the library system. Clyde Scoles said library employees are trying to rally area residents to contact the governor saying the cuts would be devastating to an area who uses the library for job searching.

Previous --> May 18, 2009 WTOL story Toledo libraries losing major funding

Toledo Blade

Noonish, Jun 22, 2009 Toledo Blade tweet :

We should have a story up about Public Library potential budget cuts in a few mins. Looks very serious!

Another Blade tweet :

Gov's 09-10 budget cuts $227.3mil from $403mil for Pub Library Fund, source of $$ for 70% of #ohio #libraries

points to Blade story Library officials announce opposition to governor's proposed cuts

Legislators to Contact

Jun 22, 2009 Save Ohio Libraries posting :

In addition to contacting the Governor and your Ohio senator and representative, here are some other important people in the Ohio Government to contact:

Senator Bill Harris,
President of the Senate
614-466-8086
SD19 AT senate.state.oh.us

Senator John Carey,
Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee
614-466-8156
SD17 AT senate.state.oh.us

Representative Armond Budish,
Speaker of the House
614-466-5441
District08 AT ohr.state.oh.us

Representative Vernon Sykes,
Chairman of the House Finance Committee
614-466-3100

Governor

Jun 22, 2009 Save Our Libraries posting Keep it coming! :

Take a look at Governor Strickland’s Facebook page! Wow! I’ve heard from multiple sources now that there’s been some difficultly calling the Governor’s phone line today, but please continue to post to his Facebook page and send emails using this online form. Let’s keep it coming!

Toledo-Lucas County Library

Jun 22, 2009 Save Ohio Libraries posting Toledo-Lucas County Library Frontpage :

Check out the eye-catching spread that Toledo-Lucas County Library has put on their main page. What an excellent way to get the word out about saving Ohio’s libraries!

Jun 22, 2009 homepage of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library --> News release [PDF file]

HTML version of TLCPL news release : Toledo-Lucas County Library Media Alert - Save Our Libraries

References

1 Jun 20, 2009 - Worthington Libraries

Elsewhere

Shortcut URLs

created by jr on Jun 22, 2009 at 01:13:20 pm
updated by jr on Jun 22, 2009 at 04:20:46 pm
    Comments: 18

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Comments ... #

Strickland is trying to scare folks so they will vote for slots in Ohio. Another Dummycrat trick.

posted by Sundance on Jun 22, 2009 at 05:40:38 pm     #  

While I agree it would be ashame.. it would also be temporary. We have got to make cuts somewhere. How about sending suggestions as to where instead of always dont cut this and dont cut that.
Our economy will recover. Meanwhile, we may need to go without all of the librarys and other luxurys. Free internet access is not a necessity in life. Early childhood developement is the Parents job. Job help is everywhere,, think Source. None of the services the library gives are "critical" they are nice to have but are not critical.
Better the library than police.

(swantucky runs to hide from jr)

posted by swantucky on Jun 22, 2009 at 05:48:34 pm     #  

When Strickland flip-flopped on allowing slots in Ohio he lost any respect I ever had for him. Now that he is talking about cutting the library budget I think he should be impeached.

posted by Sundance on Jun 22, 2009 at 06:07:18 pm     #  

No need to hide, swantucky. I'm interested in other thoughts:

  • Why does the library need to rent DVDs that can be obtained for a fee at the local movie rental store?
  • We had Sunday closures back in 2003. If it's too busy on the weekend to close, then close one or two days during the week. Were Ohio's libraries open seven days a week 30 years ago?
  • Why not charge for a yearly membership? Why does access to the library's features need to be free?
  • Has library privatization worked successfully anywhere? What would be the definition of successful?

Mar 20, 2008 - Boston Globe - 2 towns weigh privatizing libraries

Privatized libraries are not unheard of in other states. A Maryland-based company, Library Systems and Services LLC, called LSSI, runs 65 library branches in four states: Oregon, Texas, Tennessee, and California, according to Dean McCausland, LSSI president.

In a telephone interview, he said LSSI relies on taxes and grants, but not fees, to run the libraries and turn a profit for the company. LSSI generally does not hire unionized employees, helping it to save on benefits packages.

"There is a huge difference between a private, for-profit company and a library which essentially belongs to the community and answers to every resident in the Commonwealth," Bruno said.

I don't get how relying on taxes is equal to privatization.

Jun 11, 2009 Sarasota, Florida story titled Library privatization is rejected by panel :

As part of those efforts, the county asked companies qualified to run libraries to supply information about their business. But only one response came in, from Library Systems & Services of Germantown, Md. The lack of response was a major factor in the privatization panel's decision.

The rule of thumb in privatization is "the Yellow Pages test," he said. The theory is if there are a number of companies in the same field, government should consider putting the service out to bid. That is not the case when it comes to privatizing libraries, he said, noting that no companies in Florida are in the business.

The recommendation does not mean county commissioners will not change library operations, said Sarasota County Commissioner Shannon Staub. One possibility is to contact Library Systems & Services and see if the firm can consult with the county to save money, she said.

posted by jr on Jun 22, 2009 at 06:58:23 pm     #  

Agree 100 per cent with Sundance it's a scare tactic to get the slots. I've lost all respect for Strickland now, too.

posted by Darkseid on Jun 22, 2009 at 07:43:50 pm     #  

I voted no on the Lucas County levy for Libraries last election and I support cutting funding for them state wide. While I recognize the benefit libraries have to a community, much of what is paid for by tax dollars is unnecessary.

We get movies at the library for free. While its nice, its not taxpayers duty to entertain my family. Music included. While I am sure a small percentage of the pubic use the Internet connections to look for work, improve a resume, or something constructive, I am likewise willing to bet 90% of library computer use is pure entertainment or wasted time and money. Its not taxpayers duty to provide computers and Internet access to citizens.

The libraries will stay open, be it less hours. The books and movies and music and Internet will stay, but your taxes are on the rise to provide it. Again.

TAHL

posted by CynicalCounsel on Jun 22, 2009 at 08:43:41 pm     #  

Mar 8, 2009 - Toledo Talk - Strickland changing position on gambling?

Jun 19, 2009 - Toledo Blade - Strickland does an about-face, embraces slot machines :

Gov. Ted Strickland reversed course Friday and embraced a proposal to bring slot machines to Ohio without a vote of the people to prevent even more drastic budget cuts to vital services. “This was the best choice among several difficult options that were available to me,” he said. “If the economy was robust, then I would probably not have made this decision.”

The governor proposed an unspecified number of “video lottery terminals” at Ohio’s seven racetracks, including Toledo’s Raceway Park, predicting they would raise an estimated $933 million over the next two years through licensing fees and machine profits. After backing a number of other revenue changes, the net financial gain to the state would be about $765 million. The proposed cuts and slot machine revenue would come close to closing an estimated $3.2 billion hole in what is now a $54 billion, two-year budget pending in a House-Senate conference committee.

Mr. Strickland has repeatedly said he didn’t believe it would be a good idea to balance the state’s budget with revenue from slot machines, drawing a distinction between that and his decision a year ago to introduce electronic Keno in bars as an extension of the lottery.


About three years ago ...

Aug 8, 2006 - Toledo Talk - Playing the Anti-Gambling Card

Aug 8 2006 Toledo Blade - Voinovich, Strickland show off new unity; pair forge alliance against gambling :

A former Republican governor and a Democrat who wants to be governor joined together yesterday to battle slot machines. [T]hey both oppose the "Learn and Earn" measure on the fall ballot that would allow thousands of slot machines at Ohio's horse-racing tracks as well as at two new slot centers in Cuyahoga County. Some of the proceeds would be diverted to fund college tuition aid for Ohio students.

posted by jr on Jun 22, 2009 at 08:58:01 pm     #  

What about putting slot machines in the libraries?

posted by jr on Jun 22, 2009 at 09:01:12 pm     #  

Another diehard Democrat here who has lost whatever shred of respect he once had for Strickland. Out with him. We need an actual Democrat in office.

posted by joshwoodward on Jun 22, 2009 at 09:07:17 pm     #  

Gambling should be 100% legal since it's based upon the principles of natural rights and self determination. We should STOP invoking all this Prohibition BULLSH*T and let people go their own way ... free from government interference. The security of the gambling (certification of odds) is easily enforced through taxation, so there's no worry there.

Also, there's no rational reason why frequent users of the library system can't pay for that usage to fill any budgetary holes. To cover the poor and young, you could setup a simple system whereby the first X number of media can be taken out at no cost to you; and, children can have free access regardless of how many things they take out, to obey the Ohio constitution's indication that we must educate children. But after that (frequency and age limits), the subscriber should pay a fee, and then can choose from classes of service. It's only rational to organize a public library in that fashion, and it involves the same amount of ID checks as they do now, and it avoids pay-per-service which invokes transaction overhead.

posted by GuestZero on Jun 22, 2009 at 10:25:55 pm     #  

Already polling for the 2010 Ohio governor's election.

Excerpts from a Jun 21, 2009 report [PDF file] titled "Strickland Vulnerable," which states:

Ted Strickland’s approval rating continues to decline and John Kasich looks very competitive with him in a possible 2010 contest, the newest survey from Public Policy Polling finds. 43% of Ohio voters approve of how Strickland is doing his job as Governor, while 42% disapprove. A January PPP survey found the numbers at 48/35.

Strickland’s approval among Democrats has dropped from 70% to 62%, an unusually low level of support for a Governor within his own party. He’s also seen an increasing level of dissatisfaction with him from Republican voters, 72% of whom now say they disapprove of what he’s doing after just 59% did earlier this year.

Matched up against likely GOP candidate John Kasich, Strickland leads 44-42. He had a slightly wider 45-39 advantage in January. Strickland is mostly hurt by a 54-33 deficit to Kasich among independent voters, even though those same voters prefer a Democrat for the Senate in numbers that PPP will release on Tuesday.

“Midwestern states have been hit harder by the downtown in the economy than most places and their Governors are paying a price for it,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “We are seeing pretty low approval ratings for chief executives across most of the region as voters wait to see what they will do to turn things around.”

PPP surveyed 619 Ohio voters from June 17th to 19th. The survey’s margin of error is +/- 3.9%.

posted by jr on Jun 22, 2009 at 11:23:49 pm     #  

In my opinion, the library WASTES too much money as it is...

I walk around that place and see stuff on shelves, purchased with tax-payer money, that doesn't even belong in a library.

Example: Queer Eye For The Straight Guy - books & dvd's

Plus a bunch of other titles, that have little educational value for anyone. The Osbornes Reality Show and other garbage.

posted by WalterAnthony on Jun 23, 2009 at 02:05:36 pm     #  

I agree with WalterAnthony.

Privatize em.

http://www.lssi.com/company.cfm

posted by billy on Jun 23, 2009 at 03:12:50 pm     #  

What used to piss me off before I got another computer was-having to wait for several hours to use the internet while watching people tie them up surfing e-bay and playing video games.

posted by Darkseid on Jun 24, 2009 at 01:00:01 am     #  

Walt, I used to think like you do. Then I realized that it was just a bias instilled by the video-rental industry.

The library is for media. If you can have a book of fiction there, you can have an audio tape of fiction, and a video of fiction. There's just no difference.

posted by GuestZero on Jun 24, 2009 at 01:15:47 am     #  

And speaking of privatization, why on earth do we have to retain the services of what can only become an expensive management company? The library ALREADY HAS STAFF and procedures in place. Their management can be merely put up for bidding to the local temp agencies, right?

posted by GuestZero on Jun 24, 2009 at 01:27:40 am     #  

Rally occurred today at Noon at the downtown Toledo library.

posted by jr on Jun 24, 2009 at 01:06:12 pm     #  

Twitpic photo. Click image to enlarge. The logo in the lower left hand corner of the poster says "State Library of Ohio."

ha! read mr strickland? read indeed. on Twitpic

posted by jr on Jun 24, 2009 at 01:31:38 pm     #