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About that library funding

By Tyler S. Clark (Contact)

Published June 30, 2009

Libraries are critical sources of information for their communities. They provide historical and current information for students, civic leaders and citizens alike, archiving our past and giving us the tools to prepare for the future.

The need for budget cuts is obvious and real. However, but cutting resources that support the sharing of common information, we create hardship. We'll pay one way or the other, whether it's through additional outlays of money to buy those things we previously relied on the library to provide or in lowered educational standards in our communities.

In fact, libraries have never been more important to support than in tough economic times. Unemployed residents are likely to chop Internet access as one of the first items (you know, before food, rent and utilities), so they need access to library-provided Web access to search for jobs and perhaps to file unemployment.

When libraries called for the help of residents in pleading their case to the governor, they received great support. Thousands of letters and e-mails made their way to state representatives.

Locally, Rep. Thomas Letson said library cuts were unavoidable because there was no place else to take the money from. 'Should it come from the Ohio Department of Health? Or the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections?' the Vindicator reported.

So, the Department of Health has no extraneous programs? And there are no changes to the laws and policies surrounding how many people we incarcerate? Of course no one would advocate the release of violent criminals, but what about the number of non-violent folks currently incarcerated because they were found with drugs or a prostitute? Surely this is a time to take a close look at policies across the board.

Letson does make a good point, though: in order to restore library funding, it has to come from somewhere else. But the one thing I didn't see in the e-mails I got to petition Columbus for the libraries' future was a suggestion of where the money should come from. I've heard of folks who have written to the governor asking him to raise taxes to support the libraries.

Either way we've got to find the money, because it will be detrimental to our future to lose library services when we need them the most.


1epicfail(217 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

As the sign out front of the Hubbard public library says, "Freedom = Access to information".

It's an ugly situation but I like your idea for offsetting the costs. It's times like these we need to really examine the laws we keep. We're willing to sacrifice our libraries to keep people in jail for what is in my opinion a trivial reason (nonviolent drug offenses).

Sacrificing a public institution like a library or university is an ugly choice that only hurts in the long run.

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2valleyred(1102 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

Strickland is doing everything to save his job in 2010, but it turns out he is pissing more people off by cutting funding to libraries and nursing homes than by raising taxes.

Kasich 2010.

PS: I supported Strickland in 2006 because Blackwell was a terrible GOP Candidate. This time around Strickland is going to get his butt kicked by Kasich!

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3Tugboat(759 comments)posted 6 years, 4 months ago

Explore this site and you'll find the money needed. When they say 'Ohio Means Jobs,' they sure aren't kidding!


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4Swede06(8 comments)posted 6 years, 4 months ago

I am all for the libraries.

I am all against the Board of the Mahoning County Library system, and it's misuse of funds.

They have built new "palaces" and let existing branches, mostly in the city, rot to the point of closure. This misue of funds is CRIMINAL, and they should be held accountable.

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