Ohio's libraries have been earmarked for the dustbins. The next biennium budget proposed by Governor Ted Strickland cuts the state's support for its public libraries in half, from nearly $460 million in 2009 to around $227 million for each of the next two years.
Since nearly 175 of the state's 251 public libraries rely solely on state funding for support, this basically wipes those libraries out. Since the budget must be approved by the end of June according to Ohio law, the library landscape in Ohio will drastically change July 1 if this budget is approved. Even libraries that also have local support will find their landscapes drastically altered. Staff, material, hours, and anything else you can imagine associated with libraries will be drastically reduced.
Libraries are mobilizing their efforts to contact state legislators and let them know exactly how needed libraries are and what will happen if they turn out the lights on funding in Ohio. Along those lines, I have started this Shuttered Library blog.
Forward this to anyone you know who has anything to do with libraries. Encourage them to send me their stories of what their library has done for them. Ask them to send pictures of what efforts your library is making to get the word out about the possible closure of Ohio's public libraries -- signs, rallies, anything of the like.
I would like to add as many things as I can to this blog as the week goes on. I will regularly update the blog, post it to Facebook and Twitter, and email it to as many people I can to get the word out.
Anyone can email anything they have to me for publication at email@example.com.
Euclid Public Library