Large cuts proposed for Ohio libraries 6.24.09

Written by David Green.

Ohio librarians received the bad news Monday that proposed cuts in state funding threatens libraries throughout the state.

Governor Ted Strickland announced Friday that cuts to the state library fund that outpace relative reductions in other state programs.

Fayette’s Normal Memorial Library director Susan Stuckey urges patrons to contact their state representatives and the governor to express their opinion on the issue. E-mail message can be sent by looking for a link at the library’s website at http://library.norweld.lib.oh.us/fayette.

“We are going to be doing everything we can so this does not pass,” Stuckey said.

The governor is attempting to close a $3.2 billion cash shortfall by the end of the fiscal year next week by what he calls resizing state government in line with the shrinking economy.

According to an analysis by the Ohio Library Council, the cuts would reduce library funding by at least 47 percent in fiscal year 2010 and 45 percent in year 2011, compared to 2008 disbursement.

By contrast, state revenue will fall 18 percent and 16 percent in those two years.

The proposed reductions are expected to force the closure of many libraries in the state and bring severe cuts in services to many others. Libraries have already been forced to make cuts due to dwindling state funds.

The cuts are coming when libraries are facing unprecedented increases in the demand for services, according to Ohio Library Council (OLC).

“In every community throughout the state, Ohioans are turning to their public libraries for free high-speed internet to access information on employment opportunities,” said Mackenzie Betts of the OLC. “Children and teens are beginning summer reading programs and people of all ages are turning to the library for information and education.”

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016