Ohio’s Public Libraries Have Already Been Cut: Ask Ohio Senate To Protect the Public Library Fund (PLF)

Don't Cut PLF Ohio Senate thumbnailBased on the latest information, Ohio’s public libraries could be cut by more than $16.6 million (minimum 4.3% loss in funding) under the state’s biennial budget bill, House Bill (HB) 49. Due to the lagging state revenues, the Senate has indicated that they plan to make additional cuts in HB 49 for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 and FY 2019.

 

 

We need your help! The Senate will be deliberating HB 49 over the next two weeks. We need to make sure they are hearing from public libraries between now and May 31. We need library directors, fiscal officers, trustees, Friends and Foundation groups to contact members of the Ohio Senate. The contacts can be made by sending an email, letter or postcard (see below). Also, contacts can be made by phone or in-person. Share our story and our message, but be sure to be respectful when you are contacting senators. Even if you have made contacts in the past, we need you to make them again based on the latest information.

 

Based on what OLC is hearing from the Senate, we have developed New Talking Points for use by members. Overall, we need to stress the fact that Ohio’s public libraries have already been cut! During an economic downturn is NOT the time to be cutting state funds to libraries. Please use OLC’s NEW Talking Points to stress our message.

 

Encourage members of the Ohio Senate to:
  • NOT cut the PLF!
  • Make public libraries a priority in the state budget!
  • NOT make additional cuts in state funding to public libraries!
  • Maintain our current FY17 level of funding at 1.7% of the GRF.

NEW ADVOCACY TOOLS
The OLC has developed new postcard templates and social media banners for use in our advocacy efforts. Please feel free to download the postcards and send them to your senators. Don’t forget to add your personal message about why state funding to public libraries should not be cut before you drop it in the mail.

 

The OLC presented testimony yesterday to the Senate Finance Higher Education Subcommittee on HB 49 and its impact on public libraries. Kim Fender, Director, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, and Chair of the OLC Government Relations Committee, and Michelle Francis, OLC Director of Government and Legal Services, testified on behalf of the OLC and Ohio’s public libraries. They explained the impact of declining state revenues on the Public Library Fund (PLF) and how certain provisions in the state budget bill (HB 49) could result in additional cuts in funding to Ohio’s public libraries.

 

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