Urge the Ohio Senate to set the Public Library Fund (PLF) at 1.7%

Ohio Senate Leadership is taking additional time this week to craft their substitute version of the state budget bill. Now, more than ever in this process, contacts must be made with members of the Senate Finance Committee and Senate Leadership before Friday. Please use the talking points below and urge the Ohio Senate to set the PLF at 1.7% in HB 166. Senate contact information is available on the OLC website.

Talking Points
  • Public Libraries provide a wide variety of services and programs – all based on the needs and requests of our local communities and taxpayers.
  • Today’s public libraries are much more than books. Through our shared partnership with the state, we ensure that essential services are delivered at the local level.
  • Some of the essential services we provide are access to computers and the internet for eGovernment, eCommerce, job search assistance and online learning.
  • State funding through the PLF helps to pay for these essential services and many others.
  • Overall, state funding makes up 48% of our funding – almost half. In other states, libraries are primarily funded at the local level through city or county government.
  • 20% of Ohio’s libraries do not have a local property tax levy so they rely solely on the PLF for operating revenue.
  • State funding acts as a great equalizer and ensures there is a minimum level of service statewide, regardless of zip code.
  • For every $1 spent by libraries, $5 is returned to Ohioans. We are good stewards of taxpayer dollars and a wise investment.
  • With more than 8.4 million cardholders and more than 71 million visits last year, we have the highest library use per capita in the nation.
  • State funding for libraries has already been cut. We are currently receiving $113 million less than what we received in 2001. That figure would significantly multiply if adjusted to account for inflation over the past 18 years.
  • Now is the time to restore our funding. The PLF makes up just over half a percent of overall state expenditures. We are a significantly small portion of the state budget, and yet yield a high return on investment by providing services to ALL Ohio’s citizens.
 Call to Action
  • The OLC is requesting a mere $5 million in HB 166 to help restore state funding. These dollars will help public libraries to:
    • Reinvest and restore Public Library Funding;
    • Ensure basic essential services are provided to Ohioans statewide;
    • Prepare for the online portion and demands of the 2020 census;
    • Stabilize older facilities;
    • Hold libraries harmless from additional unintended cuts that may result from tax reform changes
  • Urge the Ohio Senate to set the Public Library Fund at 1.7% for FY20-21.