Update 6/9/21: Senate Passes State Budget Bill
The Ohio Senate unveiled its version of the Fiscal Year (FY) 22-23 state budget bill, which includes restoring the Public Library Fund (PLF) to 1.7% of the state’s General Revenue Fund (GRF).
“The Ohio Library Council would like to thank members of the Ohio Senate for their support and commitment to Ohio’s public libraries,” said Michelle Francis, Executive Director, Ohio Library Council. “The Senate’s budget will allow public libraries to provide the essential services that the residents of Ohio deserve and expect, regardless of zip code.”
The PLF makes up an extremely small portion of overall state expenditures (one half of one percent), but it accounts for 48 percent of the total funding for Ohio’s public libraries. In fact, 20 percent of Ohio’s public library systems rely solely on the PLF for their primary source of funding.
“Our libraries will use these funds to continue to do what they do best, and that is serving their communities,” said Francis. “Whether it is connecting job seekers to employment opportunities or addressing educational gaps caused by the pandemic, libraries will continue to innovate and assist with Ohio’s recovery efforts. The funds also help to ensure that vital services, such as access to computers and the internet, can continue to be provided to Ohioans statewide through their local libraries.”
With more than 8.4 million registered borrowers, Ohio’s public libraries are a resource that Ohioans increasingly turn to for a wide variety of services – especially in the areas of early childhood education, broadband connectivity, and workforce development. They are also good stewards of taxpayer dollars and a wise investment. For every $1 spent by Ohio’s public libraries, they return $5 in economic value to Ohioans.