White Paper

Restore the PLF White Paper (PDF)

Restore the PLF

At the state level, Ohio’s public libraries are funded through the Public Library Fund (PLF).  Each month, the PLF receives a percentage of the state’s tax receipts that go into the state’s General Revenue Fund (GRF). The various revenue sources that go into the GRF include the state personal income tax, sales and use tax, business taxes, etc.

State funding for public libraries has been cut by more than $113 million since 2001 — a 23% reduction in funding over the last 17 years with no adjustment for inflation

State funding for public libraries will be automatically cut again on July 1, 2019. While the demands for library services and expectations of our citizens have dramatically increased, state funding has been cut since 2008 and Ohio’s public libraries have not fully recovered from the recession.

Now is the time to:

  • Make public libraries a priority in the state budget.
  • Restore the PLF to its 2008 level of 2.22% of GRF.
  • Restore and reset the PLF language in permanent law.


How Public Libraries Use State Funding

Ohio’s Public Libraries…

  • provide public access to the Internet, computers and the latest technology (including mobile WiFi hotspots, 3-D printers, and more).
  • help Ohioans find jobs and provide online educational courses.
  • offer literacy and homework help for children.
  • serve as the hub for their community and a place for people to gather.
  • collaborate with private groups as well as state and local government entities to help deliver local services.
  • provide life-long learning opportunities and programming for all ages.
  • offer personalized, one-on-one support to find unbiased and well researched information as well as community resources.
  • Unlike schools and other local governments, public libraries do not receive state funding for facilities/buildings through the Capital Appropriations Bill. The only option is to utilize operating funds, pass a bond levy, or borrow extremely limited amounts of funds.