Local library funding may be cut in half - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Local library funding may be cut in half

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Web chat at 5: Library Director Clyde Scoles participated in a web chat Monday from 5-6:30 p.m. on WTOL.com to talk about the governor's plan to cut library funding.


LUCAS COUNTY (WTOL) - Ohio Governor Ted Strickland is looking to slash significant state funding to the library system.

Toledo-Lucas County Public Libraries Director Clyde Scoles says the budget cuts amount to a 50 percent reduction in funding at a time when our library system is being used more than ever.

News 11's Tanieya Lewis talked with residents to learn their thoughts on the issue.

Lina Cordel thought the library would be the best way to spend time with her daughter -- and save money at the same time.

Now that she's learned the popular summer hangout is on the governor's chopping block, she's worried: "What else are the parents going to do now, with the economy going on?"

However, the library systems aren't going silently. In an emergency meeting with other area library directors, Scoles spoke out, asking the public to save the libraries.

"We're asking our library friends and patrons to call the Governor's office or e-mail him to ask him to reconsider," Scoles said.

The downtown library gets half of its funding from levies, which is taxpayer money. The other half comes right from the state.

Scoles says the governor's plan would cost his branch $2.4 million this year. Next year, they stand to lose $5 million.

"We're talking about a dramatic dismantlement of our library services in terms of staffing, library hours, services to children adults," Scoles said.

But he says smaller branches that depend solely on the State may check out for good.

From the State of Ohio

The governor released a press release about balancing the budget on June 19. Governor Ted Strickland proposed to balance the state's fiscal years 2010-2011 operating budget without a tax increase and to lay the groundwork for jobs and economic growth. The Ohio legislature is currently considering how to address a $3.2 billion gap by June 30. Here is a PDF of the programs impacted.

Also, check out our previous report on the cuts: Toledo libraries losing major funding.