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Ohio has had its share of bad economic news. One of the governor's responses to the budget shortfall was to cut the State tax money set aside for the Public Library Fund. Local property values have also dropped, so the levy monies will be way down.
Faced with tough choices, the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library System is cutting hours and reducing staff. Some of the branches will be closed on Saturday or Sunday. There will be fewer resources, and fines and fees are being increased.
Nobody likes this, and it is ironic that when the need is greatest, the funding is being slashed.
Gov. Ted Strickland got an ear full from angry library users from all over the state. The phone lines and emails were jammed for days at the Governor's office. This definitely got the governor's attention.
Good -- "Power to the people."
Strickland is facing a tough re-election bid next year. He would be smart to mend fences with library users. If not, he may find himself with plenty of time to catch up on his own reading.
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