Stark Library Thanks Senate for Supporting Libraries
June 21, 2019 (Canton, Ohio) – At the last Stark Library Board of Trustees meeting, the Board passed a resolution to thank Senator Kirk Schuring and members of the Ohio Senate for making public libraries a priority in the state budget bill by increasing the Public Library Fund from 1.68% to 1.7% of the state’s total General Revenue Fund for Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021.
Senate Finance Committee accepted an omnibus amendment to House Bill (HB) 166 and made their final changes to the state budget bill before unanimously reporting it out of committee. The omnibus amendment covered many changes, the language setting the PLF at 1.7% for FY20-21 remains a part of the bill. The bill will be sent to a Conference Committee. The Committee will be meeting next week to work out the differences between the House and Senate versions.
“We are thankful that the Senate sees the value in Ohio’s libraries, but the budget has not been finalized yet,” said Mary Ellen Icaza, CEO/Executive Director of Stark Library. “It is crucial that our legislators are aware of important issues in their districts. If you support your library, we respectfully urge you to contact the Ohio House and Governor and ask them to keep the PLF at 1.7% through the Conference Committee deliberations and include the provision in the final version of HB 166.”
Ohio’s public libraries have the highest use per capita in the nation, serving more than 8.4 million cardholders. Libraries provide public access to the Internet, computers, and the latest technology in addition to helping Ohioans find jobs, offering literacy and homework help centers, and providing life-long learning opportunities and programming for all ages. The PLF helps to ensure that Libraries can provide access to these services. Stark Library current receives 49% of its operating revenue from the state through the PLF.
To reach members of the Ohio House of Representatives by email, each House email address begins with the letters REP followed by the number of the House district that member represents followed by @ohiohouse.gov.
ABOUT THE LIBRARY
Inviting. Informing. Transforming. At Stark Library, we invite everyone into a welcoming place, inform them with resources that will help them grow, and then send them back out to change and transform the world. We think of this ongoing, lifelong process as OUR PURPOSE.
A 2009 winner of the prestigious National Medal for library service, Stark Library serves more than 240,000 residents, annually circulating nearly 4 million items from its 1.5 million item collection and providing access to an additional 66 million items from lending networks throughout Ohio. Each year the library presents more than 8,000 programs for 150,000 attendees and provides 195,000 computer sessions on the publicly available computers found in each branch. In 2018, Stark Library served nearly 2 million visitors at all locations and online.
For locations, hours or more information visit StarkLibrary.org or call 330.452.0665.
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