Library Asks for Commissioners Support

Local News

Officials with the Muskingum County Library System met with county commissioners today to inform them of cutbacks they are making and other cuts that may happen if Governor Strickland’s proposed budget is approved.

The library will see a 20 percent decrease in funding this year, because of the down turn of the economy.

To make up the loss of about $500,000 they’re on a hiring freeze, spending less money on materials and will shut down for a week this summer.

“As a result of that, the Muskingum County Library System will observe a one week furlough in August, during the fair week where all libraries will be closed and that’s an unpaid week for library employees,” said Blair Tom, public relations director Muskingum County Library System.

The library will lose an additional 30 percent of their budget if Governor Strickland’s cuts to the Public Library Fund are approved.

Muskingum County’s 2010 budget would be around $1.6 million, a $1.4 million dollar cut from 2008.

That would likely mean closing library buildings, staff cut-backs, reducing free community services and asking for a levy from voters.

“If you reduce your budget by half then certainly you can’t maintain the hours or provide the vibrant, robust services that we offer the community and right now they’re depending on this more than ever,” said Tom.

The commissioners said they will send a letter in support of the library system to the Governor. The final state budget is supposed to be approved by July 1st.

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