Libraries Dealing with Budget Cutbacks

Local News

With the passage of Ohio’s budget Monday library systems across the state are breathing a small sigh of relief.

The Public Library Fund will be cut by $84 million, down significantly from Governor Strickland’s proposed cut of $227 million. Muskingum County Library officials say the public had a huge part in lessening the cuts.

“We know that made a difference we were told by a legislator that at one point those first three days the Senate was receiving one e-mail a minute from library customers across Ohio and Troy Balderson our representative in this area received over 4,000 e-mails from library customers,” says Blair Tom, public relations director Muskingum County Library System.

The library will still have to make cuts, because the 2010 Muskingum County Library budget will likely be one million dollars less than their 2008 budget. They are having a week-long furlough beginning August 16th. They will also look at cutting back hours and possibly asking voters for a levy.

” I think it would be highly likely that that would be something we would be doing in the near future. We’ve never had an operating levy in Muskingum County for library services and being dependent on the state for 98 percent of our funding does make us very vulnerable to those kind of situations,” he says.

The library Board of Trustees will officially decide how to deal with their budget shortfall in a meeting July 16th.