On Tuesday, November 8, our citizens will be asked to help protect the hub of information, learning and activity for our community – the Westerville Public Library. A replacement levy is needed to ensure that hours, materials and services are brought back to normal levels, after suffering reductions due to continuing cuts in state funding.
The circumstances are dire. The library has endured reductions in state funding since 2007 that total a mind-boggling $1.6 million. Cuts of at least $300,000 are coming over the next two years. Without the levy, the library will lose over 42% of our present operating budget.
We’ve put cost saving measures into place. Making a critical move to conserve costs, the library had to close on Sundays. The library has suffered cuts to staffing, purchase of library materials, maintenance, programs for all ages and more.
How have our patrons responded? Since 2007, circulation has increased by more than 16%. The number of library users has risen by 19%, climbing to over 100,000 registered cardholders.
How have we managed our spending? The library remains one of the most cost efficient libraries in Ohio. Our cost per circulated item is $2.34 – lower than any other Central Ohio library.
What is needed to protect the library from further cuts and to bring back the reduced services? The November issue replaces our .8-mill levy first passed in 2002 and adds 1.2 mills to help balance the budget to meet your needs. This 2-mill levy will cost an additional $3.06 per month, per $100,000 of assessed home value.
The wording Protect Our Library has been selected to represent the call for support on November 8. It is perfect. Without the replacement levy, the library will lose over 42% of our present operating budget, creating even deeper cuts to staffing, library hours and materials. Those services are the heartbeat of our library and are in desperate need of your protection.
The library levy request will be listed as Issue 19.
Please visit the Protect Our Library levy website for details.