86% of Ohio Levies Pass, Including Akron Renewal
Another successful local response to loss of state aid
Lynn Blumenstein -- Library Journal, 05/05/2010
- State aid was cut last year
- Most first-time levies succeed
- Losers must reduce services
Ohio citizens demonstrated their support of libraries yesterday, as 86 percent of library levies passed. Out of the 29 initiatives, 25 were successful; 18 out of 21 new levies on the ballot were approved.
Local levies are especially important, as state aid to libraries was cut 30 percent this fiscal year. Ohio’s public libraries previously relied on state support for the bulk of their budget.
Now, 137 of the 251 public library systems in Ohio have local levies, according to the Ohio Library Council (OLC). Last year communities passed 42 operating levies while defeating ten, according to LJ's round-up on referenda, published in the 3/15/10 issue.
The Akron-Summit County Public Library renewed its levy for an additional five years; the $12.7 million a year represents about half the library budget, according to the Akron Beacon-Journal.
Most winners were smaller systems with first-time levies. A complete list of results can be found here.
Losses mean service declines
The Ashtabula County District Library, Holmes County District Public Library, and Homer Public Library lost bids for their first levy. Reduced hours and services are the likely outcomes.
Bellevue Public Library lost a five-year renewal levy that included an increase. It would have provided for half the budget.