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Local library levies are rising as state funding decreases
More libraries around Ohio are coming to communities looking for more funding
Story by LEWIS WALLACE


 
More libraries are asking communities for more funding through levis.
Courtesy of Abhi Sharma
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Several dozen Ohio library systems asking voters for money this November election. For Ohio Public Radio, WYSO’s Lewis Wallace reports libraries around the state are increasingly dependent on money from local property taxes.

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Library levies are generally pretty popular, probably because libraries are pretty darn popular, says Michelle Francis with the Ohio Library Council.

“We actually have 8.9 million library card holders in the state of Ohio," Francis says. "So that’s roughly over 75 percent of the population of the state of Ohio.”

But changes in the funding formula, as well as overall tax cuts at the state level ,have left a lot of library budgets flat even as demand grows.

“Unfortunately right now, our libraries are receiving about the same amount of state funding that they received in 1996,” Francis says.

So libraries are turning to local voters. Since 2004, the number of libraries with local support has more than doubled.

 
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