Soon you will start seeing signs around the community requesting your support in passing a Five-Year Renewal Levy for the Ada Public Library. Here is some helpful information for understanding the needs of the Library.
I rarely use the library so why should I care about funding?
Even if you don’t choose to utilize the Library, and access its millions of free books, DVDs, magazines, games, music, and more, there are still great benefits to supporting the Library in your community. Most people think of libraries as quiet places of study, but today’s libraries offer a wide variety of public services, regardless of background or income: free internet and computer usage, tools for job searching, help obtaining public assistance, etc.
Public libraries work in tandem with the local school system, and provide access to materials nights and weekends when the schools are closed. Libraries provide year round programing to encourage and foster a love of reading and learning, which will prepare children for school, and ensure their success into adulthood. Programs like the Summer Reading combats the educational slide that happens during the summer break.
Ultimately, having a thriving library in your community positively affects property values and commerce through the quality of life index. What’s not to like about that?
Public Library Fund (PLF) Revenue Decline
Through 2015, Ohio public libraries had functioned at the same budgeted amounts as they had in 2005! In recent years the Ohio Library Council (OLC) and public libraries across Ohio began a statewide campaign to educate legislators on the importance of funding Ohio’s libraries, and the impact these institutions have in their communities. Resulting from these efforts was the passage, by the Ohio General Assembly, of a bill restoring some of the funding to the Public Library Fund (PLF), increasing the percentage of the state’s General Revenue Fund (GRF) to 1.7% for the fiscal year (FY) 16 and FY 17 biennium. However, the resetting of the PLF is temporary, and the state funding may be cut again in the future for libraries. In addition to the uncertain nature of state PLFs, the cost of operating the Library continues to rise; some of the less obvious but costly expenses include items such as utilities, materials (books, movies) and research databases, office supplies, computers, property insurance, and government mandated expenses such as public employee retirement benefits, worker’s compensation insurance and routine financial audits.
What is being proposed? What will it cost us? How much will actually be raised?
A one (1) mill five-year renewal operating levy is being proposed to the voters on November 8, 2016. If passed this would just be a continuation of the current—NO new taxes!
One (1) mill means that a home valued at $100,000 would cost approximately $100/year or $8.33/month. This levy is projected to raise approximately $93,960 during the first year of collection, based on the current tax valuation of the School District.
What is the current state of the library?
The Ada Public Library currently employs 2 full-time and 4 part-time employees who work to keep the library open 51 hours a week, as well as performing additional outreach hours to the Ada Schools, local seniors, and community organizations. Occasional volunteers also help to promote the library, assisting with programs, and aiding in processing and cleaning.
·72,982 Materials circulated (3,302 were e-Books and downloadable audio books)
We saw an increase of circulation in our books, DVDs, and Books on CD!
·1,027 Programs held with an attendance of 7,571 people
We saw an increase in both programs offered and attendance!
·4,428 Amount of times folks logged onto our computers
What about grant money?
Grant funds in the amount needed to supplement the library’s current Public Library Fund distribution are rarely given for general operating funds, and most grants tend to be given for specific programs or projects. The Ada Library does actively seek local funds and grants, and over the past four years has fundraised over $15,000.
Why doesn’t the library just raise fines?
Fines make up a miniscule part of the Ada Library’s operating funds. Even if the Library were to drastically increase fines the income would still not be enough to hugely affect the operating budget.
Why doesn’t the library do fundraisers?
The Ada Library is restricted by law on the types of fundraising it can perform, and thus relies on the support of the local community, as well as that of the Friends of the Ada Public Library for fundraising activities. The Friends of the Ada Public Library perform annual fundraising events such as book sales and special events; funds raised have supported our very successful Halloween Party and have been used in the purchasing of materials needed by the Library including books and supplies for the Children’s Department.
Please contact Amanda Bennett, Library Director, at 419-634-5246 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions about the Library or its upcoming levy.