More than 275 public library directors, fiscal officers, trustees, and supporters gathered at the Statehouse on April 9 to meet one-on-one with their members of the Ohio General Assembly during the Ohio Library Council’s Library Day at the Statehouse. Ohio’s public libraries top issue, library funding in the biennial state budget, was discussed along with a myriad of innovative programs and services offered to Ohio’s 8.4 million cardholders.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine addressed attendees in the Statehouse Atrium and praised public libraries as the center of Ohio’s communities. “The library is the heart, the soul and center of community after community.” DeWine said. “You change kids’ lives and adults, too. I’m grateful for what you do and I look forward to working with you all.”
In addition to remarks from Gov. Mike DeWine, attendees also heard from Senate President Larry Obhoff (R-Medina) and Minority Leader Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights).
“I love our libraries! Our libraries are meeting places, great economic development tools and they provide so many critical services to our communities,” Yuko said.
Senate President Obhof talked about the impact Ohio’s libraries have on Ohio’s workforce and shared his experiences with libraries as a dad and a lawmaker. “Libraries form the backbone of their communities. The work that you are doing is so important to our communities,” Obhof said.
Throughout the day, library staff and supporters visited with state senators and representatives and their staffs at the Statehouse and Riffe Center in downtown Columbus. The event also featured a Library Showcase in the Statehouse Rotunda, where visitors could see a sampling of the in-demand programs and innovative services offered at Ohio’s public libraries. This event embodies the grassroots efforts of the Ohio Library Council and the public library community.