On behalf of Ohio’s 251 public library systems and their 8.5 million library card holders, The Ohio Library Council would like to formally thank the Conference Committee on the state budget, House Bill (HB) 166, for investing in Ohio’s public libraries and recognizing the vital role they play in their local communities.
The increase in the Public Library Fund (PLF) from 1.68 to 1.7% of the state’s General Revenue Fund (GRF) will go directly towards much needed resources that will benefit all Ohioans – funding for critical services related to early childhood education, broadband connectivity and workforce development.
“The Ohio Library Council would like to thank members of the Conference Committee for their support and commitment to Ohio’s public libraries,” said Michelle Francis, Executive Director, Ohio Library Council. “This increase in funding will allow public libraries to provide the services that the residents of Ohio deserve and expect, regardless of zip code. The funds will be used to help libraries prepare for the online portion and demands of the 2020 census and ensure that essential services, such as access to computers and the internet, can continue to be provided to all Ohioans through their local libraries.”
The PLF makes up an extremely small portion of overall state expenditures, but it accounts for 48% of the total funding for Ohio’s public libraries.