Ohio's library system is considered one of the best and best-funded in the nation. But while Gov. John Kasich is calling for libraries to provide online job training and education, there's no money included in his budget to do that. In fact, the state’s public library fund faces a $7 million cut in the first of two years under the Governor’s plan.
The Ohio Library Association’s Michelle Francis says the state's 251 libraries have never really recovered from the 2008 recession. If the state cuts library funds, she says it could really hurt local libraries.
“We have well over 50 public libraries that don’t have a local property tax levy. So the only funding they receive, their primary funding for day to day operations, is their state funding.”
Francis says libraries have technology to help serve their communities as "continuous learning centers", as Kasich says they should be called. Francis says libraries will be working with the House and Senate to get more money in the final budget.