I hope that many of you have already heard about this, but if not, I need to let you know:
Governor Strickland has proposed cutting Ohio's library funding by 50%.
That can't happen. Especially when we're talking about Ohio's library system.
Yes, most of us have this tendency to be down on Ohio. We rank #1 in poverty. The schools are failing. Our industry is dying. We all know the rap sheet of our home state by now.
But Ohio has the best libraries in the nation.
Let me repeat that for you.
Ohio has the BEST libraries in the entire United States of America.
The Columbus and Cuyahoga County systems consistently rank at #1 and #2 in the nation. And Ohio library systems land somewhere in the top 10 in every population category, according to the Hennen's American Public Library Ratings.
Ohio actually has something to point to, be proud of, and shout, "We're #1!"
And now they're talking about demolishing it.
We've grown accustomed to the high quality of selection and service we receive at our libraries here in Ohio, and as such, I think many of us tend to take it for granted. But I've heard from friends who moved to places like Nashville, Washington DC, California, and New York, and they've all told me how much they miss the Ohio libraries. They've had to resort to used bookstores and subscriptions to movie services because the selection just isn't there. It's cliche, but true: You don't know what you've got until it's gone.
Let's not take that chance to find out.
So please, take a few minutes, and write to your Ohio Senators and Representatives. This is a drastic reduction in funding that will obliterate programs that people rely on most during these "tough economic times"--services like career counseling, financial planning classes, computer training courses, free internet access. Not to mention free access to books, periodicals, films, and music.
To culturally starve our population by cutting library funding is not the way that we're going to recover from anything.
To find your Ohio Senator:
To find your Ohio Representative: