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When the people of Mahoning County voted last November, they showed that "I Love My Library" is more than a phrase.  Over 71% voted to support the library.  That support is deeply appreciated.  We thank you! 


What you should know: The November renewal levy was important because it kept in place the library’s only source of funding that has been stable.  Being a renewal, it did not raise taxes, which means the levy did nothing to fill the financial hole created when $2.24 million in funding was lost in 2009.  The Library has been filling the hole by reducing spending and continuing its quest of many years to be more efficient.    


Cost-cutting measures already taken: Spending cuts were implemented and 30 employees (15% of the work force) lost their jobs. As a result, hours that libraries could be open were reduced across the county.  Funds to purchase books, newspapers, and others things that people use were reduced.  The practice of setting aside funds to repair and upgrade old buildings and to replace aging technology was eliminated.  Every employee gave back on wage.  All of those reductions did not total the amount needed to make up for the lost revenue. 


Revenues expected to continue to drop: The story of rapidly declining revenue did not end in 2009.  We expect in 2010 that revenue will drop by another nearly $900,000.  The library entered 2010 knowing that before the end of this year it would need to find a way of coming up with the rest.    


Decisions needed:  Over the course of the coming months the people of Mahoning County will be hearing a lot about the choices the library faces.  We will also be sharing more specifically what’s at stake that may not be widely recognized or understood.


We want to hear from you: There is a lot at risk for the people of Mahoning County in the decisions that lie ahead of us.  We believe that it is important that the people in our community understand why. And we believe it’s important for those responsible for operating the Library and setting policy listen to what people have to say.


Connect with your Library by sharing your thoughts: As we plan for the future and discuss those choices, we want your input. You can sign in here to post a comment. Also hard copies of comment forms are available at your nearby public library.

Watch for another blog next week.


Let's get started: Tell us what you think about the information in this blog. Did you know the levy did not ADD money, but just maintained a current stream of funding? Did you know about all the cuts that have been made?  Is there more information you want?


Please Note: This blog is intended to provide information and receive constructive comments from the public. The Library reserves the right to remove posts which are not in keeping with the purpose of the blog.