Local library leaders concerned about budget cuts

Legislators got together with local library leaders on Friday to discuss the importance of libraries

Twenty-two public libraries in Ashtabula, Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties met with the legislators at the McKinley Memorial Library for breakfast. State representatives, senators and representatives from congressman's offices were there to speak as well.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Do you use your public library? They provide many resources, other than just books.

Friday, legislators got together with local library leaders to discuss its importance.

Twenty-two public libraries in Ashtabula, Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties met with the legislators at the McKinley Memorial Library for breakfast. State representatives, senators and representatives from congressman’s offices were there to speak as well.

The overall message was clear, libraries are important.

Heidi Daniel, executive director of The Public Library of Youngstown, said while Governor John Kasich’s new budget says public libraries are important, funding for them has been cut. The cut is from 1.7 percent of the general revenue fund to 1.66 percent.

Daniel said they want to start a conversation now about the potential effects.

“It’s important to do this advocacy now because we don’t want that to slip even further. Also, if tax collections are down statewide, it could become a much larger issue,” she said.

Daniel also said that even though the cut is small, it can affect smaller library systems that are completely funded from the Public Library Fund.

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