Library Legislative Day Sparks Conversation

by WHIZ Reporter on April 19, 2012 at 7:35 am

Representatives from public libraries all over Ohio including Muskingum County visited the State House to meet with representatives as part of the state-wide Library Legislative Day.

The delegation from the Muskingum County Library System including Blair Tom of the John McIntire Library, met with State Senator

Troy Balderson, and an aide of State Representative Brian Hill.

Tom said the big topics of discussion included funding and community outreach.

"The state used to provide about mid-90s percent of funding, currently that’s about 50% – 55% of our revenue stream, 38% percent comes from the levy and the balance from miscellaneous sources. We’re at about 1996 – 1997 levels of support from the state," said Tom.

Tom said the drop in funds has made the library become more efficient in its operations.

Even with a bad economy tom said the library actually sees an increase in resource usage.

"As the economy is less robust, library use generally increases because our resources are free. We’ve seen an increase in the use of computers in the library, we track those hours and those are significantly increasing," added Tom.

Last year over 1.5 million items were accessed through the library system.