Monday, June 22, 2009

Ohio's Libraries in Danger

An open letter to Ted Strickland and Ohio's lawmakers,

It has come to my attention that you plan to cut public library funding in Ohio by over 50%. That would be a mistake. To do so would cripple the state's economic recovery. Free public libraries represent society's last chance at educating and empowering our most desperate citizens. They provide free opportunities for families, workers, entrepreneurs, students, and small businesses to move forward and contribute to the community.

Families across Ohio are relying on public libraries to get them through these hard times. As budgets tighten, they are able to seek enlightenment and entertainment for free at their public libraries.

Boomers who have had steady employment for years find themselves out of work, and are told when they apply for new jobs to apply online. Many of these people have felt no need to own computers or to have internet access. When they tell potential employers of their predicament, they are inevitably told to use computers at the library.

People seeking to further their education are relying on the library for GED materials and study guides. Teachers who find themselves without school libraries due to previous cuts are relying on public libraries to provide books for their students.

Small business owners and entrepreneurs are using library resources for market research, grants, business plans and loan information.

Please do not hamstring the state's recovery by cutting the its best remaining resource for parents, educators, jobseekers and small business owners. Please do not cut library funding.

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