Library: Governor's budget would force branch closures - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Library: Governor's budget would force branch closures

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Hamilton County Library officials say Governor Ted Strickland's proposal of 50 percent in the Public Library Fund could cost the county up to 20 branches.

The Public Library Fund is the primary source for public libraries in Ohio. Library officials say the cost to the Public Library of Cincinnati would be $6 million in 2009 and $12 million more in 2010.

"Cuts of this size would be devastating," said Kim Fender, Executive Director of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. "We are struggling to stay open with the cuts we have already made. If passed, as early as September this year, area residents could see up to 20 of our 40 branch libraries closed, dramatic reduction in Main Library hours, 250 additional Library jobs lost, computer access reduced by over 30%, fewer new materials available, elimination of services to residents of all ages, fewer children's programs, and less qualified staff to help."

The governor's proposal must be approved by the Conference Committee of the Ohio Legislature, which is currently working out differences between the Senate and House budget bills. They have to complete their work by June 30.

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