TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - The Toledo-Lucas County Library levy could generate more than $20 million, half of the library's budget. Issue 23 has an impact on Lucas County voters if it passes or fails.
When the current Toledo-Lucas County Library levy expires in December, 50 percent of its funding goes along with it. Should Issue 23 fail in November, hours will be cut, branches will close and books will become less available.
It is an issue the library director calls "a must pass."
"With the loss of 50 percent we're talking, obviously, major retrenchments in the library system, which I don't think anyone in our community - any citizen - really wants to see happen," said Clyde Scoles, director of the Toledo-Lucas County Library.
Issue 23 is a five-year 2 mill renewal with a .9 mill increase that will generate upwards of $22 million.
"For less than a quarter a day, those additional dollars would be able to provide for being able to restore and renew, upgrade the library and as well as hours of service, it would allow us to open more evenings, it would allow us to - in other words, it would allow us to open the doors," explained Scoles.
Funding cuts have reduced contributions from the state from $20 million to $15 million. As a result, since 2007, libraries in Lucas County are closed Wednesdays and Thursdays. Many of the 18 branches are closed Saturdays and Sundays, plus 27 percent of the hours have been reduced.
If Issue 23 fails more cuts of the same will be made.
In 2011, nearly 2.7 million people walked through library doors. The number one service used was job hunting. The next service was for schooling and personal use. A total of 70 percent of Lucas County residents own a library card.
"Obviously I think that is a testament of the value and the use of the library, as the library does in many ways, mirror the community. It reflects what the community is about and a library says a lot about a city and I think this library certainly reflects that in so many ways," said Scoles.
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