Wednesday, June 24, 2009


A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life.
Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887), minister, abolitionist, and writer

ohio, like everywhere else, is facing a budget crisis. unfortunately, the axe-wielding politicians have the ohio public libraries in their sights. in principle I oppose any cuts to the public library system, but, I understand that in times of financial crisis everyone has to make some sacrifice and hence a bit of trimming may be necessary - but 50%!! yes, you read it correctly, the governor has proposed cutting the library budget by 50% - absolutely ludicrous and unthinkable!

please send out an s.o.s. for our libraries -- call or email your legislators before june 26 let them know you need your library now more than ever. (thanks whatsup digest vol. 29 f0r the following!)

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland 614-466-3555

Addison, Fleet, Garden Valley, Harvard Lee, Hough,
Rice, South Brooklyn, Sterling, Union, Woodland
Representative: Sandra Williams
(614) 466-1414 *
Senator: Shirley Smith
(614) 466-4857 *
Broadway, Brooklyn, Collinwood, Fulton, Jefferson,
Langston Hughes, Main Library, South
Representative: Robin Belcher
Senator: Shirley Smith
(614) 466-4857 *
Carnegie West, Lorain, Walz, West Park
Representative: Michael Skindell
(614) 466-5921 *
Senator: Dale Miller
(614) 466-5123 *
East 131st, Mt. Pleasant
Representative: Michael DeBose
(614) 466-1408 *
Senator: Nina Turner
(614) 466-4583 *
Eastman, Rockport
Representative: Mike Foley
(614) 466-3350 *
Senator: Dale Miller
(614) 466-5123 *
Glenville, Martin Luther King, Jr.
Representative: Barbara Boyd
(614) 644-5079 *
Senator: Shirley Smith
(614) 466-4857 *
Representative: Kenny Yuko
(614) 466-8012 *
Senator: Nina Turner
(614) 466-4583 *

For other communities, go to

Visit to find out how you can help.

abba's catchy number s.o.s.

photos: tom otterness' bronze figures above entrance to the eastman reading garden, cleveland public library; bottom - a view of the louis stokes building, cpl


Lover of Life/ Nancy said...

Hard times, and getting harder, aren't they? Thanks for this post and a reminder to all about the budgets cuts and libraries.

Anonymous said...

Ach! Kimy, I know this all too well. Our small library has had to cut a day of operation, every week. Why is it that the important things ( schools, libraries, police and rescue ), get the first cut from the budget knife? I think all politicians should work for zero$$$. Think what that would add to the town/state coffers!

Roy said...

((sigh)) They always go after the schools and libraries first, unless it's the sports programs at the schools; those always get full funding no matter what. But books? Who needs books? The only people who read books are those elitist pinkos, and we certainly don't want our kids to grow up like them!

ArtSparker said...

They are planning to close the state parks in California.

Anonymous said...

I think I mentioned earlier, we have the last of 2 books for the art museum, and today received 4 books for the library, but they warned us early this year, the axe was cutting, so they had to cut back.

A good portion of our bread and butter in this dept was from your town ; (

Sure is something to see what little we are ending up with, after fighting so long to get it all..... CM

Colette Amelia said...

It is tough to keep all the services we have all become accustomed to going. Tough choices. While doing my public administration classes we were always challenged by keeping all the balls in the air.

We were taught that the most fair way to provide services was with user fees. I always challenged this idea for communities are made up of many different socio economic classes. In the case of libraries the rich will buy their own books for their own private is the other people who must have access for it is the only place that they can go.

Well what is the answer? I don't know. I always want to donate books to the library but they are unable to put them on the shelf...they must buy them. Fundraisers? But to make up for a 50% cut would be some pretty amazing fundraising.

I fear that we are going to have a lot more of these situations with the as my son named it The GED (Global Economic Downturn) and hopefully it will be a tipping point for us coming together to solve these problems.

The taxpayers are broke. The Cities are broke. The countries are broke and the whole wolrd is broke.

Anonymous said...

@Roy, "elitist pinko"?, Moi? LOL. And I can assure you, I never learned anything from sports. Honest :)

mum said...

Question: any value in sending comments to these folks from out of state (out of country, in my case)?

(I sure would have liked to be a little bird listening in on the meeting where this decision was taken. You've got to wonder what was spared the ax for the cuts to be so heavy on the libraries.)

Best, nonetheless.

jenclair said...

Cuts to the libraries have been one of my greatest fears in these difficult economic times.

Ray Bradbury is fighting cuts in California. Here is a link to an article and a
video. about his love of libraries.

I do donate books to the library. I get all of those books from publishers and take many them to the library when I'm finished in great big bags. Some they can put on the shelves; others, like advanced reader's copies, they put on the "free books" stacks.

Anonymous said...

@jenclair, I donate books and my time( when I can ), to my local library. I've also donated to a couple of schools. And not just books and time, but supplies as well. Feels good, doesn't it?

Meri said...

I love rabble rousers, community activists, and library protectors. Your blog's a great way to mobilize folks in your area.

Dot-Com said...

Tough times getting tougher. Hope they find an alternative to cutting the library budget.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

thanks for all the wonderful thoughtful comments - does my heart good.

hopefully, the fact that I couldn't get through on the phone to the governor's office is a good sign - and means lots and lots of people are calling to express their outrage. but no worries, I sent an email with the following message:

Dear Governor Strickland, I am writing to express my disbelief and extreme disappointment over the proposed cut to the public libraries of Ohio. I know in difficult times, there must be some sacrifices, but a cut of 50% -$227 million is both outrageous and unconscionable. In my humble opinion anything more than 10% is probably too deep of a cut. The libraries of Ohio are one of the most important resources for the people of the state.

All the great people throughout history have spoken and written about the importance of libraries for our civilization - and for democracy. I would like to consider you among the company of the greats of our society - a man who wishes to protect and ensure the survival of an institution which is often considered the very 'cradle of democracy.'

I include the text of my email to hopefully encourage anyone wishing to write, but being stymied....

I don't know if politicians consider or pay attention to messages from people outside of the geographical boundaries, but hey, I can't image that it hurts????

subby, I like your idea of the first cut!

sparker - and what california is doing to the schools is also unconscionable!

talk about a system out of balance!

jenclair thank you for the links....

ah, flashbacks to fahrenheit 451!! really now!!

rosedale's 4 head said...

informative...makes me miss my old part-time job at the public library....siggghhh! they've held freezes here too and there's already an overwhelming public demand for longer's the same i think in most citites....

Merle Sneed said...

It is though they take out the hard times on us.

mum said...

zipped one off to the Guv. As I said in my email to you, I figure if outside messages can help at Amnesty International, why not for Ohio's libraries?

Cheers from Graulhet