The Coshocton County Beacon October 11, 2017 - Page 20
20 THE BEACON
OCTOBER 11, 2017
When was the levy fi rst passed? Why
and how is it being changed?
Th is is a new levy. Th e Coshocton
County District Library (commonly
known as the Coshocton Public Library)
has never requested an operating levy in
its 113-year history. Th e library currently
receives 97 percent of its funding from
the state of Ohio through a fund called
the Public Library Fund (PLF), which is a
portion of Ohio’s General Revenue Fund.
Th e Public Library Fund was originally
set at 2.22 percent of the General Revenue
Fund; however, it is currently set at 1.68
percent of the General Revenue Fund.
In 2008, only about 35 percent of Ohio’s
public libraries had local tax levies.
Because of eroding state funding, that
fi gure has increased greatly, as 77 percent
of Ohio’s public libraries now have local
What will it cost property owners?
Th is levy is for 0.5 mills for a period of
fi ve years, and it would cost the owner of
a $100,000 home $17.50 per year.
What will the funds be used for?
Th is is an operating levy, so the funds
would go toward operating expenses for
the library locations in Coshocton and
West Lafayette, as well as the bookmo-
bile. It would allow for extended hours of
operation. Additional print and audio-
visual materials would be purchased.
New digital content, including eBooks
and downloadable audiobooks would be
purchased, and downloadable music and
video could be added to the library’s col-
lection - all of which could be accessed
without visiting the library. Online da-
tabases and learning programs, such as
Contributed | Beacon
Deborah Crowdy from the Coshocton Public Library is pictured leading a program for
digital auto repair manuals, self-directed
computer instruction, language instruc-
tion (to name a few) would be purchased.
Again, these would be available not
only at the library, but access would be
provided through the library’s website
so that these services would be available
from the comfort of your home with
your library card. Th e library could also
continue to grow outreach to the home-
bound, nursing homes, and to schools
and day care centers. Th e library would
also be able to expand its programming
for children, teens, adults, and seniors.
Why should voters vote for this levy?
In 2009, Ohio’s Public Library Fund
was reduced by nearly 20 percent. Much
of this was caused by the fact that Ohio’s
economy was suff ering from the re-
cession. Th e library’s board of trustees
and administration was hopeful that as
Ohio’s economy recovered, the Public
Library Fund would be restored. Unfor-
tunately, this has not taken place. In fact,
the most recent state budget resulted in
the Coshocton Public Library receiving
approximately the same amount of reve-
nue in 2017 as it received when the Public
Library Fund was cut in 2009.
Without additional revenue, the library
would be forced to make more cuts in
order to continue to budget responsibly.
However, before taking this step, the
library’s board of trustees decided to let
the voters determine the level of service it
would like for the library to provide to the
community. With this levy, the library
can provide greater access to the library,
as well as many new services to the com-
munity, and the library would also be in a
much better position if state funding was
What happens if this levy doesn’t
If the levy does not pass, further cuts
will have to be made. Staff and hours
of operation would have to be reduced,
and there would be fewer programs,
services, and new materials. In addition,
the library would be more vulnerable to
any further cuts to state funding. At this
point, these cuts would be on top of the
cuts that were already made in 2009. Th e
library is truly at a crossroads. We can
have a better library or a worse library;
however, we cannot have the same
Contributed | Beacon
Editor’s note: Questions were answered
by Eric Taggart, library director.