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Ada library in jeopardy, looks to levy for funds

The Ada Public Library is looking to pass a new levy to prevent further cuts in materials and services.

The library has on the ballot for the March 6 primary a levy that will grant the library $91,000 a year for ve years. The library seeks this new levy because since 2001, the state of Ohio, which provides 95 percent of its funding, has cut budgets by over 30 percent.

Michael Limer, the Ada library director, claims they no longer have the money to maintain the quality of the library.

“The problem now is that one of our large items is materials, books, eBooks and DVDs. For the last couple years [the library] has been relying on special funds to [support costs], but those funds are shrinking,” Limer said. “This year, I’m not spending any public money on materials, books or anything. We can’t do that inde nitely.”

The library has already had to make a number of sacri ces, including reducing the library’s hours. The library is no longer open on Saturdays, or on Wednesdays and Fridays past 5 p.m.

These sacri ces were made at the beginning of 2012, after the last library levy failed to pass in November, ending in a tie: 844 to 844.

The tie proved Limer’s message that every vote counts in getting the levy passed.

According to Limer, there was a perfect storm of events that defeated the library levy the rst time around, namely a bad economy to people forgetting to vote.

He also said that some citizens think that the library does not need the money. But Limer stresses that cuts have already been made, and it is not enough.

“We have been making cuts, but [before] they have been behind the scenes, and now they are pretty open and apparent to the public (shorter hours).”

Limer has also made attempts to reach out to Ohio Northern for votes, considering that many organizations, such as the Black Student Union and Asian Student Union, hold events at the facility. However, many students are not registered to vote in Ada, and others are not aware of the library’s predicament.

“I didn’t even know the library had a funding crisis,” Dylan Montgomery, junior sociology major, said.

When asked about the library, Phillip Maddux, a junior accounting major even said, “We have a public library?”

Students who use the library, however, are on board with Limer's request for votes.

“I believe libraries are important because they give students a way to learn, especially over the summer," Garrick Robertson,
a junior accounting major, said. "When
the election comes, I’ll vote to give it the money it deserves.”

If the library levy passes, those with properties worth over $100,000 will see an additional cost of $35 a year. This would keep the library open and return it to its former hours. It will also allow the library to continue offering its variety of services, such as its summer reading program for children.

If the levy does not pass, the library will have no choice but to layoff workers, Limer said.

“We can no longer afford to do what we’ve been doing, and it has gotten to the point where you can’t cut anything else but employees,” Limer said.

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