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State must maintain library funding

Dear Editor,

As a long-time frequent visitor and supporter of the Martins Ferry Public Library, I would like to express my concern that if approved by the Ohio Senate, public library funding in the state of Ohio will be reduced from its current rate of 1.7 percent of the general revenue fund of the state budget to 1.66 percent.

According to the Ohio Library Council, Ohio has the highest library usage per capita in the U.S. With more than 8.4 million “registered customers” but although the viability of Ohio’s public libraries remains very high, the amount currently allocated is actually less than received in 2008.

I would like to respectfully encourage all to please consider contracting state Sen. Frank Hoagland, as well as area state Reps. Ron Ferguson and Don Jones, and express concerns over the prospect of our libraries facing a loss of funding, especially at this critical time, as I have done.

In addition to my being a loyal supporter, I have recently been honored by my appointment as a member of the Belmont County District Library Board, which includes libraries located in Martins Ferry, Bethesda, Flushing, Powhatan Point, and Shadyside, and, if the proposed cut does take effect, the district would see a $25,000 reduction in operating funds from the state.

The many loyal customers and employees of the Ohio Public Library System is currently in critical need of the support of Ohio’s wonderful citizens and legislators in order that their numerous invaluable services may continue to be provided, unabated, for many years to come.

Thank you for your help and consideration.

Richard Hord

Martins Ferry

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