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Save our library

• Sep 19, 2018 at 10:00 AM

NOTE: The following letter to the editor was written by Kitty E. Sutherland of New London.

I am writing to ask the voters of New London to support our local library by voting to approve the 1 mil library levy on the Nov. 6 ballot. In more than 102 years of serving our community, the library has never had to ask for a levy before. But the State of Ohio has cut funding to all of our libraries, villages, townships, counties and other locally-controlled government agencies. Our library needs our help.

The library has been able to delay asking for a levy due to the outstanding management and oversight of our tax dollars by their trustees and by their director. Most libraries in Ohio had to ask for levies years ago, but our library leadership cut its budget where they could and were careful with our tax dollars. Now they need our help. They are only asking for one mil  — that’s less than $35 a year if you own a $100,000 house. The library needs the money to continue day-to-day operation of the library — things like utility bills, supplies, programs for our children, books and movies for all ages and wages for their employees. These women are not overpaid public employees; in fact, most all of them are part-time with no benefits and make less than many fast-food workers.

Some people feel that we don’t need libraries anymore because of the Internet. But there are many people in our area who do not have Internet at home. Last year, the library checked out more than 78,000 books, magazines, movies and other materials to our residents. They have more than 25,000 books in the building. They offer quality educational programs for children and adults, and more than 2,500 people attended those programs last year. But the director told me that you have to go back as far as 1996 to find a year when the library received less money from the state to operate than it they did last year.

Even if you are not a reader or care about learning new things, it’s hard to argue that there is a better place in our town for our children to hang out and have a safe and supervised environment to spend time than the library. Our seniors don’t have to drive to Ashland or Norwalk to get a book to read, send a fax or make a photocopy. We can do that right here. I hope everyone realizes how lucky we are to have our own library and how, whether you take advantage of it or not, it improves the quality of life for all of us.

Please join me in voting to save our library.

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