Last updated: August 25. 2013 4:20AM - 17 Views

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Each general election, The Lima News provides this section profiling the candidates and issues. The Lima News sent questionnaires to each organization with a levy on the ballot in Allen, Auglaize, Hardin, Putnam and Van Wert counties for this election section. Only names and basic information from the board of elections identify groups that not return a questionnaire. Ada Public Library - 1 mill new levyLevy sought: 1 mill newPurpose: Operating expenses/cover loss of state fundingHow much will it raise per year for your organization? Approximately $87,000Cost of the levy to taxpayers: $50 for a $50,000 home; $100 for a $100,000 home.Why does your organization need the levy? Like most Ohio libraries, the Ada Public Library has received most of its funding directly from the state. That funding has fallen drastically over the past few years. Since 2001, the state has reduced funding to libraries by more than 30 percent. Since 2007, the cuts has been more than 24 percent. The library has dealt with the lowering of funding by taking actions to lower expenses such as eliminating a position, reducing part-time employee hours, lowering the spending of general funding for materials, delaying needed technology purchases and always being aware of costs. Although the funding level has decreased, use of the library has continued to increase as evidenced by rising circulation, visitors and program participation. However, with the state forecasting another 10 percent cut for 2012, the library will be in a position where decreasing revenue will now allow for current service levels to be sustained.What will happen if the levy fails? The library has taken several steps to deal with the decrease in funding levels. Any future cuts would have an adverse effect on the services available to the community of Ada. Cuts in materials (books, DVDs, audiobooks, etc.) and technology funding would need to become more severe and, consequently, would be much more noticeable to the community. Staffing would have to face a second round of decreases with the real possibility of layoffs. Staffing cuts would require the library to decrease the number of hours it is open to the public. Programming for children would have to be reduced drastically due to budget and staffing constraints. In short, the ability of the library to be an active and viable institution for the community of Ada and its residents would be fundamentally curtailed.Submitted by Michael Limer, director

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