Don't Close the Rural Ohio Libraries

I have written the following letter to my Ohio representatives. They have proposed in the budget cuts to cut library spending almost 50%. This would mean the closing of the libraries in Antwerp and Hicksville. This would make our closest library be nearly thirty miles away. That is not something we would appreciate.

So I got my fingers to typing and wrote the following email. There is probably more important things to write to them about, but my friends work at the library and their livelihood depends on this. Plus, I do see a great benefit to our communities from the libraries.

Advocates blast Ohio Gov.'s proposed budget cuts

Dear xxxxxxxxxxxx,

I am writing in regards to the proposed budget cuts to the state library system. I just came home with 18 items checked out for my family of six. We go to the library at least every other week and find it to be a great asset to our continuing education and the education of our four children. We would not be exposed to as many books and learn as much as we do without the excellent Johnson Memorial Library in Hicksville.

We are homeschoolers and find that it is necessary to use the library for science books and other materials to broaden our children's minds. This is a huge savings to the state because our children are not an expense in the public school system. A brief side note - we would love some sort of voucher system to use on educational trips and materials, but that is a discussion for another day.

A possible solution to the financial crisis in regards to libraries would be to develop some sort of community library that would provide a library for both the school and the community. This would save in staff costs and allow for a broader selection by combining the two collections under one building. Developing and implementing that plan would need some serious discussion, planning, and months for execution. In the meanwhile, we would be left without a library for our family.

Please influence the budget so that our local library can stay open. The library is always busy, bustling with children, teenagers, and adults who are reading, using the internet, and enjoying getting to know one another. They run great community events that bring together people of all ages. I would love for you to come and see this library and its excellent staff. You could see the great impact they have on our community.

Losing them would be a loss that would drain our community. We are out here in the middle of nowhere, and our library does an amazing job at bringing everyone together and providing us with the books we need. The proposed cuts would mean that we would have to travel nearly thirty miles to reach the nearest open library. That is not something we would do. The education of our children and the rest of the children in this community would be negatively impacted by this. That would cost the State of Ohio much more in the future than the savings the State would receive through these short-term budget cuts.

Thank you for your time.