February 17, 2018

OH Task Forces Recommend Reducing Regional Systems

By LJ Staff

Two task forces created by the State Library of Ohio have recommended reducing the state’s seven regional library systems to four, basically along geographic lines. The move has been spurred by budget cuts, State Librarian Jo Budler said, noting that state funding to the regional library systems has shrunk by 41 percent over the last five years. The change is not mandated, Budler added, but seems a solution to hard realities. The state’s seven regional library systems, supported by state funds plus member dues, represent 60 percent of the libraries in the state, Budler said. The new plan aims to represent all libraries. Boundaries might be redrawn. Discussions also are underway to consolidate, rather than uncharter, some regional systems, which would involve selling off equipment, etc. State money for all the regionals now amounts to a bit more than $1 million. Each regional would have $250,000 for staff, facilities, and technical support. In the future, they may concentrate on continuing education. Budler hopes to have the new plan adopted quickly, perhaps by July 1, 2006.