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Ohio Libraries Fight for Survival

Written on: June 23rd, 2009 by: in News

Last year, the fight to save the Philadelphia libraries was the big news in libraries. As befits that fair city, the campaign was a bare-knuckle street fight, with daily rallies, political maneuvering, and direct action.

On Friday, Governor Strickland of Ohio announced a budget that included the elimination of as much as $200 million of library funding over the next two years- potentially equaling a 50% cut in most public library funding.

In Ohio, the revolution has been digitized. Over the weekend, an huge number of websites were created or overhauled to publicize the budget issue and to encourage library patrons to contact their legislators:

The “Save Ohio Libraries” website
The Toledo Library homepage
The Columbus Public Library website today

The campaign has also encompassed social media to an unprecedented degree. Comments on Governor Strickland’s Facebook page now almost exclusively concern the library issue, with a new comment from an Ohio voter every couple of minutes, all stating their support for libraries and opposition to the cuts. Twitter is also seeing an incredible amount of posts in support of Ohio Libraries, with supporters using the site to drive supporters to sites where they can register their opinion, contact their state and local legislators, and publicize the issue within local and national media.

Good Luck, Ohio-ans! With this amount of passion and commitment, all things are possible!