Stark County District Library Urges Residents to Vote 'Yes' on Issue 42

The library wants to pass a 1-mill renewal levy and a 0.7-mill increase to keep up on programming and other services

The Stark County District Library will go to the voters this November to pass a 1.7 mill operating levy so the library can regain some of the amenities it lost through state budget cuts.

Here's how the levy breaks down: It's a 1-mill renewal levy and a 0.7-mill increase that would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $52.10 a year.

Linda Dahl, public information manager at the Stark County District Library, said the local operating levy makes up 40 percent of the library's operating budget each year. The library and its 11 locations need the levy to pass in order to bring services and programming back up after the state reduced funding in 2009.

"With a 32 percent reduction (in state dollars), we had to do things like close a branch. We laid off staff. We froze positions. We reduced our materials budget. We postponed some maintenance," Dahl said.

"So what we intend to do with the (levy dollars) is to restore our materials budget to where it should be and restore our drive-up window service. We'll be making sure our technology is well maintained and is as good as we can provide."

Dahl said residents have been supportive of library issues in the past, and she's hoping they feel the same way when they head to the polls this November.

"In general, people believe that libraries are still a vital service, and we certainly believe that," she said.

The Stark County District Library — which has 158,000 card holders — provides several services, including access to computers and the Internet. In 2011, the public-access computers were used more than 325,000 times.

Dahl considers the levy a "very simple return on investment."

"For every dollar that we receive in taxes, we return $5 to the community in services," she said.

More library stats (from 2011):

  • 3.5 million items circulated
  • Bookmobiles made 1,514 visits, including 27 schools
  • "Kid mobiles" serving K-preschool made 1,168 visits, including 94 schools
  • 1.3 million people visited the library
  • 22,500 downloads of library materials
  • 8,200 public programs
KW September 26, 2012 at 02:01 PM
I don't use the library a lot but I can tell you that it is a vital resource to the community in many ways. It's a shame that the state has cut back its funds to this resource and retained many state services not near as important except to a selected few politicians. Don't let this community resource diminish any further...please support this levy!
KW September 26, 2012 at 02:19 PM
BTW.. I do not work at the library, have no relatives that work at the library, and barely know any individuals that work at the library.... just sayin !
Ken Palosi September 26, 2012 at 07:04 PM
I have been going to the Stark County district libraries for over sixty years now and I cannot imagine life without them. When I was a little child the librarians at the old Madge Youtz library took me under their wings much like surrogate aunts and instilled in me a love of libraries and reading that continues to this day. I tried to pass this love of libraries and reading on to my grandchildren. Even before they could walk I took them to the Plain Local library for story time and it was time well spent for all of us. They are now ages 7 & 8 and they are reading at a level 2-3 grades above the rest of their classmates in school. Stark County has a dedicated group of library employees who do so much to help others despite low pay and even less acclaim for their efforts. I urge one and all to support the library when it comes time to vote.
Tena Wilson September 27, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Thank you, Patch.com for spreading the news about the Stark County libraries. As of only four weeks ago, I am the new executive director of the library system -- and thrilled to be here in this wonderful library system. Library staff in our 14 libraries (Main, Jackson, North, Lake, East Canton, Dehoff, Sandy Valley, Perry Sippo, Madge Youtz, Plain, and 4 mobile libraries) have been informing residents that Issue 42 will be on the ballot on Nov 6. During our personal time, many of us have teamed with community volunteers to spread the word about vital library services that impact our county. VoteLibraries.org tells the story. Tena Wilson
Morgan Day September 27, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Thanks for the comment, Tena! I read about your return to Stark County in the Canton Repository recently. Welcome back!


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