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Pickerington Library asks voters for help
Brandon Hopp's project for Mrs. Wallick's class was due the next day, and his printer refused to print.
So the Ridgeview eighth-grade student and his family set forth on a rainy evening for the Pickerington Public Library.
Lucky for Hopp, he arrived on one of the few nights the library remained open.
Cuts in state funding has forced the library to release staff, acquire fewer materials and shorten hours, Library Director Suellen Goldsberry said.
By using the computer lab, Hopp completed his assignment and left for home, passing Robert Lock and his son Andrew.
They also had printer problems, Robert said.
The ink ran dry and Andrew, a sophomore at Pickerington Central, had a history paper due the next day, Robert said.
The Locks visit the library several times a week to borrow materials and take advantage of the free services like the computer lab, he said.
But not everything has remained the same, including one of Andrew's favorite parts of the library.
The funding cuts have reduced the DVD acquisitions, Goldsberry said.
The library depends on the state for 97 percent of its operating budget, Goldsberry said.
The funding cuts have been so deep that in September the library received a $57,000 check from the state, but the monthly expenses totaled more than $65,000, Goldsberry said.
To increase revenue to the level of 2008, the library has placed a 0.75-mil levy on the Nov. 3 ballot.
If voters approve Issue 16, the owner of a $100,000 home would pay an additional $22.97 per year.
The 10-year levy would raise approximately $830,800 annually, Goldsberry said.
To spread the word, Goldsberry has spoken at local government and service groups including Pickerington City Council, Kiwanis and the Lions' Club, she said.
Goldsberry said she has not "put much energy into planning what would happen" if the levy does not pass, but it would mean further cuts.
The library would further reduce hours, new materials and staff, Goldsberry said.
Andrea Rogers said she planned to support the levy.
She and her daughter Ciarra, 11, braved the same stormy night to borrow books, Rogers said.
"We use the library a lot," she said. "My 3-year-old comes for story time and Ciarra likes to read."
Robert Lock has not decided if he will support the levy, he said.
"It's always more taxes on the homeowners," he said.
All day on Oct. 24, the library will hold a fundraiser at the Barnes and Noble on State Route 256.
Upon entry, shoppers will receive a coupon that will guarantee a percentage of their purchase to support the library, according to the library's Web site.
The theme of the day will be "Where the Wild Things Are" with story time from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., face painting and surprise guests.
The library will raffle a "Where the Wild Things Are" combination package of movie tickets and a storybook.
On Oct. 31, 3-C Church will host a fundraising walk for the library.
Supporters of the library have launched a Web site: www.vote4ourlibrary.com.
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