Library Funding Information

St. Clairsville Public Library Fact Sheet

On November 7 the Library will have on the ballot a 0.5 millage levy for current library expenses.

Q: WHY DOES THE LIBRARY NEED THIS LEVY?
The St. Clairsville Public Library will experience a $10,000 cut in state funding. This cut is in addition to $134,676 reductions in state funding that the library has experienced over the years since 2001.

Q: HOW IS THE LIBRARY FUNDED?
The library is funded almost entirely by a percentage of state revenues, called the Public Library Fund. The state has cut funding for the St. Clairsville Public Library by 24% since 2001 and will be reducing library funding in the current budget. While 77% of all Ohio libraries rely on a levy, to date St. Clairsville Public Library is one of only 58 Ohio libraries operating without levy support from the community.

Q: HOW MUCH WILL THE LEVY COST?
The levy will cost $1.46 a month (or $17.50 a year) for the owner of a $100,000 home. In Belmont County, the taxable value is 35% of market value. You can look up the taxable value of your home and confirm your school district at the Belmont County Auditor website. To find the library levy rate for homes of differing taxable values, see the rate sheet.

Q: WHO GETS TO VOTE ON THIS LEVY ISSUE?
Residents of the library’s legal service area, the St. Clairsville-Richland School District, will see this issue on the ballot. Other libraries in the county plan to have a levy on ballots in their service areas, but this is the only library levy that you will see on your ballot and it is the only one that will be used to support your local library.

Q: WHEN DOES VOTING TAKE PLACE?

  • November 7 – vote at the polls
  • October 11 – early voting begins at the Board of Elections office
  • October 11 – vote by mail begins

If you want to check whether you are registered or need help registering, stop by the library or check your status on our Voter Information page.

Q: WHAT HAS THE LIBRARY DONE TO REDUCE ITS EXPENSES?
The St. Clairsville Public Library has done extraordinary work in reducing expenses. Despite rising costs in every area, we spend less today than in 2001 for library programs, books, wages & benefits, technology and facilities. We reduced staffing from 11 full-time employees in 2001 to 5 full-time employees. In 2001 the library spent $92,611 on books and materials and only $25,761 in 2017. As a result, unfortunately, our collection size has fewer books per person than any surrounding libraries due to lack of funds.

The Library Budget – 2001 vs. 2017


 
2001 2017 % decrease
Programs 15,072 9,872 -35%
Books & Materials 92,611 25,761 -72%
Staff Wages & Benefits 369,754 357,288 -3%
Technology 36,500 3,600 -90%
Facilities 57,000 39,980 -30%

 

Q: WHAT WILL THE LIBRARY DO WITH THE FUNDING?
These funds will support core library operations, including:

  • Increase material acquisitions, ensuring patrons have timely access to popular titles and relevant resources.
  • Maintain programs and services for all ages and enhance them to meet growing community demands.
  • Expand electronic resources and downloadable media to keep the collection evolving with changing needs.
  • Upgrade existing technology and increase access to public computing.
  • Evaluate access to information and other services and make necessary adjustments to ensure patrons have convenient access to all library services.
  • Maintenance of the facility and property.

Q: WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF THE LIBRARY LEVY FAILS?

  • Possible reductions in hours of operation, staff, and computers.
  • Decreased library outreach and phase-out of some services for adults and children.
  • The aging library building will see maintenance minimized to basic repairs.
  • We will continue with a collection that has the fewest books per person compared to other area libraries.

Books per Person – Compared to Nearby Libraries

Q: DOES THE LIBRARY ENGAGE IN FUNDRAISING TO HELP LEVERAGE TAX DOLLARS?
The Library is fortunate to be supported by donations from individuals, Friends of the Library, Foundation, and by receiving grants. However, these funds average only 3% of funding for library operations.

Q: WHAT ABOUT THE LIBRARY FOUNDATION?
In 2003, St. Clairsville Public Library was fortunate to have a group of citizens establish the St. Clairsville Public Library Foundation. This endowment fund is a part of the Ohio Valley Community Foundation, and is designed to provide future financial assistance to the library, with a special focus on library facilities and capital improvements. The library may request Foundation funds only when costly capital improvements and repairs are needed. In 2014, the Foundation provided funds to help replace the library roof. In 2017, the Foundation completed a fundraising campaign for elevator modifications and upgrades.

Q: HOW BUSY IS THE LIBRARY?
Our library is in high demand. We’re one of the busiest organizations in the area – we have 75,000 visits a year. When people visit us they are actively using all of our services – getting help with research, employment and technology questions 3,000 times a year. Using internet and computers 22,000 times a year. Adults attend our many programs – book clubs, crafts, technology – 2,000 adult attendees a year. And people are still borrowing and reading books – 70,000 a year! Our free e-books are also very popular; our library patrons borrow 10,000 e-books a year.

Q: WHAT IS THE ACTUAL VALUE OF LIBRARY SERVICES?
For every $1.00 spent by your library, your community receives $5.22 in direct benefits. The library allows users to save money by borrowing items and receiving services such as computer help that people would otherwise have to pay for. This means that the library enhances the purchasing power of users by enabling them to spend their money in other ways.