GREENVILLE — The Greenville Public Library (www.greenville-publiclibrary.org) is hoping area citizens will see fit to renew a 1-mill levy during Ohio’s March 15 primary election.
The current levy, used to pay for the library’s operating expenses, was first approved by voters in 2011. The renewal levy appearing on the ballot will not increase the amount of money that taxpayers will pay.
Differing from the original levy, however, is that an approved library renewal levy will be continuous, thereby remaining in place unless altered by a future ballot measure.
Greenville Public Library Director John Vehre says passage of the levy is important as it will ensure the library’s continued services to the community for the foreseeable future. Prior to the levy’s passage in 2011, and due to severe cutbacks in state funding at the time, the library was forced to reduce operating hours and staffing.
“The levy allowed us to return to a 60-hour week,” he said. “Before that we had been reduced to a 48-hour week and had to cut not only our staff but our staff’s hours.”
With the levy, the library was able to resume its normal hours and expand its offering of additional products and services, including electronic books, magazines and music; an expanded newspaper and magazine collection; MP3 and Blu-Ray discs; and public access Wi-Fi.
Further, the levy has enabled the library to conduct regular programs for adults, young adults and children and special events such as “Lunch on the Lawn.”
Library Fiscal Officer Susi Halley says the library has something for everyone.
“A lot of people feel they get something out of it,” she said. “Adults, children — it’s the community’s go-to place for information. Everyone is welcome and everything is free.”
She added, “It’s a place where people can hang out, spend the day, especially when it is cold out.”
Halley noted the importance of the public’s access to the library’s computers, saying, “You can’t apply for a job anymore without a computer.”
“Even though some may not be library users, many support the library for the benefit of the greater community,” she said. “They support this historic building which requires constant upkeep. Without the community’s support, it would suffer the most.”
Vehre said the library’s genealogy room is another oft-used service the library provides.
“People come from all over to use our genealogy room,” he said. “It is a big piece of the library that not all people are aware of.”
Ultimately, Vehre and Halley see a continuation of the library’s levy as beneficial to the community as a whole.
“Not everyone can afford to buy brand new books or a computer,” Vehre said. “We feel the library is a good value for the entire community and we appreciate people’s support.”
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