I wanted you to be among the first to know that Wright Library's Board of Trustees have voted to place a 1.5 mill levy on the March 2020 ballot.
Because of you, Wright Library, which celebrates its 80th anniversary this year, is one of the most-used libraries of its size in America – attracting 150,000 visitors per year and circulating over 400,000 materials a year.
But over the past decade, steep decreases in Ohio state funding means Wright Library operates with much less revenue than it received in 2008. To counter the loss in state funding, the library has implemented cost-saving measures, deferred facility maintenance, reduced staffing, and sought private donations.
Yet with no additional tax revenue since 2009, Wright Library’s expenditures are expected to exceed revenues in 2020. This levy will ensure that Wright Library can continue providing the services, staff, facilities, and materials that the Oakwood community values.
If passed, the levy will cost property owners about $52 annually per $100,000 home value.
The levy will fund both long-term operations and essential repairs and improvements to the building, phased over time, and within the current footprint. Feedback from the community guided the funding priorities, which include
- Ample materials in multiple formats to meet the needs of different types of learners and users
- Quality, well-trained staff
- Early literacy programs and outreach with local preschools, Oakwood City Schools, and private schools
- Book deliveries and other services for homebound, elderly, and disabled residents
- Technology and technology instruction for workforce and personal needs
- Improvements in accessibility, including ADA and family-friendly restrooms, updated walkways, and opening the rear entrance to Katharine Wright Park
- Updated spaces for children, teens, and technology
- Improvements to usability and comfort of the building
- Efficiency upgrades that will reduce operating costs
Property taxes to support Wright Library constitute 1.4% of Oakwood property owners’ total tax bill. Oakwood taxpayers do not support other library districts – Oakwood’s library property taxes solely support Wright Library.
Along with seeking tax support, the library is committed to raising private dollars for facility needs. Securing private grant monies along with state and local tax dollars is key to moving forward affordably.
Over the past few years we've listened to the community and developed a practical plan through research, periodic surveys, and community focus groups. More public forums will be scheduled in early 2020. We will share those dates soon.
You can also sign up to receive emails specifically about the levy and the library's operating and facility needs.
Director, Wright Memorial Public Library
P.S. There are several ways to stay informed about Wright Library. In addition to signing up to receive levy-related emails, we invite you to bookmark wrightlibrary.org/2020vision and follow Wright Library on social media - Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.