Hello. My name is ____________________ and I’m the ______________________ at Worthington Libraries. I’d like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk to you about the library’s upcoming levy issue.
I’d like to start by sharing some information about how the Library is funded. Worthington Libraries, and all public libraries in Ohio, receive funding through the state’s Public Library Fund. This accounts for 19 percent of the library’s annual revenue. As part of a partnership agreement, we receive money from Columbus Metropolitan Library to fund the operation of Northwest Library, which serves patrons in both of our respective service areas. The Library also receives funding from two local property tax levies: a 22-year 2.2 mill operating levy passed in 1992 and a permanent 2.6 mill operating levy passed in 2005.
Here you can see the breakdown of the library’s income and expenses in 2012. I’d like to call your attention to the 20 percent of our annual operating expenditures that was spent on materials. This is considered the “gold standard” for public libraries. Most libraries spend only 13 percent of their operating budget on materials. In addition, Worthington Libraries, at 62 percent, spends significantly less than most businesses and public agencies on salaries and benefits. We have been able to keep these costs relatively flat through careful review of each position, cross-training and working to find the most cost-effective benefits package for employees each year.
At Worthington Libraries, careful stewardship of public funds is very important to both the staff and board of trustees. We constantly work to streamline our operation and find alternate sources of funding whenever possible.
Since 2006, the library’s financial management has been recognized with numerous awards on both the state and national level. Even with funding cuts and increases in circulation and programming attendance, Worthington Libraries has not been on the ballot in eight years.
But now, it is time to ask for additional funding, and here are the specifics of our upcoming ballot initiative: The 2.2 mill levy passed in 1992 will expire in 2014. The earliest the Library can be on the ballot to replace this funding is November 2013. In June, the Worthington Schools Board of Education, which serves as the library’s taxing authority, voted to place a 2.2 mill permanent replacement levy on the November 5 ballot on behalf of Worthington Libraries. It will cost the owner of a $100,000 home an additional $37.44 per year or $3.12 per month. If passed this November, collection will begin in 2015.
Voters in the Worthington School District, which has the same boundaries as the Worthington library district, are eligible to vote on this levy issue.
It’s important that library funding be maintained to meet the continuing demand for library service. Because levy collection rates decline over time, the 2.2 mill levy passed in 1992 is currently being collected at an effective rate of 1.25 mills. Replacing this levy at 2.2 mills of current assessed property value will make it possible for the Library to both maintain and incrementally expand library service as needed.
This funding will enable Worthington Libraries to remain one of the best library systems in the country, and to provide residents with materials, services and programs needed to meet their academic and professional goals.
If the levy fails, we will work with the community to determine our next steps.
I’ve talked about the increasing demand for library service and how much the library has changed. If you have not visited one of our libraries in recent years or think of a library as only a quiet place to study and check out books, you might be surprised by how much libraries have changed.
Worthington Libraries has more than 90,000 registered borrowers. More than one million people visit our libraries and our website each year.
Worthington Libraries is the ninth highest circulating library in the state, behind only the eight metropolitan library systems. In 2012, we checked out more than 3.3 million items or approximately 36 items per cardholder.
We provide access to more than 94,000 digital titles. You can browse, reserve and read library books on your eReader or computer without ever visiting one of our physical locations.
Your library card is now a lot more powerful. In 2012, we joined the Central Library Consortium and now provide access to over four million items through a partnership with 10 other library systems.
The Library helps children learn to read by providing books, storytimes and other programs designed to improve early childhood literacy. In 2012, the library’s storytimes were attended by more than 36,000 children and their caregivers.
To help students, we have dedicated Homework Help Centers in each of our current locations. During the school year, the centers provide homework assistance to dozens of students each week. Visits to the centers increased 25 percent in 2012. Funding to establish the centers was provided by the Friends Foundation of Worthington Libraries and several other community organizations, individuals and businesses.
The Library also helps area businesses by providing exclusive access to online resources and market research databases, forums for professionals to discuss leadership topics and outreach to the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce.
Speaking of outreach, the library staff visits hundreds of schools and community sites each year. In 2012, more than 14,000 people attended library outreach programs. One of the most rewarding outreach programs we offer is delivery of materials to people no longer able to visit us in person. More than 2,400 items were delivered to people who are homebound in 2012.
Our partnership with the Shops at Worthington Place to conduct storytimes in their space once per month has been incredibly successful with more than 100 children and their parents attending each event.
In 2012, library programs were attended by more than 61,000 people. Since 2005, the last time the Library was on the ballot, program attendance has increased 68 percent.
None of this happened by accident. Worthington Libraries has had a strategic plan in place for more than 20 years. Our strategic plans are living documents, developed with extensive research and community input and lived each and every day.
Our current 2013-2015 Strategic Plan was developed with input from hundreds of residents who provided feedback about the future direction of the Library.
Through surveys, we learned that 97 percent of residents are satisfied with the library’s performance and 83 percent would support a replacement funding levy.
Our research also highlighted how fast the library world is changing and how important it is for us to not only keep up with evolving technology and societal trends, but to stay in front of them and to help guide community learning and engagement around new ideas.
And community engagement is the heart of what we do at Worthington Libraries. We are here to help you, your children, your business—everyone—with whatever they need. Library staff members are encouraged to be involved citizens and are currently active in more than 100 community and professional organizations.
Here is a list of some of the community organizations and businesses we have partnered with in the last year.
Worthington Libraries was the first library established in Franklin County and only the third library in the state when it was established in 1803. Our community was turned down twice by the Carnegie Foundation because, and I quote, “so small a community could not support a library.” You certainly proved them wrong. Worthington Libraries was the best library in the nation in 2007 and is one of only 30 libraries in the country to be ranked as a five-star library for four years in a row. Now, we have the opportunity to be even better, to go farther and to reimagine library service for future generations.
Find levy facts here
Find levy facts here.
OLD WORTHINGTON LIBRARY
820 High Street
Worthington, OH 43085
2280 Hard Road
Columbus, OH 43235
WORTHINGTON PARK LIBRARY
1389 Worthington Centre Drive
Worthington, OH 43085
Worthington Libraries receives funding from the State of
Ohio through the Public Library Fund. This accounts for
19 percent of the library’s annual revenue.
The Library also receives income from fines and fees, the
Columbus Metropolitan Library and two local property
The first levy, passed by voters in the Worthington School
District in 1992, is a 22-year 2.2 mill levy. Income from
this levy accounts for 22 percent of the library’s annual
revenue. It expires in 2014.
The second levy, a 2.6 mill permanent operating levy
was passed by voters in 2005. Income from this levy
accounts for 37 percent of the library’s annual revenue.
Public Library Fund
2012 Revenue 2012 Operating Expenditures
Total Revenue: $10,282,788 Total Operating Expenditures: $8,447,695
*This figure includes the Homestead Rollback, Personal
Property Tax Reimbursement & the Public Utility Fund
Despite significant declines in state funding, the Library has not been on
the ballot since 2005.
Since that time, library circulation has increased 32 percent and
programming attendance has increased 68 percent.
The new Homework Help Centers were funded by private donations
and the Friends Foundation of Worthington Libraries.
The library’s financial reports are fully transparent and available online.
HOW WELL DOES THE LIBRARY MANAGE MONEY?
Worthington Libraries was recognized with a Certificate of Achievement for
Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers
Association for our 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. Less than
10 percent of government agencies nationally receive this award.
Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting
It is a 2.2 mill
replacement levy that
will be collected for a
continuing period of
It replaces the 2.2 mill
operating levy passed by
District residents in
It will cost the owner of a
$100,000 house an
additional $3.12 per
month or $37.44 per
Collection will begin in
What is the millage? What is the cost to homeowners?
Registered voters in the Worthington School
District, which has the same boundaries as the
Worthington library district, can vote on the issue.
This includes residents in the City of Worthington and
Riverlea, as well as parts of Sharon Township, Perry
Township and the City of Columbus.
WHO CAN VOTE ON THIS LEVY ISSUE?
Funding from this expiring levy provides a significant source of
income for Worthington Libraries, comprising 22 percent of our
Because levy collection rates decline over time, it is currently being
collected at an effective rate of 1.25 mills.
Replacing this levy at 2.2 mills of current assessed property value
will make it possible for the Library to maintain and expand services
in order to meet increasing demand.
WHY IS THIS FUNDING NECESSARY?
• Funding from the 2.2 mill permanent replacement
levy will make it possible for Worthington Libraries
to continue providing excellent service and to meet
the demands of residents in the areas of technology
and digital access.
What will you do if the levy passes?
• If the levy fails, we will work with the community
to determine what actions to take to best serve
residents in the Worthington School District.
What will you do if the levy fails?
Can’t people find everything they need
Do people still use libraries?
You may be surprised.
• 91,529 people are
• Annual user visits
to the Library
totaled more than
1.6 million in 2012
• Annual website
visits totaled more
than one million
Fun with Math & Science program at Old Worthington Library.
• We checked
out more than
items in 2012.
ninth in the
only the eight
In 2012, circulation of
digital books increased
more than 130 percent!
Thousands of free eBooks
and read-along books are
available for download from
More than 94,000 items are
LIBRARY USE: COLLECTION
In 2012, Worthington Libraries joined the Central Library Consortium, a
partnership of 11 library systems across six counties. As a result, we now
provide residents with access to over four million items.
SERVICES: EARLY LITERACY
We help children learn to read.
We provide books, programs and
parent information that focus on
helping children develop reading
Storytimes were attended by
36,111 children and
parents/caregivers in 2012, a
five percent increase over 2011.
SERVICES: HOMEWORK HELP
Opened first Homework
Help Center in 2008 at the
Worthington Park Library.
Visits increased 35
percent in 2012.
Additional centers opened at
Old Worthington Library and
Northwest Library in early
A packed house at the Homework Help
Center at Worthington Park Library.
SERVICES: JOBS & BUSINESS
Programs for small
businesses, job seekers and
Access to market research and
Resume software and free
Staff assistance when filling out
applications and free resume
In 2012, outreach programs
were attended by 14,482
people, an increase of 40
We deliver books and other
materials to those who aren’t able
to visit us in person.
More than 2,467 items were
delivered to people who are
homebound in 2012.
We visit preschools, daycare centers
and private schools to present
storytimes and talk about library
We lead character storytimes at the
Shops at Worthington Place once
Programming at Worthington
Libraries is sponsored by the
Friends Foundation of
• In 2012, we offered more than
1,600 programs, attended by
• This was a 10 percent increase
We have had a strategic plan in place for more
than 20 years.
Focusing on two or three years at a time, each
plan serves as a detailed roadmap for the
Our 2012 strategic planning process was led by
a staff team and included input from hundreds of
people in the community.
Focus groups with 54
Survey of 302 residents
posted in the libraries
and on social media
97 percent are satisfied or highly satisfied with the
78 percent believe the Library has the right number of
locations to serve the community.
67 percent believe the Library uses its money wisely.
66 percent believe the Library provides the programs and
services they need.
83 percent would support a replacement funding levy
STRATEGIC PLANNING RESULTS
Our research shows:
The library world is changing rapidly.
We must evolve to meet demand for information in various
We must provide space for people to use the library in
• Community involvement is part of our
organizational culture, and everyone at the
Library is encouraged to get involved with
other community organizations.
• Worthington Libraries staff members are
actively involved with more than 100
community and professional organizations.
• We make every effort to have library
representation at all large community events.
• We are privileged to be part of such a caring
and giving community.
Key Community Partners Additional Partners
Each year, Worthington Libraries partners
with the Worthington Schools to present
dozens of events and special programs to
support and enhance the school
The Library regularly partners with the City
of Worthington and its many agencies in
the presentation of programs and events.
We work with the Worthington Area
Chamber of Commerce to provide
programs and services targeted to the
business and professional community.
The Friends Foundation of Worthington
Libraries serve as sponsor for all library
programs and special events.
The Library also partners with several other
community organizations and businesses
Big Green Head
Columbus Museum of Art
Healthy Worthington Resource Center & Food Pantry
Holiday Inn of Worthington
Peggy R. McConnell Arts Center
Shops at Worthington Place
Skate Zone 71
Worthington AM Rotary Club
Worthington Garden Club
Worthington Historical Society
Worthington Parks & Recreation
Each year since 2009, more than
7,500 libraries across the country are
evaluated by Library Journal on
several service indicators, including
Worthington Libraries is one of
only 87 libraries in the country to
receive a five-star rating.
One of only 30 libraries ranked as
five-star every year the index has
James Hill, President
David Goldberger, Vice President
Dawn Valasco, Secretary
J. Craig Baker
Chuck Gibson, Director/CEO
Monica Baughman, Deputy Director
Margaret Doone, CFO/Business Manager
Lisa Fuller, Director of Community Engagement
Susan Allen, Director of Technology Services
Phyllis Winfield, Human Resources Manager
Pam Beretich, Executive Assistant
Board of Trustees Administrative Staff
Elizabeth Sommer: Elizabeth.Sommer@Huntington.com
Lynn Nadler: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rick Bradley: email@example.com