My Place to Dream. Create. Grow.

In June 2009, the Library faced a potentially devastating blow. Governor Ted Strickland had proposed reducing the Public Library Fund (PLF) by 50 percent ($227.3 million) in fiscal 2010 and 2011. The proposed cuts would have forced some area libraries to shut their doors or, at best, reduce critical services to the community.

In response, Cleveland Public Library led a grass roots effort designed to demonstrate public support to keep Ohio libraries strong. Hundreds of community supporters, including representatives from 22 regional libraries, joined our staff on the steps of the Main Library on June 24 to loudly proclaim "Save Ohio Libraries." The public rally, which drew strong media coverage from local newspapers, television and radio stations, was part of a larger campaign that included letter writing and social media outreach—all designed to pressure legislators into more fairly distributing the necessary state budget cuts.

As a result of strong public support and ongoing efforts, the proposed budget cuts were reduced substantially. While the reductions still challenged Library administration to make tough decisions at a time when demand for library services was at its highest, the Library was able to stabilize its operations.

"We are so very grateful for the tremendous outpouring of public support," said Felton Thomas, Jr., director of Cleveland Public Library. "We could not have asked for anything more. The community's response was loud and clear that libraries do matter and serve as a vital neighborhood resource."