by Anne Libby, State Library of Ohio
This has been a challenging year for the State Library’s budget. On February 15, 2008, the State Library received notification of the results of our Budget Reduction Plan for FY 2008 and FY 2009. These reductions affected General Revenue Funds (GRF) and other funding sources within the State Library as some GRF obligations were met with other sources of funding. Budget line items that received a 10% reduction were given the flexibility of taking a different percentage reduction in each fiscal year as long as the total was still achieved.
For State Library internal operations, we received a 10% reduction. This reduction was achieved in FY 2008 and in FY 2009 through elimination of positions as well as reductions in maintenance, equipment and library materials. OPLIN and the Regional Library Systems also received a 10% reduction in their GRF funding.
The State Library and Ohioana Library rental obligations at 274 East First Avenue were exempted from the10% reduction. Since the State Library rental obligation consumes more than 25% of internal operations, we reviewed office space for additional potential savings. We released approximately 16,000 square feet of space to the Landlord. To accomplish this, the collection was shifted -- 65,000 items and many, many shelving units were moved by State Library staff themselves.
The Regional Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped at the Cleveland Public Library and the Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County were also exempted from the 10% reduction.
On September 15, 2008, the State Library submitted our biennial budget for FY 2010 and FY 2011. The instructions for completion of this biennial budget given by the Office of Budget and Management (OBM) were for funding levels at 90% of the already reduced FY 2009 levels for both years of the biennium. Additionally, the State Library was given the opportunity to submit a separate request for an additional 5% for each program within the budget.
The State Library’s biennial budget is currently being reviewed by OBM and the Governor’s office. Governor Strickland will introduce the Executive Budget for FY 2010-2011 in February of 2009. The budget then goes before the House and the Senate before ending at a Conference Committee sometime in June. The new operating budget begins on July 1, 2009.
Shortly before the FY 2010-2011 biennial budget was submitted to OBM, Governor Strickland announced another 4.75% cut to state agencies for FY 2009. Once again, the State Library’s rental obligation was exempted from the reduction. The State Library was able to face this reduction with payroll reductions due to position vacancies, offsetting some costs by using other non-general revenue funds, and reducing expenses in maintenance and equipment. This most recent cut did not affect the submission of the biennial budget as it was still based on 90% of the adjusted FY 2009 budget.