Ohio libraries bracing for tough choices as state funding revenue continues to dip

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Ohio public libraries act as community hubs not just for reading, but also internet access, and job and school resources. But they are being forced to have difficult discussions as state funding revenue continues to dip, threatening operations and programs.

For Victoria Schrock, who’s worked at three different library systems in the state, the library represents a bridge from patrons to basic human needs.

“I think really everything we do is connected to or promotes human flourishing,” Schrock said.

She started working in libraries in 2020 and watched as the communities relied more on digital resources, but also clung to access to technology, social services and learning-loss help as the pandemic closed schools and left parents and students without other options.

“One of my favorite things about my job is seeing people make connections and build community,” Schrock said.

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