Akron-Summit County library renewal levy on May ballot

April Helms
Kent Weeklies
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Voters within the Akron-Summit County Public Library district will have the chance to vote on Issue 10, a 1.9-mill renewal levy, in the May 4 election.

The levy generates about $15.7 million annually,  said Pam Hickson-Stevenson, the executive director of the library system. She added that the levy "provides 55% of the library’s revenue, so without those funds, every aspect of library service – materials, programs, services, hours, and staffing – will be affected negatively.”

More:Akron-Summit County library system seeks levy renewal

About 44% of the library's funding comes from Ohio's Public Library Fund, Hickson-Stevenson said. In 2019, the library system received $12.56 million from the state fund, and in 2020, it received $12.52 million. In 2018, it received a little more than $12 million. 

The remainder of the budget comes from fines, fees, grants, and donations, Hickson-Stevenson said.

The levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $4.21 per month, according to information provided by the library system.

According to information at akronlibrary.org, the library’s 2020 budget is a little less than $33.7 million. The system includes the main library in downtown Akron, and 18 branch libraries throughout the city and Summit County. The system also has a mobile services division.

The school districts covered by the Akron-Summit County Public Library’s 19 locations include Akron, Copley-Fairlawn, Coventry, Green, Manchester, Mogadore, Nordonia Hills, Norton, Revere, Springfield, Tallmadge and Woodridge. The residents of those school districts will have the opportunity to vote on the library levy renewal, Hickson-Stevenson said.

Polls are open on election day May 4 from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Early voting also is available at the Summit County Board of Elections office at 500 Grant St. in Akron. Hours through April 30 are from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; on May 2 from 1 to 5 p.m.; and on May 3 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Visit www.summitcountyboe.gov online for details.

Reporter April Helms can be reached at ahelms@thebeaconjournal.com