Voters approve Akron-Summit County library renewal levy by wide margin

April Helms
Kent Weeklies
Student assistant Grace Benson moves her cart through the stacks recently as she fills a media requests in culture and audiovisual division at Akron-Summit County Public Library in downtown Akron. Voters overwhelmingly approved the library system's levy renewal on Tuesday.

The Akron-Summit County Public Library system will continue to receive funds from its 1.9-mill levy for the next six years after voters approved its renewal Tuesday by a wide margin.

According to final but unofficial results from the Summit County Board of Elections, Issue 10 passed 15,039 (75.9%) to 4,769 (24.1%).

"On behalf of the Library Board of Trustees, the staff and library users of all ages, I offer my deepest gratitude to the voters who supported the library by voting for Issue 10," said Pam Hickson-Stevenson, the executive director of the library system. "With the renewal of the 1.9-mill operating levy, which provides about 55% of the library’s income, the library will be able to continue providing a top-notch collection of materials, fun and informative programs and innovative services."

The levy generates about $15.7 million annually, Hickson-Stevenson said.

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

About 44% of the library's funding comes from Ohio's Public Library Fund, Hickson-Stevenson said in a previous interview. 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 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. 

Results are expected to be certified by the Summit County Board of Elections May 25.

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