Ohio State Representative Ted Celeste made an appearance before a crowd of hundreds of Ohioans in front of the Statehouse building at noon today. In his speech, he reiterated the importance of a robust public library system in the state.
A transcription of his remarks:
You know, these are really very difficult times the state’s facing. My colleagues and I are trying to find a way to balance the budget, and in this kind of effort you expect everyone to give a little bit. And so it’s important for everyone to share the pain, but not to have libraries to go down the drain.
I want to tell you, you all have made an enormous impact. I have received 28,000 emails in the last 24 hours! I hope you’re sending copies of some of those e-mails to the governor, and the president of the Senate, and the speaker of the House, and telling them how important this is — because your message will be heard. Know that we’re talking to our colleagues in the House. My other colleagues in the House have heard your message loud and strong. Know that we’ll be there, fighting for libraries. We appreciate everything that you’re doing. My biggest thanks go to our libraries.
If State Rep. Celeste’s remarks about conversations within the Statehouse are accurate, then it sounds like the momentum is swinging toward the restoration of state funds for Ohio’s public libraries.