Pandemic affects library funds: Set to recover in 2022

Miami Valley News
3-5 Northmont Library

Northmont Branch of the Dayton Public Library

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)-Sources of funding for Montgomery County’s public libraries and local governments are recovering after the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2022, Montgomery County jurisdictions will receive an estimated $43.2 million in revenue from the state’s Local Government Fund and Public Library Fund, the Montgomery County Auditor’s Office said. This projection, released by County Auditor Karl Keith, represents a 6.4 percent increase in these revenues compared to 2020’s numbers.

“It’s great to see funding for our libraries bounce back after revenue fell short in the early days of the pandemic,” Keith said.

According to the Montgomery County Auditor’s Office, both funds underperformed estimates by 1.2 percent in 2020, amounting to nearly $500,000 in missed revenue. In 2021, the state projected that the county’s libraries and local governments would miss out on another $4.2 million in revenue, a 10 percent drop compared to 2020. Keith said it is too early to tell if 2021 will exceed these estimates.

Keith said that libraries are particularly strained by losses in the PLF because the fund is a large source of revenue for each of the county’s four library districts.

“The health crisis has put an immense burden on our families, our businesses and our entire community,” said Keith. “I feel for our cities, townships and libraries, who have been asked to do more with less during the ongoing health crisis.”

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