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Published: Monday, 7/23/2012

Monroe County library officials advocate for levy


MONROE -- Officials of the Monroe County Library System have been appearing at local government meetings to make their case for an eight-year renewal of the 1-mill levy that will appear on the Aug. 7 ballot. The levy generates about $5.7 million annually and pays 83 percent of the library system's operational costs.

Bedford Community Librarian Jodi Russ noted at the Bedford Township board meeting last week that the Bedford Branch Library building is owned and supported by township taxpayers. The county levy pays for services, including salaries, staffing, materials, technology, and programming.

The county levy is required for the system to be eligible for state library aid. The tax costs the owner of a home with a taxable value of $50,000 about $50 annually.

Last year, 104,064 Monroe County residents had library cards, according to library system statistics. Circulation in 2011 was 1,440,318 items, a 57 percent increase since 2004. Annual attendance at library programs since that year has averaged 73,000.

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