Bexley Public Library is Uniquely Positioned to Serve This Community.
In 2014, you gave us important feedback about the needs and opportunities the Library is uniquely positioned to meet in Bexley. We learned a lot and created a five-year strategic plan. In conjunction with this, the Board of Trustees is launching this first-ever Annual Fund focused on three opportunities for immediate impact:
- The Library as a Center of Lifelong Learning, Discovery, and Exploration
- The Library Untethered
- The Library Building of the Future. Learn more about these opportunities for impact below.
Library Usage is Soaring, While State Funding is Unstable.
While the opportunities are exciting, the obstacles are sizeable. Library usage continues to rise: from 2013 to 2014, we saw a 94% increase in adult-program attendance and a 22% increase for youth programs. Yet state funding for libraries, which provided for 50% of our funding in 2014, has remained unstable over the last decade. In 2014, funds from the State of Ohio were at 1996 levels.
Another 46% of our funding in 2014 came from local General Property Tax (the 2.8 mill operating levy passed by the Bexley community in 2013). While this remains stable, it does not increase even as property values increase.
The Friends of Bexley Public Library, with their annual membership and bi-annual Book Sales, help significantly by supporting programs like the Summer Community Read and staff development.
This Annual Fund is a new way for our community to support the critical work of the library.
Three Opportunities for Immediate Impact
The Annual Fund will help help sustain the work of the Library and support projects in three main areas:
- The Library as a Center of Lifelong Learning, Discovery, and Exploration: We will continue to provide high-quality and innovative learning opportunities for every age. From author visits to expert-led discussions on current events, from gallery openings to live concerts, from storytimes to STEM-based playtimes; there will be something new for everyone, at every age, to discover at Bexley Public Library.
- The Library Untethered: We will bring library programs and services out of the building and into the community. You will find us at community festivals and fairs, The Bexley Main Event, the community pool, in our schools, and visiting independent assisted-living facilities, local parks, and more. We want to bring the library to you.
- The Library Building of the Future: Since its construction in 1929, our building has been well-used and well-loved by generations of neighbors. As we look to the future, we must address immediate infrastructure needs to ensure that our space continues to be welcoming, accessible, and facilitates the diverse ways our community uses our beautiful facility.