Legislators suggest libraries start charging user fees for non-book materials

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“Ohio’s House Republicans are expected to approve a new state budget that cuts library funds by 5 percent and gives libraries the option of charging fees for non-print materials.

Leslie Massey, director of the Clermont County Public Library states that fees for non-book items would weigh most heavily on those who are poor or visually impaired and that the fees will not make up for the state’s proposed cuts. “We’re looking at a $300,000 budget cut,” Massey said. “It wouldn’t contribute $300,000.”

Lynda Murray, a top lobbyist for the Ohio Library Council, doesn’t expect libraries to embrace new fees, though she said some might try it on a trial basis to gauge public reaction.

“I’m hard-pressed to think of anything that would be more unpopular,” Murray said.”