Ohio libraries in danger

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland recently announced a proposal to cut state library funding by 30 percent, on top of a 20 percent cut already this year. (Yes, that would total a 50 percent budget cut. And 70 percent of Ohio public libraries use the state as their sole funding source.)

I wrote a story about this today — but I think it’s primarily about the uproar libraries are generating. They’ve embarked on a huge PR campaign to rally supporters behind them. I grew up on the library, so I’m a but partial. But come on — in the current economy, it’s a social justice issue. People can’t afford home internet, and they have to use internet to find jobs or apply for unemployment. News organizations can (and should) report on the social justice aspect of stories, which I did.

Find my story here. (I think that’s a permenant link. Comment on this post if it doesn’t work for you, and I’ll post a PDF of the story.)

On another note, I’ve requested raw data in a giant spreadsheet from the local police department. The editor’s already sold on the idea — this data will form the basis of a series of stories on how the crime scene has changed in Wilmington since the economic crisis hit.

I just hope I can stick it out in south-western Ohio long enough to write the stories. I’m itching to move to whatever city in which I decide to attend J-school. (I’m in the process of transferring.) City life has a strong draw in part because I get to sell my car and buy camera equipment with the proceeds. :)

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