The Southwest Public Library (SPL) Board of Trustees will hold off on a tax levy until the November election.
The trustees held a special meeting Jan. 25 to discuss May levy options.
"We wanted more time to interact with the community," said Mark Shaw, SPL director, of why they will wait until the fall.
Shaw said if the board moves forward with a fall levy, it would be a 1-mill tax levy, which would generate $2.5 million a year for SPL. It would cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $30 a year.
The library board is considering this action in response to budget cuts the library has experienced over the past year and because of the tough economy in Ohio. The library relies on the state for 95 percent of its funding.
Southwest Public Libraries has seen its annual revenue decline from $4.5 million to $3 million.
The board has voted to cut hours of operation at both branches (Grove City Library and Westland Area Library) by 18 hours. Shaw said they have also "severely reduced" material purchases, such as books and DVDs.
In addition, SPL has eliminated 25 employees. The remaining 67 employees must take furlough days.
Shaw said if the board decides to place the levy on the ballot and voters approve it, they would be able to reinstate most, if not all, of the operating hours. He also said the library would be able to purchase more materials.
The same citizens who vote on South-Western City School District issues would vote on the SPL levy. In the past two decades, the library has attempted seven levies. All have failed.
Shaw said the library board is concerned about the past results. He said they need to be prepared if the levy fails.
When asked if there would be even more cuts if voters reject the levy, Shaw said he is not sure.
"We just have to see what the state does," Shaw remarked. "The funding is uncertain, but hopefully the economy will turn around."
The library board will have to pass a resolution by Aug. 19 to place a tax levy on the November ballot.