Library Funding





How is CHPL Funded?

Fifty-seven percent of the Library's funding comes from the State of Ohio, and 43% comes from local levies. CHPL is not a county agency, but a political subdivision of the State of Ohio, governed by a Board of Trustees.

State Funding

In January 2008, the State of Ohio's Public Library Fund, opens a new window replaced the Library and Local Government Support Fund, which had funded Ohio's public libraries since 1986. In establishing the PLF, the state broadened the base of library funding to include all general revenue taxes and fixed the percentage for libraries at 2.2 percent of collections.

By mid-2009, the percentage was reduced to 1.97 percent. The 2012-13 biennium budget set library funding at 95% of prior year distributions, less new deductions that fund the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

The 2014-15 biennium budget eliminated the fixed monthly distribution and returned to the percentage of revenue funding approach where the PLF percentage was reset to 1.66% of the GRF. As a result of a statewide campaign in 2014 to educate legislators and members of the media on state funding for Ohio’s public libraries, the Ohio General Assembly temporarily increased the PLF from 1.66% to 1.7% for the 2016-17 biennium budget.

The 2018-19 biennium budget decreased the percentage from 1.7 percent to 1.68 percent but was returned to 1.7 percent for the second half of calendar year 2019. Since 2020 the percentage has remained at 1.7 percent.

Local Funding

The Library currently has two operating levies supported by the voters of Hamilton County.

In November 2013, Hamilton County voters overwhelmingly renewed a 1-mill operating levy for ten years for the Library. Over the last several years, the levy revenue has offset the loss of state revenue. The bipartisan Board of Trustees of the Library unanimously voted to place a ten-year renewal of this existing 1-mill levy along with a 0.5-mill increase on the November 2023 ballot. Voters approved the levy with 56.5% support.

In May 2018, Hamilton County voters approved an additional 1-mill operating levy for 10 years. The additional levy money is supporting general operations as well as facility improvements.

Throughout 2019, the Library worked on a Facility Master Plan project, engaging more than 3,000 community members at over 90 meetings and events. Our goal was to learn first-hand what the needs of community members were so the information could inform the development of a road map for how the Library would re-envision services and spaces at our 41 locations.

The Facility Master Plan was published in late 2019 and is guiding the Library for the next ten years. The plan provides recommendations for improving all 41 of our locations, prioritizing those with the most acute accessibility challenges. A Distribution Center located in Queensgate opened in 2019 to increase our efficiency with delivery materials throughout the county. Fourteen different facility improvement projects have been completed as of the end of July 2023. Details can be found on the Building the Next Generation Library webpage.

2022 Revenue

Public Library Fund, State of Ohio 50,468,971
Tax Levy 39,973,957
Customer Fines and Fees 239,476
Earnings on Investments 1,054,868
Contributions 1,689,473
Restricted Grants 153,402
Miscellaneous Revenue** 410,940

**Restricted grants, Passport fees, supply sales, property rentals/sales, refunds, digital services.

2022 Expenses

Salaries 31,399,326
Benefits 8,735,390
Supplies 2,864,844
Purchased Services 14,043,783
Library Materials and Information 9,969,378
Capital Improvements 19,552,256
Other Objects 558,019
Transfers Out 22,000,000

Financial Reporting & Audits

The Library’s excellence in financial reporting was once again recognized through receipt of both the Auditor of State Award of Distinction and also a Certificate of Achievement from the Government Finance Officers Association for its 2021 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR). Copies of the Library’s annual financial reports from 1999 to present may be accessed from the Ohio Auditor of State’s website, opens a new window.

As part of the Library's commitment to transparency and accountability with taxpayers, the Library participates in the Ohio Checkbook initiative, opens a new window.

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