Blan library pays utility bills like everyone else

With the recent controversy surrounding the Blanchester Board of Public Affairs, it has been brought to my attention that some people have the misinformed idea that the Blanchester Public Library does not pay for its electric service.

Somehow, we have come to a point in which people can say or tweet or post downright falsehoods, which can easily be disproven, and yet many still believe them. (Which is another strong argument that we need libraries today more than ever, but that is a topic for another day.)

Actually, the library receives a monthly bill from the BPA for electric, water and sewer, and pays that bill each and every month.

In my 12 years as the director of the library, we have not asked for, nor received, any special financial considerations from the BPA. The Blanchester Public Library, in fact, has no formal relationship with the Village of Blanchester.

Just a bit of history: The library was formed as a school district library, which means that the Blanchester Local Schools serves as its formal taxing authority. The Board of the Blanchester Local Schools also approves the seven members who serve on the library’s board of trustees and govern the library. (I report to the library board.) The library’s official service area follows the boundaries of the Blanchester Local Schools, although we will provide a free library card to any resident of Ohio who requests one.

The main reason for this is that the majority of the library’s funding comes from the state’s Public Library Fund (PLF). The PLF basically rises and falls along with the state’s tax revenue but currently provides a little over 68 percent of the library’s annual budget.

Another 30 percent comes from a 2-mill, continuing local property tax levy approved by voters in 2010. The remaining 2 percent of the library’s approximately $650,000 budget comes from fines, fees and donations.

The library does not receive any money from the village or schools.

And the library pays its utility bills just like everyone else – monthly gas and telephone bills along with the BPA bill.

If you have any questions or concerns about the library, please don’t hesitate to contact me at or 937-783-3585.

And if you want to check your facts, the library is a great place to do it – along with the many other materials and services we provide.

Chris Owens


Blanchester Public Library