A majority of local voters think the Columbus Metropolitan Library system is worth the money -- even a little extra.

A majority of local voters think the Columbus Metropolitan Library system is worth the money -- even a little extra.

Franklin County voters approved Issue 4, a 2.8-mill property-tax levy that will raise roughly $56-million per year for the main library and 20 branches.

With 588 of 619 precincts reporting, the issue was approved 156,679 to 82,293 votes.

Patrick Losinski, executive director of the library, said the win was satisfying. He credits a good ground game, with about 180 volunteers canvassing the city, manning phone banks and speaking to any community or business group that would listen.

"We really tried to get the word out to talk about the service our library was providing," Losinksi said. "The success of the campaign is evident in the results we see tonight."

The levy, which replaces a 2.2-mill levy that expires at the end of the year, will cost the owner of a $100,000 home $86 per year.

While the economy has been down, the demand for services has gone up. Library officials reminded voters state funding levels were being cut to mid-1990s levels. In response, the library has made multiple cost-cutting moves, cutting 184 positions since 2003, forcing mandatory pay cuts for salaried staff in 2009 and delaying maintenance projects.

Kim Snell, a spokeswoman for the library, said the plan is to restore branch hours beginning in January. The library also will bring back Sunday hours at many branches, Snell said. The board of trustees will meet in December to decide on personnel matters.

"We're excited to serve the people in the community once again with longer hours," she said.