With the budget cut to the bone and demand from customers on the rise, the Columbus Metropolitan Library system will turn to voters for more money on Nov 2.

With the budget cut to the bone and demand from customers on the rise, the Columbus Metropolitan Library system will turn to voters for more money on Nov 2.

The library is seeking support of Issue 4, a 2.8-mill property-tax levy that will appear on the general election ballot. The measure would replace a 2.2-mill levy set to expire at the end of the year. It would restore the system's annual estimated budget to about $58-million, which includes some anticipated state funding.

The levy would cost Franklin County homeowners $86 a year for every $100,000 of assessed property value, which is $63 more per year than collected by the expiring levy.

The countywide levy will not appear on ballots of voters who live in other library districts such as Bexley, Grandview, Pickerington, Southwest (Grove City area) Upper Arlington, Westerville and Worthington.

Library officials have lamented state funding levels being cut to mid-1990s levels. In response, the library has made multiple cost-cutting moves, including laying off 184 people since 2003, forcing mandatory pay cuts for salaried staff in 2009 and delaying maintenance projects.

Yet, demand for services has gone up, especially during the recession, officials have said.

Supporters have been working in overdrive to help sell the levy, said library spokeswoman Kim Snell.

"Volunteers have been knocking on doors, delivering yard signs and making phone calls to potential voters to make sure they know about Issue 4 and to help garner support for the library," she said. "The response they are getting is very positive. Our community definitely appreciates the services and programs we provide and they seem to understand what could be lost if this levy fails."