Virtually everything imaginable has gone up in price since 2009, but one thing that hasn't is the cost of keeping Sunbury's Community Library in business.

The library is funded locally by a 1-mill property-tax levy, for which homeowners in the Big Walnut Local School District pay about $31 annually per $100,000 of appraised property value.

Library director Chauncey Montgomery said that's the same rate at which the levy was collected in 2009.

That rate will continue to be in effect if voters renew the library's levy in the Nov. 5 election, and tax bills will not increase if the levy is approved, he said.

It's the library's only levy and it represents 51% of the budget, with most of the remainder coming from state revenue for public libraries, Montgomery said.

"The levy is vital for our operation," he said.

The library also is vital to the Sunbury area, if its popularity and use are any indication.

Patrons make about 162,000 library visits in a typical year, Montgomery said.

In 2018, 21,000 adults and children attended programs at the library -- an 8% increase over 2017.

About 229,000 books and other items were borrowed from the library in 2018; that's an increase of about 6% over 2017.

In addition to regular library programs, ranging from summer and winter reading programs, the library has hosted special events such as visiting programs from COSI and a penguin from Newport Aquarium in Newport, Kentucky.

The library, 44 Burrer Drive, also provides space to community groups such as crochet and book clubs.

Entire classes of Big Walnut students routinely visit the library during the school year, and likewise, library personnel visit school buildings on a regular basis, Montgomery said.

The library partners with AARP to provide income-tax preparation for seniors and lower-income taxpayers.

Many people don't realize the library staff includes notaries public, Montgomery said; they're available for more hours a day than those found at banks, he said.

The library is a one-stop location for passport applications as well, he said.

It has expanded its meeting space available for public use, Montgomery said, and has three rooms available for group study or conference room use.

The library also has a drive-thru and 24/7 pickup lockers.

For more on the library levy and finances, visit www.loveourlibrary.org.

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