July 29, 2020

Library refunds $53 million of outstanding Public Library Fund notes

Move to save library and taxpayers millions

COLUMBUS—The Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) Board of Trustees refinanced $53 million of the library’s outstanding tax-exempt Public Library Fund (PLF) notes originally issued in 2012. The refinancing, technically termed “refunding”, takes advantage of historically low interest rates and saves the library and taxpayers more than $13 million over the next 18 years.

CML’s high bond rating, made possible by its strong financial position and financial management, contributed to the overall savings. CML is rated Aa2 by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. The refunding was underwritten by a team led by Stifel, with Fifth Third Securities, Huntington Capital Markets, KeyBanc Capital Markets, Loop Capital Markets and PNC Capital Markets serving as co-managers.

CML completed Phase I of its aspirational building program last summer with the opening of its new Dublin Branch. In December 2012, CML issued $92.3 million in PLF Notes to help support all 10 Phase I projects. In 2016 and 2017, CML took advantage of low interest rates and refinanced a portion of the 2012 PLF Notes, saving the library – and taxpayers – nearly $1.5 million over 10 years. This current refinancing will refund the remainder of the Series 2012 PLF Notes.

Columbus Metropolitan Library has served the people of Franklin County, Ohio since 1873. With its Main Library and 22 branches, CML is well known for signature services and programs like Homework Help Centers, Reading Buddies, Summer Reading Challenge and Ready for Kindergarten. The library’s Strategic Plan supports the vision of “a thriving community where wisdom prevails,” which positions CML to respond to areas of urgent need: kids unprepared for kindergarten, third grade reading proficiency, high school graduation, college and career readiness and employment resources.

CML was named a 2011 National Medal Winner by the Institute for Museum and Library Services for work in community service, the highest honor for libraries and museums. CML was also named 2010 Library of the Year by Library Journal.