dynamic library question

This is not gnome-devel related, per se, but here goes....

I've discovered several gtk functions that declare static variables
inside routines.  My question is, since gtk is a dynamically shared
library, how are these variables handled?  It seems like all programs
would share the variables value (maybe this is the intent?)  Obviously a
staticly linked program would get it's own copy if it was intentional,

Just wondering how this was handled...

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