Legislative Update – Pennsylvania 2017-2018 Budget

Legislative update – Pennsylvania 2017-2018 Budget

2016-17 Budget

Governor’s proposal

House Bill 218

Public Library Subsidy




Library services for visually impaired & disabled




Library access




Office of Commonwealth Libraries





  • The PA House of Representatives version of the state budget was put forward as HB218.  It was approved in the House one day after it was introduced. The Public Library Subsidy remains level in the House budget proposal, as does the funding for Library services for visually impaired & disabled.  However, there is a $461,000 cut in Library Access and $142,000 total cut for Office of Commonwealth Libraries. The Bill information is here.   It is now in the PA Senate for consideration.
  • The Library Access line includes funding for three vital services – POWER Library network of electronic resources, the statewide catalog that includes the holdings of more than 2500 libraries, and Interlibrary Delivery Service (IDS) which makes interlibrary loan possible.
  • The Office of Commonwealth Libraries budget line item provides invaluable direct and indirect support to libraries in staff, training, and materials.

The budget is not a done deal.  Please take a moment to call your senator and let them know, libraries need more funding, not less. Timely outreach on the budget is important. Let them know that investing in libraries is an easy decision and impacts all ages!

Quick talking points:

  • Libraries directly connect with citizens – including hours beyond the regular business day.
  • Libraries provide access to high-priority occupation resources including workforce development online curricula, STEM programming and kits for school-age learning.
  • Early education to a wide majority of birth through pre-k ages and their caregivers, not just targeted populations.
  • Many PA residents do not have in-home internet or computers.  Libraries are reliable and safe access points for everyone.
  • Highly credentialed librarians help patrons find the right answers – not a million hits on Google, and teach the difference between fake news and credible sources.

Legislative update – Federal 2017-2018 Budget

The Legislative Information Committee met on April 3, and is actively preparing for National Library Legislative Day, May 1-2, in Washington, DC.

The Pennsylvania Library Association is working in collaboration with ALA to fight the proposed elimination of Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) which distributes the federal funds through Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) that are vital to all Pennsylvania libraries whether through direct or indirect supportive services, materials, and staff. More action alerts from ALA are expected after the federal break. Visit ALA – Fight for Libraries!

Follow this link for more advocacy information. Thank you for your support at this critical time.