HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania libraries are receiving their first funding increase in a decade as part of the state’s 2019-2020 spending plan, according to PA Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33).
The allocation devoted toward libraries is being boosted by nearly 10 percent.
“It is a new chapter for our Pennsylvania libraries, because they have been short-changed over the years,” said Mastriano. “Make no mistake about it, there is still a long way to go. I appreciate the patience our libraries have shown over the years while they waited for the General Assembly to take action. Libraries deserve this financial commitment.”
Originally, Governor Tom Wolf’s budget proposal would have flat-funded libraries. But the $33.9 billion spending plan signed into law bumped the allocation to $59.47 million.
Pennsylvania’s libraries received as much as $75 million in state aid more than a decade ago. However, the library subsidy was slashed under the administration of former Gov. Ed Rendell, and did not recover until recently.
As state aid remained stagnant, libraries endured. In recent years, some libraries reduced staff and postponed repairs, and cut hours as well, according to the PA Library Association.
“Libraries foster an affection for reading, but they offer so much more to our communities,” said Mastriano. “The variety of services and resources that libraries provide under one roof is astounding. They are an important component of the fabric of the 33rd District.”
The Office for Commonwealth Libraries oversees the distribution of library subsidy funds. More information is available on the OCL webpage, including the projected distributions for fiscal year 2019-2020, and distribution information from previous years.
For more information on how libraries are funded, visit www.statelibrary.pa.gov.
CONTACT: Scot Andrew Pitzer; 717.787.4651; firstname.lastname@example.org.