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State Legislative Update (June 30, 2013)
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New 2013-14 State Budget Adds Funding for POWER Library, State Library

Boosts Reverse a Six-Year Trend of Funding Reductions

A state budget for 2013-14 has passed on-time and, for the first time in six years, some library funding increases—albeit modest ones—are included.

The new state budget will:

  • level-fund the Public Library Subsidy at $53,507,000;
  • level-fund Library Services for the Visually Impaired & Disabled at $2,567,000;
  • increase funding for the State Library by $11,000 up to $1,957,000, (+ 0.5%); and
  • increase funding for Library Access/POWER Library by $250,000 up to $3,071,000 (+8.9%.)

The increase for the Library Access line item is particularly good news since PaLA has been pushing hard for several years to recharge POWER Library after the damage done by budget cuts. This increase will not solve the problem overnight but will help to rebuild a vital online resource for Pennsylvania library users, especially students.

PaLA recognizes that much work remains in the years ahead to improve and modernize library services that the public lost during the Great Recession. This budget outcome represents a bit of progress and, at the very least, successfully bends the funding curve back in a growth direction, even in the face of a slower-than-expected economic recovery.

The outstanding efforts of library advocates helped to secure this increased funding—the first increases of any kind since 2007. Thank you!

Glenn R. Miller
PaLA Executive Director

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