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Asking for more $ in 2019-2020 state budget

Posted By Christi Buker, Tuesday, February 19, 2019

State-level advocacy request:

After the Governor’s proposed 2019-2020 state budget presentation, there is a series of Appropriation Committee hearings in both the House and the Senate.  Legislators on the committee will be asking department representatives for clarification, background, justifications, and status updates on programs.  The PA Department of Education will appear before the House on March 4; and the Senate hearing will be on March 5. 

It would be helpful if you could engage with your PA Representatives and Senators by sharing our 2019 ASK document with them. 2019 state budget ask  

This is an intentionally brief and bulleted document that is meant to help start the conversation.  We hope that you will provide some context with your legislators by sharing a little about YOUR library.  You should note impact stories and challenges that you are facing. Advocacy with your elected officials should not be a once a year outreach, but an ongoing engagement with both the elected official and their staff. 

The current budget is $54.47 million.  We are asking for $11.28 million more in 2019 and another $9.57 million in 2020.  Why these amounts?  The total over the two years would restore the public library subsidy to the $75 million level where we were in 2008-2009.  There have been too many articles in the news this past year about libraries considering cutting hours, closing, cutting collections and staff because their budgets are stretched so thin. Investing in libraries is investing in education, workforce development, literacy, life-long learning, and our communities!

Here are a few additional items you may want to reference:

1.       The PennLive Editorial Board posted an article that did an effective job about conveying the history of major cuts prior to the many years of level funding.

2.       The PA Forward video is a 3-minute piece that effectively conveys the history of the initiative, how libraries are focused on literacy, and how that helps communities. (PA Forward’s Story is the title)


On a COUNTY, or local level:

We encourage you to ask your county commissioners for a show of support for the amazing work that libraries are doing.  National Library Week is going to be celebrated April 7-13, 2019.  If you can, see if your commissioners will issue a proclamation to celebrate your library during this week.  A SAMPLE TEMPLATE PROCLAMATION can be found here.  It can be edited to include specifics about your library.  When you are successful, email us a picture to post to our Facebook page.  The goal is to get all 67 counties to recognize libraries!


If you receive a meaningful response (pro or con) from your legislators, we would appreciate hearing from you!  This will help us identify champions or those who need to visit a library!

Thanks for your engagement, and don’t forget to ask your Board of Trustees and Friends’ group to do outreach too!

Need another librarian perspective?  You are welcome to engage with the Legislative Committee and can find their contact info if you login to

Melissa Correll (CRD)
Karen DeAngelo (Southeast)
Deb Dorshimer (PCBL)
Mary Garm (GAC)
Tina Hertel (Lehigh Valley)
Kimberley Hrivnak (Co-Chair, Southwest)
Jennifer Knisely (Juniata Conemaugh)
Leslie LaBarte (Northwest)
Michele Legate (Co-Chair, Northeast)
Rob Lesher (ALA)
Allison Mackley (PSLA)
Barbara McGary (West Branch)
Sara Moran (FLP)
David Schappert (CRD)
Tracy Schwarz (Northeast)
Joseph Sherwood (Southeast)
Alicia Stine (PCBL)
Karla Trout (South Central)
Carrie Turner (Southeast)
Karlyn Voss (CLP)



Christi Buker | Executive Director
Pennsylvania Library Association | 220 Cumberland Parkway, Suite 10 | Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
717.766.7663 – office


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