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Top tags: budget  federal funding  Keystone Grant 

Keystone Fund is 25! Please thank legislators

Posted By Christi Buker, Wednesday, April 18, 2018

2018 is the 25th year of the Keystone Fund.  Grants from the Keystone Fund are the only state funds designated toward planning, acquisition, development, and rehabilitation of libraries.  The grants are made to municipalities and must be matched locally. 

Last year, the PA Legislature threatened to pull money from various funds to cover revenue shortfalls in the budget.  Thankfully, the Keystone Fund was not impacted this time.  Library use of the Keystone Fund is less than 4% of the total fund, but as you know, it is an essential part of libraries being able to complete critical improvements – roof replacement, wheelchair lifts, elevators, and HVAC systems to name a few.

Please take a few minutes to look at the attached list of projects that have been funded with Keystone support over the last 25 years.  If your library received support, we ask that you send a letter to your state senators and representatives to acknowledge the importance of Keystone Funds.  Timing is important – with the primary elections happening May 15, the state budget under consideration - your letter can make a difference!

A new round of Keystone grant applications has just opened -   Let’s make sure our legislators know how much we need, value and utilize the Keystone Fund!

With appreciation,


PS – If it’s not too much to ask, I’d appreciate being notified if you do send a letter or receiving a copy of the letter and any response you might receive from the legislators.


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

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Tags:  Keystone Grant 

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Federal support for PA Libraries - Deadline TODAY

Posted By Christi Buker, Wednesday, March 14, 2018

We need to get signatures from House Members to preserve more annual federal funding for libraries.

The NEW deadline is Wednesday (TODAY) for House members to sign letters showing their support for library funding. I’ve attached copies of the two letters (at the bottom of this post) that are circulating in the House right now.

At the moment, we are missing signatures from most of the Pennsylvania delegation, which will bring our numbers down compared to last year. With the Administration again proposing to eliminate these library programs, it is important to maintain as much support as possible in Congress.

Who to Call

Please call these offices today, if you can, or you can ask library supporters in these districts to call (or both!). But time is of the essence. Here’s the breakdown by district. I’ve noted if they’re on Ed & Workforce; or Appropriations (which means they probably won’t sign); and if they’ve signed in previous years.


1 – Robert Brady – D (signed IAL last year)

2 – Dwight Evans – D (written confirmation that he’s signing both again this year – but still feel free to hit him if you have time/resources)

3 – Mike Kelly – R

4 – Scott Perry – R

5 – Glenn Thompson – R  (on Ed & Workforce)

6 – Ryan Costello – R

7 – Patrick Meehan – R

8 – Brian Fitzpatrick – R

9 – Bill Shuster – R

10 – Tom Marino – R

11 – Lou Barletta – R (on Ed & Workforce)

12 – Keith Rothfus – R

13 – Brendan Boyle – D

14 – Mike Doyle – D

15 – Charlie Dent – R (appropriator, won’t sign)

16 – Lloyd Smucker – R (on Ed & Workforce)

17 – Matt Cartwright – D (appropriator, won’t sign)

18 – Vacant


What to Say

  • Ask for the staffer who handles education. (Leave a message if you don’t reach them.)
  • Give your name and say you are calling on behalf of the your state’s library association (or the American Library Association). If you are a constituent, say so.
  • Ask for the Representative’s support to protect library programs that the Administration has proposed to eliminate.
  • Ask them to sign two Dear Appropriator letters.* (Attached.)
  • 1: The Library Services and Technology Act provides $8 million to Florida’s libraries for programs that support education and employment. Ask them to sign the letter by Representative Grijalva (gree-HALL-vuh).
  • 2: Innovative Approaches to Literacy supports school libraries and helps kids get ready to learn. Ask them to sign the letter by Representative Bernice Johnson.
  • Ask them to sign on by Wednesday (today!).
  • (If they ask for more information, give them my contact, which is below.)
  • Thank them for their support.

 Attached Files:

Tags:  federal funding 

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National Library Legislative Day & National Library Week

Posted By Christi Buker, Thursday, March 1, 2018
Updated: Thursday, March 1, 2018

National Library Legislative Day – May 7-8, 2018

You are invited to join the Pennsylvania delegation in Washington, DC for the National Library Legislative Day (NLLD).  The event is organized by the American Library Association (ALA) and will be held May 7-8, 2018.  The first day includes briefings and speakers on federal legislative topics, and the second day will be Hill visits to our US Representatives and Senators.  Rob Lesher and Karla Trout are the PA delegation organizers and make it easy for YOU to attend and be involved by setting up appointments for us.  Last year we had 23 people in our delegation, and we hope that you will register soon so we have another strong presence!  For more information, please go to

President Trump has again put forth the elimination of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in his proposed 2019 budget, but it is worth reminding ourselves that Congress will be the ones to determine the budget allocations.  Additionally, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to eliminate net neutrality protections which could the limit the speed and control some content that we want to access on the internet.  Our advocacy on May 8 will be critical to keeping IMLS in place and the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding coming to Pennsylvania. 

There will be a lot of steps in the path to getting the federal budget completed.  Resources to help you keep track include ALA’s District Dispatch blog – which will also give you the link to the “Take Action for Libraries” page where you can send emails to your elected officials as well as track updates to federal legislation.

Advocacy includes outreach to elected officials, but don’t forget how important it is to always be proud of your library, and the great work that librarians and library workers do on behalf of your community.  EVERYONE needs to advocate for funding at all levels – federal, state, county, municipal, and yes, your neighbors!

Please join us in Washington, DC, and strength our voice by joining the membership – both individually and as an organization.  Let’s take a stand for libraries!


National Library Week – April 8 -14, 2018

The Pennsylvania Library Association encourages ALL libraries of all types and sizes to celebrate, promote, and advocate for greater awareness of how libraries are community pillars – particularly during National Library Week, April 8-14, 2018.  Volunteers serving on the PR & Marketing Committee have prepared a full media toolkit for you.  With a few easy steps you can use this celebration to also connect with your county commissioners, or your municipal officials, to get proclamations to show their support for your library.   Let’s help others show their support for the great things that libraries do in PA!


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



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Governor's 2018-2019 Budget Proposal

Posted By Christi Buker, Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Governor Wolf presented his proposed budget for 2018-2019 to a joint session of the PA House and Senate yesterday.  Here are the proposed numbers -

Budget line

Governor’s proposed

2018-2019 budget

Change from

2017-2018 budget

Public Library Subsidy


No change

Library services for visually impaired & disabled


No change

Library access

Power Library, IDS (interlibrary loan service), statewide catalog


No change

Office of Commonwealth Libraries


4.4% increase

(2017-18 had a cut of 6.9%)


This is just the beginning.  The House and Senate Appropriations Committees will hold hearings on March 5 and 6 regarding the Department of Education budget lines.  It is possible the Legislature will make changes to these lines, and we will be utilizing the services of Greenlee Partners to help advocate for more resources for libraries.  The process of negotiations for the whole budget and potential adjustments will continue for several months. 

The Legislative Committee of the Pennsylvania Library Association will be meeting next week to plan priorities and activities.  2018 will include a strong push for advocacy and awareness of the great work that libraries and library staffs provide as community pillars.  Please send us your stories – successes and challenges, pictures and quotes, so that we can use these in our conversations with legislators.

Tags:  budget 

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State budget still needs revenue side & advocacy sessions

Posted By Christi Buker, Monday, October 2, 2017

The Legislative Committee of the Pennsylvania Library Association met in July and again last week.  Since the state budget spending plan was approved prior to July 1, we had been hopeful that the related revenue plans to pay for it would be close behind.  Unfortunately, disagreements between the House and the Senate did not make that happen. 

Since increasing the personal income tax is not an option that either body is willing to consider, the plans for generating revenue are much more limited.  The first House version which included utilizing the balances in various funds was voted down by the Senate.  Unfortunately, the lack of a completed budget did not help Pennsylvania’s credit rating, and it was downgraded after September 15.  

The good news is that district library centers did receive their payments prior to September 15.  The other good news is that this week is the first time that both the PA House and Senate will be in session in Harrisburg at the same time in quite a while.  It sounds like they will be very busy at work this week, and we hope to have more to share soon.

In the meantime, please remember that it is budget preparation season for most government entities.  You are encouraged to spend a little time visiting your representatives and their local staff.  Share the good work you are doing, and remember to add the line “and we could do more if we had increased funding” and then elaborate if you need operational funds, capital improvements, or other specific needs. 

There will be two educational sessions at the Annual Conference in Pittsburgh that will cover advocacy.  Be sure not to miss –

                Sunday, October 15, 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm – “The other side of the table: Advocacy at the state and local levels” with Rick Mirabito, Lycoming County Commissioner.

                Monday, October 16, 9:00 am – 10:15 am – “Elected officials are people too!  How PR & Marketing can help your local advocacy and funding.”  The panel of speakers represents a wide range of libraries from small to large, rural to urban. 

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