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Top tags: budget  federal funding  Keystone Grant 

House GOP proposed state budget

Posted By Christi Buker, Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Republicans of the PA House of Representatives released their proposed state budget on Monday, April 3.  Here are the  numbers:

 

2016-17 Budget

2017-18

Governor’s proposal

2017-18

House GOP proposal

Public Library Subsidy

 

$54,470,000

$54,470,000

$54,470,000

Library services for visually impaired & disabled

 

$2,567,000

$2,567,000

$2,567,000

Library access

 

$3,071,000

$3,071,000

$2,610,000

Office of Commonwealth Libraries

 

$2,017,000

$2,005,000

$1,875,000

 

The Public Library Subsidy remains level 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 Pennsylvania Library Association is working with Greenlee Partners to determine if there was any reasoning behind these specific cuts.  With the strong push by the legislature to avoid any increase in taxes, this is likely a part of their proposed solution.  The budget is not a done deal.  Please take a moment to call your legislators and let them know, libraries need more funding, not less.

Next week is National Library Week, April 9-15, 2017.  This is a great opportunity to alert your elected officials – and ask them to be supportive of the good work that libraries do in their communities.  This is also a great time to reach out to your federal officials as they will be back in their local offices for a two-week spring break.   If you are able to get a local government proclamation in support of National Library Week, please send us an email, and a picture if you can.  We’d love to highlight the Pennsylvanians care about libraries! 

Other updates:

The Legislative Information Committee met on April 3, and is actively preparing for National Library Legislative Day, May 1-2, in Washington, DC.  Online registration is available until April 7! Register for National Library Legislative Day!

We are 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. ALA - Fight for Libraries!

If you have questions, useful comments, or patron-impact quotes, please let me know – your voice, and your membership matters at the Pennsylvania Library Association.

Christi Buker
Executive Director
Pennsylvania Library Association
717-766-7663
www.palibraries.org
www.paforward.org

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State funding increase for libraries needed now, not later

Posted By Christi Buker, Friday, March 3, 2017

State Funding Increase for Libraries Needed Now, Not Later

Request:

The Pennsylvania Library Association is asking the General Assembly for an increase of $1.94 million to the public library subsidy line in the 2017-2018 Pennsylvania budget.   This would take total state funding for public libraries to $56.41 million - a 3.56% increase over the current funding. 

Justification:

   Pennsylvania public libraries receive the same amount of state aid as they did in 2010.  The current $54.47 million public library subsidy is the result of a $21 million (32%) cut in 2006.  Meanwhile, inflation has reached almost 10% since 2010. 

 

   Libraries directly connect with our citizens – including hours beyond the regular business day – helping them access key government resources such as referrals to local resources for battling the opioid crisis, workforce development online curricula for career building, business tools for employers, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) programming and kits for school-age programming, significant early education learning for a majority of our population, and vital computer and internet access.

   We know that in the face of state departmental cuts and consolidations, public libraries, when properly funded, will be the key to filling the needs of our citizens in a cost-effective way.   A recent example of this was when the PA Department of Health, one of our PA Forward partners, asked us to assist them with their “Stopping the Flu Starts with You” Campaign. The department needed ways to connect residents with resources and information in their home communities. Through our efforts, we identified more than 40 libraries willing to provide space, event organization and staff time to assist the department in getting this very important message out to the our most treasured resources – residents throughout Pennsylvania.

   In addition to the physical resources in the building, and 24/7 accessibility to electronic resources, libraries offer the human connection from professional, credentialed librarians and staff that assist all patrons.  In a day and age where the internet is abuzz with discussions of what is fake versus credible news, our librarians are there, assisting their users with locating reliable, accurate information so they are making informed decisions that may have a long-term impact on their lives.

   Libraries have already made staff cuts since the funding cuts of 2006, put off repairs, and stretched every dollar in their lean budgets.  The need for an increase in library funding is NOW, not later.

Pennsylvania Library Association Fast Facts – Public Libraries:

         There are 456 public libraries with 629 outlets that receive state aid.

         State aid requires minimum standards of open hours, professional librarians who meet rigorous credentialing standards, and significant local investment. 

         Approximately 85% of public libraries in PA are 501(c)(3) organizations that rely on the combination of state and local funding, donations, and fundraising for operational budgets. 

         Libraries offer services to library card holders 24/7 through digital content including eBooks, audiobooks, and databases.  In the latest data from 2014, there were more than 5.29 million registered library users, and more than 66.14 million items circulated in Pennsylvania public libraries.

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Governor's budget is out

Posted By Christi Buker, Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Governor Wolf’s proposed budget for 2017-2018 calls for level funding for the public library subsidy and a $12,000 cut to the State Library.  If you want to see the full details, here is a link.  2017-2018 Governor's proposed budget

We recognize that level funding does not address increasing expenses. However, with the political climate regarding the current fiscal year revenue shortfall, prison closure, furloughs, and government agency mergers, we are relieved that the public library subsidy did not get reduced.

This is the beginning of the budget process.  As the Legislature does their analysis, and makes comments, we will be paying attention and engaging you throughout the process.  We will all have work to do over the next few months.  YOU can help us by gathering success stories – both from the voices of library staff and patrons. 

Your continued membership, with the numbers of professionals and libraries represented, is critical to our success in gaining support for libraries.  With a portion of your membership dues investment, we can hire Greenlee Partners, a professional lobbying firm, to help us gain access to important conversations with the Governor’s staff and legislators.

Please stay connected! 

Sincerely, 
Christi

Christi Buker, Executive Director
Pennsylvania Library Association
717-766-7663

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Preparing for the 2017-18 PA budget

Posted By Christi Buker, Thursday, January 19, 2017

The 2017-2018 PA Legislative Session has begun.  Committee leadership positions have been finalized and the lists of the new House chairs are posted and the Senate chairs and leadership here on our website.  Committee memberships are still being decided. 

Governor Wolf will deliver his budget address to the legislature on Tuesday, February 7.  BEFORE that happens, we sincerely urge you to call your local district offices for your representatives and senators.  Even better than calling would be a quick stop in their office – drop off your current library event calendar, newsletter, a business card, or simply say thank you for agreeing to be a public servant.  If you get to meet the staff people and not your elected official, please remember that these individuals are the behind-the-scenes folks who often have great influence on their bosses.  In fact, many of these staffers serve years longer than the elected officials and are very knowledgeable about the community and political structure.  It is good to spend time and build relationships with the staff!

It is important that you do this now – before the only conversation is about the budget.  There will be plenty of conversation about the budget this spring, but right now, please focus on sharing all the great things your library is doing and provides beyond your book collection! 

The Pennsylvania Library Association Legislative Information Committee met on January 9, and are preparing plans and actions that will advance all libraries and librarians.  It is expected to be a challenging year for getting a budget completed with the current revenue shortfall.  We need the support of as many librarians and library institutions as possible.  If you are a member, we are grateful for your involvement.  If you are not a member, we encourage you to join YOUR professional association that will advocate on your behalf!  Join now at – http://palibraries.org/

Let’s move PA Forward through strong libraries and librarians!

Enthusiastically,

Christi Buker
Executive Director
Pennsylvania Library Association
717-766-7663

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Legislative Committee Update

Posted By Carrie Turner, Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Legislative Committee Update

Greetings!  The Legislative Committee met on November 14 and received reports from Greenlee Partners and Deputy Secretary of Education Glenn Miller.  One concern at the state level is the deficit which is expected to exceed $1B.  There is little agreement about revenue enhancements which puts budget cuts on the table.  It is important for the library community to engage with elected officials, at all levels, emphasizing our important roles in promoting Pre-K literacy and in supporting job seekers to find employment.  Invite a legislator to a library program or for a photo opportunity.  Collect library stories to share.  Local relationships are vital.

Good luck with your efforts.  The Legislative Committee of Pennsylvania Library Association wishes you a safe and happy holiday season.  Our next meeting will be scheduled early in 2017 so that we may continue to work towards sustainable funding for all libraries.

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