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Gov. Wolf proposes budget - no increase for public library subsidy

Posted By Christi Buker, Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Members of the Pennsylvania Library Association,

Today Governor Wolf shared his proposed 2020-2021 budget.   Here are the numbers:

Budget line


2019-2020 budget


Governor’s proposed 2020-2021 budget


Public Library Subsidy




Library services for visually impaired & disabled




Library access (Power Library, IDS, statewide catalog)




State Library, Office of Commonwealth Libraries



$155,000 (6.8%)


Like last year, the Governor did not propose an increase.  However, we worked hard to communicate with members of the House and Senate on the importance of libraries and librarians in their communities.  Thankfully, our message was heard, and with leadership from key members like Representative Stan Saylor, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, we did secure a $5 million (9.18%) increase in the public library subsidy line!

So, we will need to work hard again this year!  This is a team effort – and I hope that you, your fellow library workers, friends’ groups, board members, and community are ready. 

For now, continue to invite your elected officials to your library – let them see in-person the awesome work you are doing.  Be sure to use the words “and/but” so that you highlight there is a NEED for the restoration of operational funds.  For example, “our library does amazing early learning programs, but we are at capacity for the number of children who can attend.  If we had more state funding, then we wouldn’t have to turn children away from valuable learning programs . . . “ You can also continue to document stories and data about how you support your community.

Our advocacy work is directly supported by your membership dues, and institutional dues.  If you know someone who isn’t a member, please be sure to let them know that their membership matters at times like this!  The Legislative Committee of the PA Library Association will be meeting in a few weeks, and we will be in touch as we roll out the messaging and strategy to get more money for libraries!


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

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