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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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National Library Legislative Day - Registration Open

Posted By Christi Buker, Thursday, January 23, 2020
Updated: Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Join hundreds of library advocates for the American Library Association’s 45th National Library Legislative Day in 2020.

Register Now!

Held in Washington, D.C., National Library Legislative Day (NLLD) is a two-day educational event designed to provide attendees the opportunity to learn from policy experts and raise awareness among federal legislators about how and why libraries are vital to communities across America.

Registration is now open. The deadline to register is March 31, 2020, and the event is capped at 400 people. We encourage advocates interested in participating to register early.

This event is May 4-5, 2020 in Washington, DC.  Registration fee is $175.


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


Tags:  advocacy 

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Rep. Stan Saylor receives the 2019 Elected Official Award

Posted By Robin Lesher, Thursday, December 19, 2019





The Pennsylvania Library Association is honored to present the 2019 Elected Official Award to Representative Stan Saylor of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 94th Legislative District, York County.  Winners of Association awards were announced at the 2019 Pennsylvania Library Association conference in Erie PA on October 16th.  The elected official award is given annually to an elected official or officials for exemplary support of library service in Pennsylvania. Representative Saylor was presented with the recognition plaque on November 18, 2019 at the Capitol, Harrisburg, PA.


 Representative Stan Saylor has been a longtime supporter of libraries. In his home of York County, he is actively involved in ensuring that the libraries have what they need from books, informational materials, donations and recognition. Upon appointment as the Chair of the House Appropriations Committee in 2016, the statewide library community learned that Representative Saylor was a friend of libraries.


In 2018, Representative Saylor was frustrated by the flat funding of libraries and suggested that the Pennsylvania Library Association work closely with the Appropriations Committee on behalf of libraries statewide. When the request arrived for recognition of the Libraries Move PA Forward™ Day, he did not hesitate to sponsor the citation. Then, in October of 2018, Representative Saylor spoke at the PA Library Association Conference Legislative Breakfast and publicly committed to work on restoring library funding. 

As Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, he again publicly stated his commitment to library funding during his chairman’s remarks at the close of the Department of Education hearing in March of 2019.  He went even further this time to say that public library funding was one of his top priorities.  This was an empowering and inspiring moment for librarians and library advocates.  Over the course of the state budget cycle, Representative Saylor worked tirelessly including reaching across the aisle and to the Senate to secure an additional $5 million – or 9.18% increase - for the public library subsidy.

“Representative Saylor’s work on behalf of libraries resulted in the first real infusion of funding in public libraries since the economic downturn in 2008” commented Christi Buker, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Library Association.  “Libraries have been struggling.  The 2019-2020 budget is a significant first step in trying to give some relief to overstretched operational budgets of PA libraries.  Representative Saylor deserves recognition for helping to guide that step.”

Representative Saylor’s local library, The York County Library System, was also the first recipient of The Library of the Year Award presented by the Pennsylvania Library Association in 2018 and was an early achiever of PA Forward™ Gold Star Library Certification recognizing its quality library programming and service to the community.


A committee comprised of association members reviews the nominations, submitted in late summer, and selects winners. “It was my honor to serve as the Chair of the 2019 Awards Committee and to be a part of the process of shining the spotlight on library professionals and supporters.” said Carrie Sturgill, Head of Youth Services, Radnor Memorial Library.  “It was incredibly rewarding to read the submissions about individuals such as Rep. Saylor who are sincerely committed to promoting and improving libraries in Pennsylvania.”

Tags:  Elected Official Award 

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Changing Role of Libraries

Posted By Robin Lesher, Thursday, December 19, 2019
Updated: Thursday, December 19, 2019

PSAB December 2019 from Triscari on Vimeo.

A panel of PaLA members and Christi Buker, Executive Director discuss the Changing Role of Libraries.  The panel was sponsored by the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs and will be televised on January 5 at 7:30AM on PCN.

Tags:  PSAB 

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Statement on digital lending models by 2019 Board of Directors

Posted By Christi Buker, Tuesday, December 3, 2019
Updated: Monday, December 2, 2019

PA Library Association Joins Call for Equitable Digital Lending 
for Libraries and Readers

      The Pennsylvania Library Association joins the American Library Association and other state library associations across the country in condemning restrictive digital lending models for libraries and calling for publishers to work together with libraries to provide equitable access to eBooks, digital audiobooks, digital journals and research materials for all library users.
     As a statewide organization dedicated to supporting libraries of all types across the Commonwealth, the Pennsylvania Library Association believes that publishers and libraries are strong partners in fostering a culture of reading and learning. This relationship is beneficial to vendors, publishers, authors and to libraries and their communities. Making materials broadly and equitably available to users of libraries through flexible lending models should be the shared goal of all parties involved. While recent attention has focused on lending terms that disadvantage public libraries, the Association recognizes that publisher restrictions have long been an issue for school and academic libraries as well.
     “This is an issue that impacts all libraries,” says Christi Buker, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Library Association. “Regardless of whether it is an academic or school library serving students, or a public library serving the community, publishers should provide access to materials in a way that benefits everyone.”
     While the Association recognizes that publishing is a business, one size fits all lending models are a poor fit for Pennsylvania’s diverse libraries. By working with libraries and the American Library Association, publishers could develop flexible lending options which enhance service to patrons, drive additional sales for publishers, and expose authors to new audiences through discovery and promotion in libraries.
     “We believe that the goals of libraries and publishers aren’t mutually exclusive,” says Denise Sticha, 2019 Pennsylvania Library Association President. “Better digital lending options for libraries will benefit everyone involved in providing and promoting these resources.”
     The Pennsylvania Library Association encourages members to take action on this issue by continuing the conversation about equitable access with library staff, patrons, and with the vendors and publishers you have relationships with.

This statement was approved by the 2019 Board of Directors, Denise Sticha, President.

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  digital lending  ebooks 

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2019 Pennsylvania Library Associatlon Award Winners

Posted By Robin Lesher, Tuesday, October 22, 2019



Mechanicsburg, PA (October 13, 2019) The Pennsylvania Library Association is hosting its 2019 Conference in Erie Pennsylvania.  The event will be held at the beautiful Bayfront Convention Center from Sunday, October 13 to Wednesday, October 16.


·         Library of the Year Award: This award is given to the Chester County Library.  The recognition honors a library that demonstrates excellence in the following areas: service to the community, advancing staff development and leadership in and support of Association activities such as the Pennsylvania Library Association’s Academy of Leadership Studies (PALS) and the PA Forward initiative. Chester County Library is the second library to receive this honor.  


·         Distinguished Service Award: This award is given annually to one person in recognition of exceptional meritorious service to libraries of the commonwealth. This year’s awardee is David G. Schappert with King’s College-PA. David is a past Pennsylvania Library Association President, member of the Association’s Legislative Committee, as well as the PA Forward Steering Committee and Training Team member.   


·         Certificates of Merit: These are awarded to individuals making outstanding contributions during the last five years in Pennsylvania. This year’s winners are Sheli Pratt-McHugh, University of Scranton-Weinberg Memorial Library; Chris Snyder, Bucks County Free Library; Sylvia Orner, Scranton Public Library; Jennifer Knisely, Altoona Area Public Library; and Kimberly Hrivnak, Allegheny County Library Association.   


·         Elected Official Award: This award may be given annually to an elected official or officials for exemplary support of library service in Pennsylvania. This year, the association was proud to award this deserving honor to  Representative Stan Saylor, Chair Appropriations Committee, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 94th District. Rep. Saylor serves part of York County. 


·         New Librarian Honors Award: Honors a librarian who has been in the profession fewer than six years. It recognizes the originality and inventive ability of a new librarian who devises new and improved methods in library service on a statewide or local level.  The 2019 awardee is Emily Mross with Pennsylvania State University Libraries 


·         Trustee of the Year Award: Presented to a public library trustee in recognition of outstanding leadership and service to library development at the local, system, district and/or state level. This year’s recipient is Chester County Library’s Earl Baker.  


“The Pennsylvania Library Association is able to do what we do thanks to the unwavering efforts of our volunteers and our members,” said Christi Buker, PaLA Executive Director. “These awards are just our small way of shining a light on what all librarians, library staffs and our volunteers do to continue promoting the value libraries bring to communities they serve. We are thankful for their support and engagement and are honored to be able to recognize their efforts. Congratulations to all of our 2019 winners.”


A committee comprised of association members reviews the nominations, submitted in late summer, and selects winners for the listed categories. Awardees are then invited to attend the association’s annual conference where they are recognized among the membership, their peers, representing all library types and sizes from throughout Pennsylvania.  


It was my honor to serve as the Chair of the 2019 PaLA Awards Committee and to be a part of the process of shining the spotlight on so many library professionals and partners who work humbly behind the scenes not for the sake of recognition, but sincerely out of commitment to promoting and improving libraries in Pennsylvania.” Said Carrie Sturgill, Head of Youth Services, Radnor Memorial Library.  “Congratulations to all the award winners and thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination. It was incredibly rewarding to read about the innovative work that is happening all around the Commonwealth. Thank you for sharing your stories, and please keep it up!”


The Association’s MLS or Master of Library Science degree scholarship was also awarded during the afternoon event. Three Pennsylvania Library Association MLS Scholarships are available to Association members who are working toward their Master’s degree in the Library Science field.  Each recipient receives a $1,500 scholarship and is required to complete a minimum of three credits toward the degree during the scholarship year. This year’s scholarship recipients are:


·         Danielle Gowen ~ Library Assistant Youth Services, Haverford Township Free Library

·         Jen Powell ~ Director, Tyrone-Snyder Public Library

·         Lisa Rand ~ Youth Services Coordinator, Boyertown Community Library


For more information about the scholarship, including application information, visit

Founded in 1901, the Pennsylvania Library Association is the state's oldest and most diverse professional library organization serving libraries, library employees, library trustees, and Friends of the Library groups.

PaLA represents more than 1,300 personal, institutional and commercial members affiliated with public, academic, special and school libraries throughout the commonwealth. The association represents the profession in Harrisburg with the state legislature and provides opportunities for professional growth, leadership development and continuing education for librarians.


For a listing of previous award winners, visit For more information about the work of the Pennsylvania Library Association, visit

Tags:  Annual Conference  Certificates of Merit  Distinguished Service Award  Elected Official Award  Erie  Library of the Year Award  New Librarian Award  PaLA Awards  Trustee of the Year Award 

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Annual Conference & Office closing 10/11-18

Posted By Christi Buker, Thursday, October 10, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The 2019 Annual Conference is in Erie!  We hope to see you there!  

Our office will be closing on Friday, October 11 at noon so that we can pack up the cargo van and prepare to head out.  Since all staff will be in Erie, the office will remain closed until Thursday, October 17 when we will open from noon - 4:30 pm to wrap up conference matters.  Then the office will be closed on Friday, October 18.  

During our time in Erie we will have limited ability to respond to email, and appreciate your patience.  If you are at the conference, please stop by the registration desk if you have any urgent matters and need to reach us.  

See you soon!

Christi, Kim, Susan, Rob

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Annual Business Meeting - October 15, 2019

Posted By Christi Buker, Sunday, October 6, 2019

Annual Business Meeting - Tuesday, October 15, 2019

4:00 pm - 5:15 pm, Harrisburg Hilton

All members of the Pennsylvania Library Association are invited to attend the annual business meeting.  The agenda is posted on the membership communications webpage, and will include the presentation of Association Awards, reports from officers, and an address from the incoming 2020 President Michele Legate.

Membership Communications page

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Office Closed September 2 for Labor Day

Posted By Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Friday, August 30, 2019
Updated: Thursday, August 29, 2019
The Pennsylvania Library Association is closed on Monday, September 2 in observance of Labor Day. The office will re-open on Tuesday, September 3 at 8:30 a.m. 

Tags:  Labor Day  Office Closing 

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Request your free WWI: Lessons and Legacies poster exhibition

Posted By Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Monday, August 26, 2019

From the American Library Association Public Programs Office:

"The Smithsonian Institution is offering a free poster exhibition to libraries. Request your posters now!

Posters are available while supplies last. The deadline for requests is Sept. 13, 2019.

The opportunity is available to all types of libraries (e.g., public, school, college/university and special libraries).

Participating libraries will receive, free of charge:
• Collection of eight 18” x 26” posters
• Digital World War I: Lessons and Legacies Educators Guide with discussion questions and resources that align to national teaching standards
• Detailed Poster Handbook and User Guide, with display instructions and promotional resources
Available exclusively to libraries of all types, World War I: Lessons and Legacies explores the history of World War I and its lasting impact on American life.

Sparked by the assassination of one man, the war eventually included the forces of the world's major industrial powers (over 18 countries in all) and led to pivotal changes in America’s culture, technology, economy and role in the world."

For more information, visit…/world-war-i-lessons-and-legacies….


Tags:  ALA  Lessons and Legacies  Poster Exhibition  WWI 

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