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The Pennsylvania Public Library Code: Findings and Recommendations
Authorization: 2009 Senate Resolution 343


“It was from my own early experience that I decided there was no use to which money could be applied so productive of good to boys and girls who have good within them and ability and ambition to develop it as the founding of a public library.”

Andrew Carnegie



“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin


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      Senate Resolution No. 343 (Printer’s No. 2041), adopted June 22, 2010, directs the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a review of The Library Code as well as the current administrative and funding structures for Pennsylvania’s public libraries. The resolution also calls for the Commission to make recommendations for changes to and modernization of The Library Code and for an organizational and funding structure for the library system.


      Commission staff reviewed The Library Code and other state laws affecting public libraries, as well as the Department of Education’s regulations governing state-aided libraries found in Title 22 of the Pennsylvania Code. The Library Code has been amended multiple times over the past 49 years, and there are inconsistencies between some of the standards established in the statute and the regulations. A proposed codification of The Library Code is included in this report, which attempts to modernize the style and language of the law, as well as reconcile inconsistent provisions of the regulations and the statute.   Where recommendations for change are included in the proposed codification, they are clearly identified and commented upon.



      The Commission gratefully acknowledges the advice and information received from the following organizations and individuals:  former Senator Earl Baker, M. Clare Zales (Deputy Secretary for Commonwealth Libraries, Office of Commonwealth Libraries, Pennsylvania Department of Education), Alice Lubrecht (Director of the State Library), the Pennsylvania Library Association, the Pennsylvania Citizens for Better Libraries, the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the Allegheny County Library Association and the Administrators of Pennsylvania Public Library Systems.