The PA Senate Approves Study Designed to Modernize Pennsylvania's 50-Year-Old Library Code

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania will soon begin work on a comprehensive review of the 50-year-old law governing library services in the state.

The Senate recently approved a resolution introduced by Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-9) calling for the study, which is due by November 30.

"As we continue to face an extended recession, more and more people are visiting their local libraries," said Senator Pileggi. "Our public libraries are an incredible resource for people looking for a job, for students doing school work, and for families looking for inexpensive entertainment options."

Pennsylvania's Library Code, which governs the operation of public libraries in the state, was enacted in 1961. The study called for in Senate Resolution 343 is designed to find ways in which the law should be modernized, making it easier for libraries to meet the expectations and demands of their visitors.

According to the Pennsylvania Library Association, visits to the state's 474 public libraries were up 11 percent in 2009 compared to 2008, circulation of books and videos was up 9 percent, and in-library computer use was up 19 percent.

The Pennsylvania Library Association supports Senator Pileggi's call for a review of the Library Code, said Glenn R. Miller, the association's executive director.

Additional information about state issues is available at Senator Pileggi's web site,, and on his Facebook page, More information about the Pennsylvania Library Association is available at


Longevity At Work

A Longevity Record?
{From the American Library Association}

Q. I was just reading Theodore Jones’ “Carnegie Libraries Across America” (Wiley, 1997) and saw a reference to Gladys Powers who served as the librarian in the Shelbina Carnegie Public Library for 67 years (from 1921 to 1988). Is that a record?

A. It looks like it might be. Such records simply are not kept. By going through library histories retrieved with a Google search, we were able to identify several long-term library directors. But this is hardly a definitive or complete search … just anecdotal. It is likely there are many more librarians who have served in their libraries for periods of time like these, some perhaps longer.

Congratulations to:
Lucedale-George County Public Library (Mississippi)
Alma Lumpkin, 1939-1971 (32 years)
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Ralph Munn, 1928-1964 (36 years)
Middleborough Public Library (Massachusetts)
Mertie A. Witbeck, 1925–1963 (38 years)
Dover Public Library (New Hampshire)
Caroline Garland, 1883-1933 (50 years)
Lincoln County Libraries, Libby, Montana
Inez Ratekin Herrig -1929-1990 (62 years)


A majority of the country’s library systems are having to make cuts, according to the American Library Association, and many of those cutbacks are quite devastating, even if the headline numbers aren’t as large. {As an FYI, your Haverford Township Free Library has already been informed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that cuts will amount to 11% going into budget year 2011. Locally, the public budget process in Haverford Township will soon begin.} As government deals with the slow recovery, the budgets—some of them adopted this summer for the 2011 fiscal year—have placed large chunks of library funding on the block. The article indicates that for desperate officials, it’s a soft target, but librarians warn that cutting hours and positions might actually slow down the pace of recovery.

Check out this interesting piece: Public libraries: Victims of the recession



From The Director: 2010

The contributions of our public library to our community neighborhoods are too numerous to list. Because HTFL is such an established institution, people often take for granted that we will always exist in the manner so accustomed. Here in Haverford Township as in most communities, the library agency must compete with many other essential community services for funding. Although the library does collect a percentage of revenue from fundraising activity, private sources, or grants, these revenue streams can never (nor should they) fully support the many functions performed by HTFL. Despite the fact that we are involved in a challenging economic period of time and as such we are set to continue to act in a proactively fiscally responsible manner as we meet our fundamental budget, we will continue to strive to provide “impact” to the following arenas of service as exemplified by the following:
The public library is often called “the people’s university” because it is available to all. Our school children depend on our public library for books and materials that supplement those of the educational community. College and Adult learners use our services as we now offer specialized online research tools.
The public library contains resources to answer most questions. Information staff help customers find answers by showing them how to use resources or how to narrow and refine their computer searches to get authoritative information.
Lifelong Learning
We are essential for the development of language skills and critical thinking. Resources cost money and it is the goal to provide the community with as extensive and varied collection as is possible given building and budgetary limitations. The library provides programs that foster a love of learning from an early age. People of all ages can pursue self-directed learning. Staffers can mentor individuals plan programs of study.
From popular movies to “must reads” to cyber sources, HTFL offers a wealth of opportunities for recreational reading, viewing, and listening. School-age children often rely on the public library for their leisure reading, because the collections and services of school libraries are by definition curriculum-oriented. Public library offerings include programs, author visits, movies, and other opportunities.
The Library as Gathering Place
People use the library as a neutral place to gather—for socializing, networking, or working together on projects or community issues. The library has sponsored discussions on issues of interest. People involved in business meet clients. Tutors meet students or adult learners. Community groups use meeting rooms. Book and writing groups come together.
New service responses will be chosen by the library to meet specific community needs in the months to come as the library continues to evolve. The library has chosen to focus on services to entrepreneurs, job hunting, economic development and to be active in teaching technology skills. We also absolutely continue to devote a share of resources to helping people learn to find, evaluate, and select valid and accurate information through an evolving technology scene both in-house and remotely.
Your insights, suggestions and questions are sought. E-mail me: Richard Thau at

, phone 610.446.3082, access our library social media sites or stop by the facility and say hello.

The Traditional Book

--Full article link from NPR

People have been talking about "the death of the book" for more than a decade. But recent events suggest the end may be imminent for bound-paper books as we have known them for more than 500 years. Hardbound and paperback books may never totally disappear, but they could become scary scarce — like eight-track tapes, typewriters and wooden tennis rackets.