Thank you to all our many library supporters who emailed, mailed, called, visited and worked to keep state library funding on the minds of our state elected officials. We know you made a difference, we know your voices were heard in Harrisburg. We are grateful for all of your efforts. Thank you!

 

Save Our Libraries Action Tool Kit

Our state’s economy is down.

At the same time more people are coming to libraries because there are no user fees… to use computers and the Internet, to find books and magazines and for free family activities.

But state funding cuts for libraries ranging from 14.3 to 55.3% are being proposed. Because you are a library person we hope you will contact your elected officials with this simple message:


“Please freeze library funding next year at the same amount it is this year.”

Thank you.

Working together we can save our libraries that are vitally important to all the people of Pennsylvania.

Our request is for a freeze in funding of all library programs next year, a request based on two strong and compelling reasons:

1.  Libraries are bursting at the seams serving the unemployed, their families, and others most in need. Don’t cut our funding and force us to close our doors for those people who depend on us the most.

2.  Cutting state funding will cost Pennsylvania badly needed federal funds.  Federal money pays for shared resources and incentives for local projects.  (State budget proposals compared revised 7-20-09) would cost Pennsylvania about $1.9 million in matching federal funds.  S.B. 850 (Senate Republican proposal) will cost even more---about $3.8 million in lost federal funding.

A freeze in funding.  A freeze in funding helps us to keep services available and does not fritter away badly needed federal dollars.  We’re a relatively small piece (about $94 million) in the grand scheme of a $28 billion state budget.

Libraries represent about three-tenths of one percent (0.3%) of the entire state budget.  With strong support from library users, making libraries a top priority a funding freeze can be achieved.

Senate Bill 850 (S.B. 850) cuts deepest of all. Were it to become law, books, DVDs, access to computers, lending between libraries, online databases, programs for kids, and professional staff would be slashed to the bone.  The POWER Library databases that schools and public libraries count on would come to an end.  There would be no more Keystone Funds for library buildings or improvements.  In short, it would be a disaster for Pennsylvanians who need and depend on quality library services.

Now is the time to make our case.  Be respectful, but don’t be bashful and don’t be afraid to show your passion for your local library.  Tell your legislators why your library makes a difference to you and your family.  Short messages are good.  Personal stories are the best. 

If face-to-face isn’t your style, write a note or a letter, or send an e-mail.  If you don’t know your legislator’s name or contact information look it up here :  Contact Information for Pennsylvania State Legislators. If you send an email, please send a copy to:
Governor Ed Rendell
Dr. Gerald Zahorchak, Secretary of Education
Clare Zales, Deputy Secretary of Education

Sending copies of your message to these decision-makers, reinforces the importance of a funding freeze for libraries that will benefit millions of Pennsylvanians who rely on them, especially in these difficult economic conditions.

(Above adapted from a message and used courtesy of Glenn R. Miller, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Library Association)