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EXTON – Governor Tom Corbett today signed legislation introduced by Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-9) to modernize Pennsylvania’s 51-year-old Library Code, the law which governs how public libraries operate in the state.
The ceremonial bill signing took place at the Chester County Library and District Center with dozens of librarians and library supporters looking on.
“I introduced this legislation to modernize Pennsylvania’s Library Code because I believe in public libraries,” Senator Pileggi said. “I believe the mission of public libraries is more critical than ever.”
Senate Bill 1225 dramatically updates the Library Code, freeing libraries from the burden of unnecessary and outdated requirements. The 1961 law, for example, requires every district library center to have a minimum of 300 16-millimeter films in its collection.
“When it was enacted in 1961, Pennsylvania’s original Library Code was a national model,” Senator Pileggi said. “Over time, it grew to be antiquated. Thanks to the efforts of many dedicated librarians and library supporters, our law will once again be among the best in the nation.”
The new law will also:
Provide more flexibility in how the state enforces standards when libraries have difficulty meeting certain local funding levels;
Require a complete review of all regulations governing libraries;
Establish continuing education requirements for librarians; and
Include more librarians on the Advisory Council on Library Development.
Senate Bill 1225 passed the Senate and the House unanimously before being presented to Governor Corbett for his signature.
Senator Pileggi specifically recognized the efforts of Senator Jeff Piccola (R-15), chairman of the Senate Education Committee; Senator Lloyd Smucker (R-13), who was a vocal supporter of the legislation; and former Senator Earl Baker, who serves on the Board of Trustees for the Chester County Library System and first recommended that Senator Pileggi tackle this issue.
He also thanked LaTanya Burno, director of his hometown library in Chester, the J. Lewis Crozer Library; and Glenn Miller, executive director of the Pennsylvania Library Association; in addition to all of the individuals and organizations who shared their experiences with the current Library Code and its deficiencies and suggested ways to improve it at public hearings and in private discussions.
More information about state issues is available at Senator Pileggi’s web site, www.SenatorPileggi.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SenatorPileggi, or on Twitter at twitter.com/SenatorPileggi.