Pennsylvania Invests $70 Million in Public Libraries, Boosting Community Opportunities

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FLEETWOOD, PA — Secretary of Education Dr. Khalid N. Mumin, along with staff from the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, recently visited Fleetwood Area Public Library in Berks County. The visit aimed to highlight the significant $70 million allocated in the 2023-24 budget to support public libraries across Pennsylvania.

This investment is part of the Public Library Subsidy and will be distributed directly to local libraries, library systems, and 29 district library centers. It also ensures statewide access for all Pennsylvanians to resource center libraries at the State Library of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the libraries of The Pennsylvania State University.

“Libraries serve a critical function in society; our continued investments have a profound impact on all 12.7 million Pennsylvania residents,” said Secretary Mumin. He further emphasized the wide range of services that libraries provide, from cultural activities to internet access and career exploration.

In addition to supporting public libraries, the 2023-24 budget includes historic investments in education for students across Pennsylvania. This includes $567 million in basic education funding, marking the largest increase to the Basic Education Funding Formula in Pennsylvania history. Furthermore, the budget guarantees universal free breakfast for all Pennsylvania students, ensuring access to a healthy start to their school day.

During their visit, the Department of Education staff engaged with library patrons in holiday arts and crafts activities, celebrating the many ways libraries contribute to their communities. One such initiative is the Holiday Themed Art Class for Adults, running from November 6 to December 4, which encourages attendees to express their creativity and share community stories.

“The Fleetwood Area Public Library is a great place. We are always looking to fulfill the needs of our community in an impactful way via our programs, services, and community connections,” said Christine Brown, Library Director.

Serving the Fleetwood Borough, Maidencreek Township, and Richmond Township communities, the Fleetwood Area Public Library aims to help drive the area forward by providing equal access to quality resources and technology, encouraging lifelong learning, and strengthening the community through quality programs and services.

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