Secretary of Education Dr. Khalid N. Mumin and staff from the Office of Commonwealth Libraries visited Fleetwood Area Public Library Monday to highlight the $70 million appropriated in this year’s budget to support public libraries across Pennsylvania.
The 2023-24 budget invests $70 million into the Public Library Subsidy, which goes directly to local libraries, library systems, and 29 district library centers. It also provides every Pennsylvanian access to statewide 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. This is a significant investment in libraries that will increase opportunity in our communities.
“All year long, Pennsylvania’s libraries provide helpful services to patrons, giving more than just the gift of knowledge to the communities they serve,” said Secretary Mumin. “From cultural activities to internet access, career exploration and health care services and so much more, libraries serve a critical function in society; and our continued investments have a profound impact on all 12.7 million Pennsylvania residents.”
In addition to investing in public libraries, the 2023-24 budget makes historic investments in education for students across Pennsylvania, including $567 million in basic education funding – the largest increase to the Basic Education Funding Formula in Pennsylvania history. The budget also guarantees universal free breakfast for Pennsylvania students. Universal free breakfast ensures that students have access to a healthy, nutritious meal to start the school day and eliminates the stigma associated with free and reduced-price breakfast that may deter eligible students from participating.
During the visit, PDE staff created holiday arts and crafts with library patrons and celebrated the ways libraries embody the spirit of giving for their communities.
The Holiday Themed Art Class for Adults runs from November 6 to December 4, and gives attendees the opportunity to express their creativity and tell 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. “We’re quite busy for our size and are proud of what we are able to offer to the community.”
The Fleetwood Area Public Library serves the Fleetwood Borough, Maidencreek Township, and Richmond Township communities. Its mission is to drive the Fleetwood Area forward by providing equal access to quality resources and technology, encouraging an early and lifelong commitment to learning, and strengthening the community by providing and connecting patrons to quality programs and services.