Pennsylvania Library Legislation

Pennsylvania State School Librarian Legislation Update – July 2022

PSLA Opposes Senate Bill 1277

The Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA) opposes SB 1277. PSLA supports and advocates for parental involvement in their student’s reading journey and their use of school libraries. There are multiple existing policies and procedures in place allowing for the review and reconsideration of instructional material, including materials available through a school library. There are additional policies addressing the process of selecting materials for inclusion in a school library collection. The proposed bill is not only redundant, but provides no guidance on defining “sexually explicit”.

When a public school employs a certified school librarian, this trained professional is able to carefully select school library resources based on school board approved policies to meet the academic and literacy needs of students as well as support the procedures for parents to request reconsideration of materials.

School librarians encourage open conversations with parents in the identification of appropriate reading choices for their children, respecting parents’ beliefs and the unique learning needs, interests, maturity and reading comprehension levels of each child.

Certified school librarians are able to build these transparent and open relationships with families as they follow the reading journey of students throughout their time at each school level. School librarians are able to guide students to find library books and resources consistent with family values.

PSLA strongly believes that SB 1277 will diminish local control of public school boards, burden local schools with procedures that are unnecessary and costly, and create an atmosphere that will inhibit students' intellectual freedom and first amendment rights.

(Adopted, Board of Directors, June 27, 2022)



HB 1168 - “One Certified Librarian per Public School” 

The House Bill 1168 has been introduced by prime sponsors -- Rep. Mark Longietti (D-serving part of Mercer county) and Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R- serving parts of Lehigh and Berks counties). Now is the time to ask your PA State Representatives to sign the co-sponsorship memorandum. 

  • List of current co-sponsors can be found here

  • The Co-Sponsorship memo can be found here.



Co-sponsors are being sought to show support for HB 1168 now in the House Education Committee. Contact your PA House Representative to encourage them to sign the co-sponsorship memoranda. Refer to the bill as HB 1168 the “One Certified Librarian per Public School” bill.

To find out who your state legislators are and contact info, type your full address here.

Remember, you may have two state legislators who you can contact—one for your home address, and possibly different ones for your work address. Check both addresses and contact all Representatives!

The Ask: Please sign the co-sponsorship memoranda for HB 1168 being circulated by Rep. Longietti and Rep. Mackenzie.


Possible Talking Points:

  • All students deserve to have access to quality resources and instruction that a school library program and certified librarian provides, not just those who live in a wealthy zip code.

  • School librarians teach students to evaluate information that they read, see or view, learning how to distinguish reliable and trustworthy information from misinformation and fake news.

  • Other types of libraries are required to have certified librarians in Pennsylvania, but not our public schools.

  • Please add a personal story of how your school library program made a difference with a student!


Resources to Help Advocate for the Legislation

All these resources can be found at our LibGuide.

  • Talking Points on the Elimination of School Librarians (one-page handout to give PA State Representatives)

  • Detailed Talking Points with Supporting Research (background for librarians) 

  • Strategies for Contacting Your State Legislators (updated May 2021)

  • Template for Preparing a Conversation with your Legislator, 2021-2022

  • Legislator Profile Form (To help you learn about the legislators who represent your home and school addresses)


 Resources to Help Advocate for the Legislation (.pdfs)


Pennsylvania Candidates Support School Libraries - November 1, 2020

  • Reported by Debra E. Kachel, Co-Chair of the PSLA Advocacy Committee
  • The Pennsylvania School Librarians Association, with the assistance of EveryLibrary, recently conducted a survey of candidates running for seats in the Pennsylvania General Assembly to gage their support for school library programs. Overwhelmingly, candidates expressed their support of school libraries and certified librarians, including funding and regulations for all schools to have school librarians for K-12 students. Almost 20% of candidates responded (N= 64) as of November 1, 2020. 

Read the FULL REPORT HERE for names and responses!