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."
"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.
Pictured, Natalie Lynam, 4 years old, talks with Governor Tom Corbett during the bill signing of a new library code law that will help to modernize the state library code system for the first time in 50 years, as Senator Dominic Pileggi looks on.
Photo provided by PA Internet News Service