Contact Name
Ms. Susan Banks, MLIS
Contact Title
Deputy Secretary and State Librarian
State Library Address

Pennsylvania Office of Commonwealth Libraries
333 Market Street
Harrisburg, PA 17126
United States

Contact Email Address
Grants to State Programs

The Grants to States Program

The Grants to States Program is the largest grant program run by IMLS; it provides funds to State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAAs) using a population-based formula set by the law. SLAAs determine goals and objectives for the funds in their statutorily required five-year plan (see below). For more information, see the Grants to States program overview.

    YearAllotment Value
    2020 $5,668,980.00
    2021 $5,668,793.00
    2022 $5,703,751.00
    2023 $5,953,942.00
    2024 $5,891,819.00
    5 Year Plan Text

    Each state creates a 5-year plan for its programs to strengthen the efficiency, reach, and effectiveness of library services. View all states' plans.

    5 year plan
    Attachment Size
    pennsylvania5yearplan.pdf 1022.85 KB
    5 Year Evaluation Text

    At the end of a 5-year period, each state reports their results in achieving goals and objectives projected in their 5-Year Plan. View all states' evaluations.

    5 year evaluation
    Attachment Size
    pennsylvania5yearevaluation.pdf 6.49 MB
    Susan Banks, Acting Deputy Secretary and Commissioner for Libraries, Pennsylvania Office of Commonwealth Libraries

    “Equity is built into the very nature of libraries and library service. We share – with the intention of restoring the balance between the haves and have-nots. Libraries are not a boutique service. Our goal in PA is to establish equitable and excellent library services for every Pennsylvanian – and restore access to resources to those who have been systematically disadvantaged in so many ways, for so long.”

    -- Susan Banks, Deputy Secretary and Commissioner for Libraries, Pennsylvania Office of Commonwealth Libraries

    Project Examples

    POWER Library logo

    POWER Library 
    This statewide project provided easy access to a shared collection of online resources that impacted patrons of all ages. Schools and libraries count on the POWER Library collection to provide a solid base of resources that are accessible from anywhere. Services included a statewide online catalog and interlibrary loan management system, e-resources, access to digitized historical materials, a chat-with-a-librarian service, and technical support to libraries that offer POWER Library services to the public. During this project period, POWER Library’s e-resources were searched over 42 million times, chat librarians completed 34,704 reference transactions, and libraries across the state saved nearly $1.6 million by borrowing materials via interlibrary loan instead of purchasing their own materials. 
    IMLS Funds: $559,500 

    Leadership and Training of Library Workforce 
    Pennsylvania’s Office of Commonwealth Libraries provided training and resources for library directors, trustees, volunteers, and staff. Reflective of evaluations and feedback from the field, the various training opportunities responded to the emergent needs of public libraries of all sizes and included a package of on-demand tutorials. Statewide library leaders developed skills related to equitable library services, which ultimately benefits every resident of the Commonwealth. During this grant period, the Office of Commonwealth Libraries offered a seven-month well-being series to their own consultants in the field as well as mini grants for libraries to arrange professional training targeted to their needs.
    IMLS Funds: $554,717.54 

    Toward Gigabit Libraries in Pennsylvania webinar

    Toward Gigabit Libraries in Pennsylvania 
    Pennsylvania libraries, especially in rural areas, are often under-resourced and unable to take advantage of full broadband internet capabilities to serve their patrons and communities. The Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER) supported these libraries in relationship to broadband networking and infrastructure. They surveyed Pennsylvania public libraries about connectivity needs during COVID-19 closures, conducted onsite library network assessments, and provided virtual training for public libraries. After participating in these trainings, participants were better equipped to improve their library broadband connectivity and network-based services and increase awareness of broadband resources in their communities. 
    IMLS Funds: $111,618

    Review recent Grants to States projects from this state library in the State Program Report database.

    Search the Awarded Grants Database for additional details about awards in this state or view the State Details Dashboard.

    Five-Year Plan Highlights

    Goal 1: Statewide Infrastructure - Provide support and services through sustainable structures to ensure equity of access to library resources for all Pennsylvanians, regardless of economy or geography.

    • Projects include:
      • Service structure evolution for library resource sharing 
      • Digital library support
      • Library services for the print disabled 
      • Preservation and disaster preparedness
      • Resources and services that promote environmental sustainability 

    Goal 2: Libraries as Community Catalyst - Enable and encourage every library to understand and serve the needs of their communities through deep engagement, effective partnerships, and strategic resource sharing. 

    • Projects include:
      • Library empowerment through partnerships and community engagement 
      • User-focused service design for local libraries 
      • Local implementation of Office of Commonwealth Libraries-designed programs 
      • Strengthened governance and leadership for local libraries 

    Goal 3: Libraries Integral to the Lifelong Educational Ecosystem - Leverage the responsibilities libraries share with educational partners to create a seamless and supportive fabric of learning. 

    • Projects include:
      • Development of a more diverse librarian pipeline 
      • Library practitioner communities of practice 
      • Literacy leadership in libraries
      • Professional development for the library workforce 

    IMLS Data Collection

    State Library Administrative Agency Survey
    The State Library Administrative Agency Survey (SLAA) provides descriptive data about state library agencies for all fifty states and the District of Columbia. To interact with the latest data, please visit the SLAA Survey Comparison Tool

    Public Libraries Survey
    The Public Libraries Survey (PLS) provides national descriptive data on the status of public libraries in the United States and its territories. Explore state profiles representing more than 9,000 public library systems and over 17,000 public library outlets.