Why Libraries Matter

Why Libraries Matter

Because libraries transform expectations

Libraries Foster Community

If you’ve ever wondered why libraries matter, just stop by any of our locations. No matter where you are, you will find a vibrant, energetic atmosphere filled with people of all ages and from all walks of life. Libraries are a place where communities can gather, where parents and caregivers can find engaging and educational programs for their children, and where anyone seeking a quiet space can get some work done.

A library is an important cornerstone of any community, and our libraries strive to continually innovate and evolve to best serve the communities around them.

Reality of Library Funding

Myth vs. Reality

There are many misconceptions about public library funding. The most common belief is that public library funding is government’s responsibility. In reality, while government money does help to support local libraries, these dollars are often unstable and vulnerable–and, for most libraries, support a very small portion of the overall budget. Local dollars, not state or federal dollars, make up the majority of budgets for almost all American public libraries.

Despite the reliance on local dollars, many Pennsylvania municipalities and school districts view their allocation to public libraries as a voluntary donation instead of a vital support of the services their community library provides. This attitude results in a relatively low level funding from the local level and a misguided perception that only a small contribution is needed by the library to provide adequate services, which is far from the actual truth.

Another belief about library funding is that the busier the library, the more money it receives. Unfortunately, library funding is not based on use or demand. Most libraries work on annual budgets based mainly on city, county, or property tax allocations. While York County does have a dedicated tax, it accounts for less than one-third of York County Libraries’ operations.

But what about library fines and book sales? Don’t they help?
They absolutely do! Late fees and book sales provide a very modest contribution to libraries and help replace lost materials, but they are not sufficient to support operations or program activities.

Libraries rely on your support. Thank you for thinking of our York County Libraries!

Library Facts

The Library serves over three hundred thousand visitors each year!
In 2021, our 13 libraries served 331,216 visitors.

Library members can access physical and digital materials with their library cards!
York County Libraries is proud to provide its members with access to fiction and nonfiction materials, DVDs, music CDs, language-learning materials, and more–in both physical and digital formats. For more information, check out our What Can I Do? section.

Programming makes up a huge portion of our services!
In 2021, our 13 libraries offered 2295 programs to 63,339 program attendees of all ages! We have programs for everybody: infants, children, seniors, working adults, teens, and families. We love providing programming and are constantly looking for new, innovative program ideas. Check out the What Can I Do? section for more information on age-specific programming.

The Library performs over one million circulations each year!
Our 13 libraries circulated over 1,079,851 items in 2021. People continue to demand books and traditional resources. This is especially true for children’s picture books and adult fiction.

Technology is good for libraries!
York County Libraries embraces and seeks out new technologies. In 2021, York County Libraries enabled over 126,000 wireless connections to the Internet, facilitated over 14,500 sessions of public computer use, and helped its members with the use of their personal computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices through workshops and personal instruction.

Your library card gives you access to online resources through our website! Find eBooks & audiobooks, read newspapers, learn a new language, or discover something new, all from your computer or mobile device. In 2021, our website received nearly 400,000 visits!