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.

The Source For…

What can you get at the library?

York County Libraries are your source for information, entertainment, and the tools you need to further your success.

Here you can find:

  • Books, movies, CDs and other media- both fiction and nonfiction for members of all ages and interests
  • Magazines and Serial publications
  • Courses on CD
  • Language learning materials
  • Test prep books- including ASVAB, ACT, GED, and SAT
  • A large collection of Spanish language materials- including kid’s books and movies, and fiction and nonfiction materials
  • Public Computers
  • Job search materials and resume help
  • Newspapers

And if we don’t have it, we can get it! Our Interlibrary Loan department is committed to finding! Check the Can’t Find It link for more information on Interlibrary Loan.

The Reality of 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 service, 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!

The Reality of Funding Quiz

Tax Allocations

True or False: Tax allocations fully fund the library

False! Only one third of York County Libraries’ Operations come from tax allocations.

  Libraries don't get items cheap

True or False: Libraries get items for cheap!

False! We get our items wherever we can get the best price, but we are not guaranteed a discount. On average, adult books cost $15 a book, children’s books cost around $12 a book, and audiobooks cost, on average, $50 apiece, with longer or more popular audio books costing much more!

  Your donations make a difference

True or False: My donation makes a difference

Absolutely true! Every little bit helps. Your donations help us close the gap between what we get and what we need. Help support your local library and donate now!

Library Facts

The Library serves over 1 million visitors each year!
In 2016, our 13 libraries served 1,259,143 visitors.

Library members can access physical and digital materials with their library cards!
York County Libraries is proud to provide their 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 2016, our 13 libraries offered 4,657 programs to 110,910 program attendees of all ages! We have programs for everyone from infants to senior, and everyone in between. 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 1 million circulation each year!
Our 13 libraries items circulated over 1.6 million times in 2016.

Your library card gives you access to public computers! Each one of our libraries is proud to offer public computers for our members. In 2016, our computers were used over 247,000 times!