Check the Facts about Libraries

Why Libraries Matter

Check the facts about libraries and how they receive their funding…


The 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 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!

Library Facts

The Library serves over 1 million visitors each year!
In 2019, our 13 libraries served 1,087,000 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? & Books & Media sections.

Programming makes up a huge portion of our services!
In 2019, our 13 libraries offered 8,468 programs to 187,945 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 circulations each year!
Our 13 libraries items circulated over 1.5 million times in 2019. 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. York County Libraries enables 2 million wireless connections to the internet per year; provides for more than 377,000 personal computer uses per year; and helps members with the use of their personal computers, devices and other technology 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 2019, our website received 1.8million visits!