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Statewide Library Card Program Frequently Asked Questions

Access PA Stickers and Logo

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​How does my library obtain Access PA logo stickers?

Contact the Bureau of Library Development (ra-libdev@pa.gov or 717-787-8007) to request Access PA logo stickers.  Or, libraries may consider purchasing library cards from their card vendor that have the Access PA logo (PDF) printed on it as part of the card’s graphic image.  If a library does this, remember to purchase a supply of cards that do not have the logo on it.  This will allow the library to issue cards (free or for a fee) to people who are not eligible to participate in the Statewide Library Card Program.

​Instead of using Access PA stickers, can my library have the Access PA logo printed on its cards?

​Yes. Your library may choose to have the Access PA logo (PDF) printed directly on your cards and not use Access PA stickers.  However, if your library decides to purchase cards that have the logo printed on them, be sure to purchase a supply that does not have the logo imprint.  This will allow the library to issue cards (free or for a fee) to people who are not eligible to participate in the Statewide Library Card Program.

​Where can I download a graphic file for the Access PA Logo?

​Should library cards that are issued for a fee have an Access PA logo on them?

​No.  Requiring someone to purchase a card means that the individual was not eligible to participate in the Statewide Library Card Program.  Thus, any public library card that is purchased should not have an Access PA logo on it. 

Statewide Library Card Eligibility

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How do I know if someone is eligible to participate in the Statewide Library Card Program?

​To be eligible to participate, Pennsylvania residents must live in a municipality that that supports a state-aided public library. To determine if someone is eligible, check the list of Municipalities Not Supporting Library Services.  If their municipality is listed, they are not eligible to participate in the program. The list is updated annually.

​How can I find out someone's municipality of residence if I only know their residence address?

To determine someone's municipality of residence, use the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development's municipal statistics "Find Municipality by Address" database:

Municipality and Home Library

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​How is municipality defined in the Statewide Library Card Guidelines?

​As defined by the Pennsylvania Public Library Code, a municipality is a county or locality such as a borough, township, or city. 

​How is home library defined in the Statewide Library Card Guidelines?

A home library is defined as the local library, library system, or county library that is legally responsible for providing library service to its residents. There are three types:

  1. Local Library. A person's home library is that local library designated by the municipality within which the person resides that is legally responsible for extending its library services without charge.
  2. Library System. In a library system, the board of directors of the system shall determine the home library for each municipality it is legally responsible for extending its library services without charge.
  3. County Library. In the case of a county library which is not part of a public library system, it shall be considered as the home library for those residents it serves directly.

Often when libraries share an integrated library system, they will use the term 'home library' to designate an individual's preferred library within the libraries that share the integrated library system.  This is not the way in which the term 'home library' is used in this program.  A home library in the Statewide Library Card Program is defined as the library that is legally responsible for providing library service to its residents.

Library Participation

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​Are all state-aided public libraries required to participate in the Statewide Library Card Program?

​Yes.  The Pennsylvania Public Library Code requires all public libraries that receive Public Library Subsidy funds from the commonwealth to participate in the Statewide Library Card Program (Title 24 PA. C.S.A. § 9334 (c)(1)).

Selling and Buying Library Cards

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​Are state-aided public libraries and District Library Centers required to sell library cards to people who are not eligible to participate in the Statewide Library Card Program?

No.  State-aided public libraries and District Library Centers are not required to sell library cards to people who are not eligible to participate in the Statewide Library Card Program. Libraries and District Library Centers make their own policies about selling or issuing free library cards to people who live in municipalities that do not support public library services.

Note that when a library does issue or sell a library card to people who live in municipalities that do not support public library services, the card should not have an Access PA logo on it.  Paying a fee for a library card does not make an individual eligible to participate in the Statewide Library Card Program.

​Does purchasing a library card from a library or District Library Center that participates in the Statewide Library Card Program make someone eligible to participate in the Statewide Library Card Program?

​No.  Paying a fee for a library card does not make someone eligible to participate in the Statewide Library Card Program.  People may only participate in the program if they live in a municipality that supports a state-aided public library. Purchased library cards should not have Access PA logos on them. 

​May a library or District Library Center issue a free library card to an individual who lives in a municipality that does not provide public library service for its residents?

​Yes. State-aided public libraries and District Library Centers may choose to issue a free library card to someone who lives in a municipality that does not support public library services for its residents.  (Or, the library may choose to charge a fee for a library card; or it may choose to not issue one at all.) 

Note that if a card is issued, it should not have the Access PA logo on it.  As required by the Pennsylvania Public Library Code, people may only participate in the Statewide Library Card Program if they live in a municipality that supports a state-aided public library.

District Library Center Cards

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​Are state-designated District Library Centers required to provide cards to individuals who live in their state-designated district service areas?

​No.  District Library Centers are not required to provide cards (for a fee or for free) to people who live in their state-designated district service area.

Note that when a District Library Center does issue or sell a library card to people who live in municipalities that do not support public library services, the card should not have an Access PA logo on it.  Paying a fee for a library card does not make an individual eligible to participate in the Statewide Library Card Program.

State Library of Pennsylvania Cards

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Does having a State Library of Pennsylvania library card allow individuals to participate in the Statewide Library Card Program?

No.  Having a State Library of Pennsylvania card does not allow someone to participate in the Statewide Library Card Program.  The State Library of Pennsylvania does not participate in the Statewide Library Card Program because it is not a local public library.  However, Pennsylvanians who are over the age of sixteen, may obtain a free State Library of Pennsylvania library card to visit and borrow its books and documents.

POWER Library Ecards

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​Does having a POWER Library Ecard allow individuals to participate in the Statewide Library Card Program?

​No.  The POWER Library Ecard only provides access to state-funded online resources to all Pennsylvania residents.  It does not allow residents to participate in the Statewide Library Card Program.  Any Pennsylvania resident may obtain a free POWER Library Ecard

Academic and School Library Cards

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Does having a library card from an elementary, middle school, high school, college, or university library allow individuals to participate in the Statewide Library Card Program?

No. Having an elementary, middle school, high school, college, or university library card does not allow someone to participate in the Statewide Library Card Program.  Only public libraries are part of the Statewide Library Card Program.