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​School Libraries

The Pennsylvania Department of Education Office of Commonwealth Libraries works with school librarians, school administrators, classroom educators, families, community members, public library staff and board members, and university library science programs throughout the Commonwealth to encourage the development of effective school library programs that benefit all learners.


The PDE's Standards Aligned System is a comprehensive, researched-based resource designed to improve student achievement. It also provides a framework for effective teaching for professionals with unique roles and functions such as school librarians.

School Li​​brary Program Guidelines

In 2019, the Governor's Advisory Council on Library Development released a new set of Guidelines for Pennsylvania School Library Programs (PDF). 

Designed to complement the American Association of School Librarians' National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries (2018), the guidelines identify and build upon eight indicators for an effective school library program. 

Staffing ​​Guidelines

Certification Staffing Policy Guidelines provide guidance and clarification to educators regarding (1) the issuance of professional certificates, (2) the grade level and content scope of certificate subject areas, and (3) the appropriate certificate for staffing professional positions in public schools:

School Libr​​arian Certification

Certification in Pennsylvania

Note: As of August 2019, only Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pittsburgh offered complete certification programs that include student teaching.

Continuing P​rofessional Education

OCL offers workshops and webinars that benefit school librarians.  Announcements are made in the Compendium and via the "Schools" statewide email distribution list.

Programs ​and Services for School Libraries

​The Bureau of Library Development provides advisory services through a school age services library advisor in order to foster connections between school and public library staff.   Information about programs and services offered for school libraries are outlined below.

POWER Libra​ry

POWER Library provides Pennsylvania residents, including students and teachers, with access to a statewide library catalog that facilitates interlibrary loan service, e-resources, primary source digitized collections, and Chat with a Librarian services.  

Schools and intermediate units are eligible to provide POWER Library services if they pay an annual technology fee and meet the guidelines as outlined in the Application for POWER Library Services.  Discounts are available for school districts with high rates of poverty.

For more information about POWER Library services, contact POWER Library support

Leadership ​​​Development

Office of Commonwealth Libraries supports leadership development of school librarians through Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant funding from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.  To learn more, contact the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association. 

Video Game Clu​​bs of America

Video Game Clubs of America (VGCUSA) focuses on establishing gaming clubs in educational settings to make the socially awkward socially active through the power of good sportsmanship, gaming, and social and emotional learning.  Gaming clubs include all types of games, including console and computer games, as well as board, table, and card games.

In 2021, the Office of Commonwealth Libraries' "Out of School Time" LSTA-Funded projected worked with VGCUSA to provide support and materials to 11 school libraries to offer this program to learners. 

In 2022, up to 25 more schools may be offered this opportunity for Pennsylvania youth. 

Email Distri​bution Lists

On behalf of OCL, POWER Library maintains statewide email distribution lists for school librarians.

Compendium: News for Pennsylvania Libraries

Compen​dium​ is a blog that provides news of interest to Pennsylvania libraries of all types.