Begin Main Content Area


The Office of Commonwealth Libraries has two bureaus:

The Bureau of the State Library traces its historic roots to 1745 when the General Assembly requested that its Clerk, Benjamin Franklin, order a set of the English Statutes and some maps for reference use. It has grown to one of the largest collections of materials about Pennsylvania and serves the information and research needs of all branches of State Government. As a statewide resource center and law library, the State Library provides residents with Pennsylvania State and U.S. Government Documents, print materials, digitized collections, online reference services and automated resources. Rapid access to other state and national collections is available through online systems, networks, interlibrary cooperation and databases. The Rare Collections Library includes the Provincial Assembly Collection, a historic collection of rare colonial imprints and the largest collection of Pennsylvania newspapers in the world.

The Bureau of Library Development (BLD) in the Office of Commonwealth Libraries supports libraries and library services for Pennsylvanians through the administration of state and federally funded programs and grant opportunities including LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act), Library AccessLAMP (Library of Accessible Media for Pennsylvanians), the Public Library Subsidy, and Keystone Grants for Public Library Facilities. BLD also provides advisory services, professional development, and continuing education for library staff at public, school, academic, and special libraries. 

The Bureau of Library Development