Longietti: Bill would ensure Pa. schools have at least one certified librarian

Essential for teaching research, critical thinking skills

HARRISBURG, May 8 – A bill introduced today by state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, would ensure that public schools throughout the state have at least one certified librarian per building.

Longietti said he introduced H.B. 1355 – part of a package of student-centered bills known as "Beyond Safe Schools" – to ensure that students have the skills they need to compete and thrive in the Information Age.

“Research and critical thinking skills are more important now than ever before, as our society is bombarded by often-misleading information from online and social media news outlets,” Longietti said. “Librarians fulfill an essential need by teaching these skills, which help students navigate large amounts of material and distill out reliable information.

“Unfortunately, current law does not require school districts to employ a librarian, and the number of certified school librarians has declined. Some school districts have no certified librarian at all, while 115 school districts have one certified librarian serving the entire district. My bill would restore these positions to ensure that our students get these essential research and critical-thinking skills at a time when they need them the most.”

The “Beyond Safe Schools: Safe and Supportive Schools” package aims to save lives and save money, deliver better graduation rates, reduce suspensions and expulsions and lead to more successful outcomes for students. 

The plan invests in identifying students in need of care and ensures school district resources and state funding support would be available to stop problems before they start.