Longietti receives PSLA Presidential Award for advocating for strong library programs across the commonwealth

HARRISBURG, April 25 – Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, has been awarded the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association inaugural Presidential Award for his efforts to maintain strong school library programs across the commonwealth staffed by certified librarians.

“The Pennsylvania School Librarians Association is proud to recognize Representative Mark Longietti with their inaugural Presidential Award,” PSLA President Jennifer Bates said.

Longietti will be recognized during the PSLA Awards Breakfast from 7:15 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Friday, May 4 during the 45th Annual PSLA Conference at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center, 325 University Drive in Hershey.

“Receiving this award is a great honor and I am extremely humbled,” Longietti said. “Libraries, especially those located in our schools, are essential to our communities because they open a child’s imagination and provide a world of information to anyone seeking it.”

Last year, Longietti reintroduced H.B. 740, legislation that would require public schools to have at least one certified librarian per school. The bill was referred to the House Education Committee.

“Having a professional librarian in our schools is a vital part of a youth’s education, ultimately helping them to become stronger, more independent thinkers,” said Longietti. “School librarians help provide quality library resources, can help youths achieve higher reading test scores, and also contribute to expanding a youth’s comprehension skills and overall process of learning.”

In the past, Longietti introduced a House resolution that resulted in a study conducted by the State Board of Education and the Department of Education on Pennsylvania’s public school library resources. The study found that in school districts with full-time library employees, students achieved better results on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) tests.

“Representative Longietti has been a strong and unwavering voice in the House at the forefront of this issue and continues to work tirelessly to make sure that all students in grades K through 12 have access to both a strong library program and a librarian to teach the critical 21st century information literacy skills they need in order to be successful,” Bates said. “It is with great pride that I am able to award him with the 2018 PSLA Presidential Award at our annual conference in May.”

Overall, Longietti said he wants to ensure that children receive the most well-rounded educational opportunities possible, so they can be prepared to enter higher education and the workforce.

PSLA is a professional organization for school library professionals and library educators with a mission to ensure excellence in school library programs.

For more information regarding the PSLA Conference, visit PSLA’s website.