There are 470 public libraries in Pennsylvania, each an important part of their community.
Books and libraries are so important that an Act of Congress established the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress in 1977, to serve as a focal point for celebrating the legacy of books and to advocate for libraries.
Today there are affiliated centers for the book in Pennsylvania and in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
Pennsylvania Center for the Book is located on the the University Park campus of Penn State University and they work to promote literacy and libraries throughout the Commonwealth.
Appearing on Smart Talk Monday to share insight into their role promoting community libraries is Ellysa Stern Cahoy, Associate Director of the Pennsylvania Center for the Book.
Also on the program is Bernadette A. Lear, Behavioral Sciences and Education Librarian at the Penn State Harrisburg Library. She is the author of Made Free and Thrown Open to the Public, a book that charts the history of public libraries and librarianship in Pennsylvania.