Re-districting Trial / Libraries in 2018

The case before the State Supreme Court regarding the re-districting of Pennsylvania’s congressional districts has been adjourned and Commonwealth Court Judge P. Kevin Brobson is expected to issue an opinion in January.  Another Pennsylvania re-districting case is being heard before a federal court.

At stake is the integrity of the district lines as drawn by Republican lawmakers in 2011; critics argue that the state has 807,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans and the fact that 13 of 18 congressional delegates are Republican points to malfeasence in the last district drawing process; that Republicans drew district lines to their favor.

Keystone Crossroads reporters Emily Previti and Lindsay Lazarski have been covering the re-districting cases at both the state and federal levels; they join Thursday’s Smart Talk to parse out the progress of these cases.

Also, the anachronism of musty, dusty old libraries with creaky wooden floors and mildewed books has given way to high-tech facilities with services more on par with a Silicon Valley tech firm.  For years we’ve seen the modernization of public libraries, from recorded music and DVDs to basic computer usage and then net access.

Today, area libraries are offering amenities such as virtual-reality headsets, lending of WiFi hotspots and reference and text e-books.  Other services include GED programs and classes in financial literacy.  The focus of the libraries will always be to provide print material for readers, and the libraries in the region keep that tradition alive with author presentations and inter-active experiences, like a starship simulator for kids.

On Thursday’s Smart Talk, we discuss library sciences in the 21st century and the services available for mid-state Pennsylvanians with Laura O’Grady, Director of Library Services for Derry Township’s Hershey Public Library and Christi Bruker, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Library Association.