Pennsylvania Public Library Accounting Manual | Compendium
Glenn R. Miller

Glenn Miller, Deputy Secretary & Commissioner for Libraries


I’m pleased to announce that the Pennsylvania Public Library Accounting Manual (2018, PDF) has been revised and updated.  An Office of Commonwealth Libraries’ (OCL) team, led by Library Advisor Diana Megdad, along with Certified Public Accountants at McKonly & Asbury, LLC (Camp Hill, PA), reviewed and updated the 2010 manual this past summer.

The updated manual is intended to be of primary benefit to small, nonprofit libraries (those that receive $50,000 or less in annual state funding) that do not have a full-time bookkeeper or accountant.  The manual is designed to illustrate basic accounting principles in layman’s terms and to provide guidance about finding and using helpful online resources.  Larger libraries may also benefit from the accounting policies and procedures discussed in this manual.

Public library board members, library directors, and finance-related staff — especially those who do not have an accounting background — will find this manual helpful.  It will help libraries:

  1. Establish a system to record financial transactions;
  2. Produce accurate, consistent, and understandable financial reports;
  3. Assure the financial integrity of library operations by establishing internal controls;
  4. Complete OCL’s and your own public annual reports;
  5. Keep audit costs to a minimum;
  6. Comply with local, state, and federal tax requirements;
  7. Understand payroll tax requirements;
  8. Determine if accounting software is a good fit for the library; and
  9. Answer commonly asked questions.

Financial Best Practices Training – Coming Soon!
Related to the release of this manual, this coming spring, OCL will offer Financial Best Practices workshops at several regional statewide locations for library board members and library directors.

The purpose of the workshops is to provide full-day, hands-on sessions that will cover:

  • Fiduciary responsibilities of PA public library boards of directors (with an emphasis on 501(c)3 organizations); and
  • Financial best practices from the governance perspective of a board member and from the management perspective of a library director.

The workshops will discuss budgeting, reading financial statements, and assessing the financial health of a library.

While the workshop will not provide training that is based on the Pennsylvania Public Library Accounting Manual, they will provide a brief overview by pointing out those sections that will be most helpful for board members and library directors to review.  Thus, I encourage you to check out the updated manual now for information about basic accounting principles, policies, and resources before the workshops occur.

Look for the Financial Best Practices workshop announcements this coming spring in the Compendium and via emails.


Glenn R. Miller | Deputy Secretary & Commissioner for Libraries
Pennsylvania Department of Education | Office of Commonwealth Libraries
Room 200 Forum Building
607 South Drive | Harrisburg, PA  17120-0600
Phone:  717-783-2646  |  |  @PaDeptofEd  |
VIDEO: #PAHasYourBack

The mission of the Department of Education is to ensure that every learner has access to a world-class education system that academically prepares children and adults to succeed as productive citizens. Further, the Department seeks to establish a culture that is committed to improving opportunities throughout the commonwealth by ensuring that technical support, resources, and optimal learning environments are available for all students, whether children or adults.

This communication is issued on the Deputy Secretary’s behalf by Jonelle Darr (; 717-783-5725)