Libraries across Pennsylvania contribute information about their collections to the Pennsylvania Statewide Catalog (formerly “Access PA”), a project of the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Office of Commonwealth Libraries. The first of its kind in the nation when it was launched in 1985, this collective (“union”) catalog of the holdings of all Pennsylvania libraries remains the largest, statewide catalog in North America.
Currently, the Catalog includes approximately 8.6 million titles of books, ebooks, periodicals, DVDs, and more–totaling over 43 million holdings of over 1,500 participating Pennsylvania school, public, academic, and special libraries. The public can locate materials through the CATALOG that may not be available at their local library and ask their librarian to borrow the materials from another library. Since 2002, this coordinated resource-sharing among librarians has enabled Pennsylvanians to borrow over one million items not available at their local library. .