The Pennsylvania Center for the Book was approved by the Library of Congress to begin operation on January 1, 2000, joining 41 other state centers for the book in the United States.
An Act of Congress established the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress on October 13, 1977, to serve as a focal point for celebrating the legacy of books and the printed word. The function of the center has expanded dramatically since 1984 with the establishment of affiliated centers for the book in 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The Pennsylvania Center for the Book is located in 502 Paterno Library at the University Park campus of Penn State University. In addition, there are small research alcoves in 514 Paterno Library and in 201-A Pattee Library, which include:
- a reference collection pertaining to books, writing, libraries, and Pennsylvania
- a collection representing Pennsylvania writers connected to the Literary Maps of Pennsylvania
The 201-A alcove in the Pattee Library also houses the Patrick and Candace Malloy Pennsylvania Center for the Book Exhibit Room. Hours vary, therefore, appointments for tours and research use are strongly encouraged.
The mission of the Pennsylvania Center for the Book is to study, honor, celebrate, and promote books, reading, libraries, and literacy to the citizens and residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The sponsors of the Pennsylvania Center for the Book are Barbara I. Dewey, Dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications, and the Pennsylvania State University Libraries. In addition to providing space and administrative support for the Center's offices, the University Libraries provide in-kind contributions that include staff and faculty time as well as the Pennsylvania Center for the Book alcove in 201-A Pattee Library.