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PA Library Association Partners With PA Insurance Department to Promote Consumer Protection, Awareness, Education and Outreach Through PA Forward® Initiative

York, PA (May 1, 2017) – Standing in the Martin Library in York County, PA Library Association (PaLA) President Carrie Turner joined state officials and community members to highlight how libraries continue to meet the needs of their local communities. The morning event, hosted by the York County Libraries, put a spotlight on a new partnership between the PA Library Association and the PA Insurance Department through the PA Forward® program.

“Long gone are the days of libraries being known simply as book repositories,” noted Turner during the morning press conference. “Our libraries have transformed into community centers offering a multitude of programs, resources and opportunities, helping our patrons become more informed and more engaged in their local areas.

“We are honored to have the PA Insurance Department join us as a partner through PA Forward®. PA Forward® is truly the framework that paints the picture of what all Pennsylvania’s libraries offer and helps us to tell the story of just how valuable libraries are to society’s greater good. Through this partnership, the department will offer programs at libraries throughout the state on topics ranging from insurance 101 for teens to health to car to renters’ insurance options. When you think about it, when we are talking about insurance, we are talking about our lives. The PA Insurance Department is a wonderful addition to the work of PA Forward®, extending the reach of our libraries.”

Staffs from both organizations met and realized some commonalities in relation to their goals and efforts to educate and assist residents throughout the commonwealth. After further discussion, they realized there was synergy between the two and that the PA Insurance Department would make a great addition as a PA Forward® partner.

“Governor Wolf’s and my top priority for the Insurance Department is consumer protection and education,” Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller said. “Partnering with the PA Library Association will allow us to bring information on important insurance topics, from helping high school students learn more about auto insurance, to educating renters on why they should have renters’ insurance, to helping seniors better understand whether a given annuity is right for them, will help us deliver this information directly to consumers who need it.”

PA Forward® works through five key literacies – Basic, Information, Civic & Social, Health and Financial – to assist all residents in enhancing their overall quality of life. The initiative has grown into a statewide program which seeks to improve the literacy levels of Pennsylvanians by connecting them with the information, learning, and technology resources available at their local libraries. Working through each of the literacies, PA Forward® aims to develop a better trained and more skilled workforce, which in turn grows the commonwealth’s tax base, economy and population. As a result, academic, school, and public libraries throughout Pennsylvania empower residents and businesses alike with the necessary skills and knowledge needed to succeed in today’s ever-evolving society.

“Libraries can help ensure that our youth are equipped with the necessary basic skills in financial matters to become confident and informed consumers,” said Robert Lambert, President of the York County Libraries. “From understanding money, to consumer literacy; from personal finance, to money management; this partnership will provide youth with the knowledge, resources and skills to be able to secure and improve their financial wellbeing.”

After a few brief remarks, Insurance Commissioner Miller offered a 101 on auto insurance session for teens. Juniors and seniors from the Helen Thackston Charter School were in attendance for the presentation. 

Pennsylvania Department of Education Deputy Secretary and Commissioner for Libraries Glenn Miller was also on hand for the morning event and spoke to the importance of how libraries serve as a bridge in our communities.

“For generations, resource-sharing and collaboration have been hallmarks of library services. PA Forward® builds on this long tradition of collaboration by bringing together libraries, state agencies, businesses, non-profits, and associations to advance literacy,” said Commissioner for Libraries Miller. “When we break down our silos and leverage our assets together to tackle illiteracy in all its forms, we underscore the lasting benefits of a literate citizenry, we empower their capacity to succeed in the 21st Century economy, and we display the kind of ingenuity required of a Government That Works.”

Libraries interested in scheduling PA Forward® programming, including sessions with the PA Insurance Department, can contact the PA Library Association at 717-766-7663 or [email protected]. A full listing of PA Forward® partners can be found at www.paforward.org. For more information about the PA Insurance Department, visit http://www.insurance.pa.gov. For more information about York County Libraries, visit http://www.yorklibraries.org/.

About the Pennsylvania Library Association

Founded in 1901, the Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA) is the state’s oldest and most diverse professional library organization serving libraries, library employees, library trustees, and Friends of the Library groups. For more information, visit www.palibraries.org, facebook.com/PALibraries or @PALibraryAssoc on Twitter.

About PA Forward®

The Pennsylvania Library Association’s PA Forward® | Pennsylvania Libraries initiative was conceived to give voice to what the library community already knows, and what other states throughout the nation recognize – with the right support, libraries are ideally positioned to become the community centers of information technology,  and  learning  that  will  fuel  educational  and  economic  opportunity for all our citizens. For more information, visit www.PAForward.org, facebook.com/paforward or @PAForward5 on Twitter.

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PA Forward® is sponsored, in part, by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services as administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education through the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, Governor.