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Pennsylvania Libraries Continue to Make Achievements and Provide Service Even When Their Buildings Can Not Be Open to the Public

Pennsylvania Library Association recognizes libraries for PA Forward® Star achievements earned between December 16, 2019 and March 31, 2020

Mechanicsburg, PA (April 16, 2020) – The Pennsylvania Library Association just announced the 2020 First quarter PAForward® Star Library awardees.   

As directed by Governor Wolf, public library buildings are closed, but libraries throughout the commonwealth are still offering 24/7 digital resources and live, virtual programming, and reference services via chat or email.  All of this is part of why we believe “Libraries move PA Forward® and are recognized for these outstanding contributions to their communities and their success.  The Pennsylvania Library Association recognizes libraries through their Star Library achievements and hope that you will visit a Star Library in-person when they re-open!

6 libraries have attained Gold Star Status in this Quarter.  More than 17 libraries from throughout the state earned their star status and are being recognized by the Association for their efforts to provide patrons with educational resources and opportunities.   

The PAForward® Star Library Technical Committee reviews submissions from all types of libraries and certifies the quality of programming provided by participating libraries.  Star Achievements are recognized for one year from completion and requires annual review to Maintain Star Status.  In the First Quarter of 2020, two libraries, Bethel Park Public Library, Allegheny County and Oswayo Valley Memorial Library, Potter County have completed their maintenance activities and will be the first libraries to have maintained their Gold Star Status through 2021. 

 “The PA Forward® Star Library program spotlights libraries’ efforts to continue making intentional investments in literacy-aligned programs,” said Christi Buker, Pennsylvania Library Association Executive Director. “Our libraries continue to be community pillars, meeting citizen needs, helping businesses, government organizations and others connect with residents, sharing resources and information which have the potential to positively impact multiple lives.

“Right now, you cannot physically visit a library building in Pennsylvania,” Buker added. “But because of the resiliency of our library staff, libraries are still offering the world and teaching literacy to their users. It is an honor to highlight those efforts with the PA Forward® Star Library designation. Congratulations to all of our participating Star Libraries.”   

PA Forward®, which launched statewide in 2012, works through five key literacies – Basic, Information, Civic & Social, Health and Financial – to assist individuals in enhancing their overall quality of life. To continue helping libraries use PA Forward® to demonstrate all their libraries offer, in January 2017, the Association kicked off the Star Library program statewide. The Star Library recognition offers support to libraries who participate and integrate PA Forward®’s literacies in their programming activities. Program topics can include information such as retirement planning (financial literacy) to more physically active programs such as walking book club discussions (civic and social literacy and health literacy).

Libraries are recognized for meeting benchmarks within the bronze, silver and gold star levels of the program. While one star is awarded for both the bronze and gold levels, a total of five stars are awarded in the silver category – one silver star for each of the five literacies of PA Forward®. For each silver star award, a number appears denoting the number of silver stars obtained to date.

Stars are awarded on a quarterly basis in the calendar year and the recognition is for the highest level attained in the program at the time of the award. The libraries noted below are those that earned a first-time star or a new star level between December 16, 2019 and March 31, 2020. For a full listing of PA Forward® Star Libraries, visit http://paforwardstarlibraries.org/star-status/. The next round of awards will be announced after July 1, 2020.

The list of awardees, by county, follows:

Allegheny County

Plum Community Library – Gold                                    Robinson Township Library – Silver, 2

Community Library of Allegheny Valley – Silver, 3           South Park Township – Silver, 5

Berks CountyBrandywine Community Library – Silver, 5                      Bernsville Area Community Library – Bronze

Butler County

South Butler Community Library – Bronze                      Zelienople Area Public Library – Bronze

Cumberland County

Bosler Memorial Library – Gold                                      Shippensburg Public Library – Silver, 1

Delaware County

Lansdowne Public Library – Silver, 1                             

Erie County

McCord Memorial Library – Bronze

Indiana County

Indiana Free Library – Gold

Lancaster County

Lititz Public Library – Gold

Montgomery County

Abington Township Public Library – Bronze

Northampton County

Northampton Area Public Library – Gold

Pike County

Pike County Public Library – Gold

Beginning January 2020, once a library achieves the Gold level of the PA Forward® Star Library program, libraries will now be able to take steps to maintain their PA Forward® Gold Star status. More information about that process, can be found at www.paforwardstarlibraries.org under the Getting Started tab.   

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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.