What's New at PA Forward®

North Wales Area Public Library Awarded 2023 Best PA Forward(R) Adult Literacy Program

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2023 PA Forward® Adult Programming Awards Announced

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Pennsylvania libraries rise to the challenges this fall and continue to increase literacy in their communities.


For Immediate Release

CONTACT: Rob Lesher, PAForward® Project Manager, 717-766-7663 or [email protected]


Pennsylvania Library Association recognizes libraries for PA Forward® Star achievements earned between October 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020

Mechanicsburg, PA (January 8, 2021) – The Pennsylvania Library Association just announced the 2020 fourth quarter PA Forward® Star Library awardees.

As libraries continue to re-instate services which are in high demand by the public, they have been provided with evolving safety guidelines provided by the Office of Commonwealth Libraries and Pennsylvania Department of Health. Libraries are developing processes and procedures to provide physical library service based upon their unique building circumstances, staffing levels, and ability to maintain safe practices.

Many libraries continue to focus on the offering of 24/7 digital resources, virtual programming, and reference services via chat or email. Because of this, we believe “Libraries move PA Forward®” and should be recognized for these outstanding contributions to their communities.

Even though many libraries were not allowed to have regular activity in their buildings, 15 libraries from throughout the state earned their star status and are being recognized by the Association for their efforts.

“Libraries are community focused entities. During these challenging times, each library has worked to make the best decisions for their library and the communities they serve” explains Christi Buker, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Library Association. “Whether it is curbside/pick-up services, restructured hours and access, and expanded digital resources and virtual programming, libraries have continued to serve all year long! For those libraries that have continued to work on encouraging literacy activities, resources, and programs, it is just fantastic that you have reached new PA Forward® Star status levels during these last few months. We are honored to recognize these amazing organizations and their dedicated staffs!”

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 fourth quarter of 2020, two libraries, Hollidaysburg Area Public Library in Blair County and Scranton Public Library, Albright Memorial Library in Lackawanna County have completed their maintenance activities and will maintained their Gold Star Status through 2021.

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 & 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 October 1, 2020 and December 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 April 1, 2021.

The list of awardees, by county, follows:

Allegheny County
Carnegie Library of Homestead – Silver, 3
Community Library of Allegheny Valley – Gold

Berks County
Boyertown Community Library – Silver, 5

Blair County
Hollidaysburg Area Public Library – Maintained Gold

Cambria County
Carrolltown Public Library – Silver, 1

Centre County
Centre County Library and Historical Museum – Bronze

Chester County
Atglen Public Library – Silver, 2

Delaware County
Yeadon Public Library – Silver, 5

Erie County
McCord Memorial Library – Silver, 2

Montgomery County
Huntingdon Valley Library – Gold
Indian Valley Public Library – Gold
Swedenborg Library, Bryn Athyn College – Silver, 4

Lackawanna County
Scranton Public Library, Albright Memorial Library – Maintained Gold

Somerset County
Mary S. Biesecker Public Library – Bronze

York County
Mason-Dixon Public Library – Bronze


This project is made possible, in part, by Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) as administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education through the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, Governor.

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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.