What's New at PA Forward®

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

Human Library named 2023 Best PA Forward(R) Adult Literacy Program! North Wales Area Public Library was recognized by the municipalities […]

Read More

2023 PA Forward® Adult Programming Awards Announced

2023 PA Forward® Adult Programming Awards Basic Literacy A Story to Tell Memorial Library of Nazareth and Vicinity Information Literacy […]

Read More

Unite Against Book Bans

Removing and banning books from public libraries is a slippery slope to government censorship and the erosion of our country’s […]

Read More

Pa Forward(R) Launches Virtual Programming Library

Pa Forward(R) is excited to announce the launch of a virtual programming library.  Watch high quality library programming brought to […]

Read More

Pennsylvania Library Association Kicks Off New Year With Launch of Statewide “star Library” Program


For Immediate Release

CONTACT: Brandi Hunter-Davenport, PA Forward™ Project Manager 717-766-7663 or [email protected]


PA Forward™ initiative connects residents with library programming; tells story of what libraries bring to local communities

Mechanicsburg, PA (Jan. 3, 2017) – The new year brings a new statewide program for Pennsylvania’s libraries according to the Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA). The Star Library Program, publicly announced during the association’s fall conference, is now officially available to all libraries in the commonwealth.

“The Star Library Program is the next iteration of PA Forward®,” said Pennsylvania Library Association Executive Director Christi Buker. “PA Forward® frames our libraries stories, helping them to connect even more with their communities. This new program will reinforce the value our libraries provide to communities and to our individual development. We encourage the libraries to go for the gold and our residents to continue accessing these beacons in our communities.”    

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. In 2015, one of the PA Library Association’s Academy of Leadership Studies (or PALS) cohorts conceptualized the Star Library Program and the more the program took form, the more they realized the potential for a longer-term opportunity.

“PA Forward® had been around a few years and we were always looking at more ways to help libraries and people connect with the initiative,” said Joann Eichenlaub, Assistant Director of the Madigan Library at the Pennsylvania College of Technology and member of the 2015 PALS class. “By adding the Star Library tag, we hope libraries will be able to further strengthen state support as well as leverage local support for their branches.”

To determine whether the program would have any standing with the library community a pilot of the program launched in the North Central Library District in the spring of 2016. Of the 40 libraries in the district, 19 agreed to participate in the pilot and all libraries reached star level status with a majority attaining gold star status within the pilot time frame.

“For the participating libraries, the pilot program sparked a new interest in their library from their community patrons and created new partnerships that were beneficial to the library and its constituents,” Eichenlaub added. “Library board members wanted to know more about how this amazing program was creating a buzz and demonstrating how their individual libraries were meeting community needs for programming. We couldn’t have imagined the pilot being as successful as it was. It was like a breath of fresh air igniting new energy into the libraries’ programming plans and even created enthusiasm amongst the library staffs. We can’t wait to see how the program is received across the state.”

The Star Library recognition offers support to libraries who participate and incorporate the literacies in their programming activities. They are then recognized for meeting benchmarks within the bronze, silver and gold star level categories within the program.

Libraries working toward their star status can submit their documentation by visiting www.paforwardstarlibraries.org.  Follow the prompts to create an account and review the submission instructions. More information about PA Forward™ and the Star Library Program is also available at  www.palibraries.org. Once there, click on the “Get Involved” tab and then click on “PA Forward™.” Also feel free to contact Brandi Hunter-Davenport, PA Forward™ Project Manager, at 717-766-7663 or [email protected].

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 @PALibraries 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 of our citizens.

For more information, visit www.PAForward.org, facebook.com/paforward or @PAForward5 on Twitter.

# # #

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.