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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Pennsylvania Library Association also recognizes libraries for PA Forward® Star achievements earned between December 16, 2020 and March 31, 2021

Mechanicsburg, PA (April 2, 2021) – April 4-10, 2021 is National Library Week, a time to highlight the essential role libraries, librarians and library workers play in transforming lives and strengthening communities. The theme for this year’s National Library Week is “Welcome to your library,” which promotes the idea that libraries extend far beyond the four walls of a building and that everyone is welcome to use their services. Whether people visit virtually or in person, libraries are accessible and inclusive places that foster a sense of belonging and community through learning, discovery, and exploration.

During these challenging times, libraries of all types have been going above and beyond to adapt to our changing world by expanding their resources and continuing to meet the needs of their patrons. Libraries across the country are making a difference in people’s lives by providing electronic learning resources like online homework help and wi-fi access for students and workers who may lack internet access at home.

“All types of libraries across Pennsylvania continue to be essential by providing access to important information, services, and programs.”  explains Tom Reinsfelder, 2021 President of the Pennsylvania Library Association.  He adds “The Star Library program is a special way the PA Library Association recognizes those libraries that have gone above and beyond in their commitment to promoting and supporting a range of important literaciesI am convinced that libraries are one of the most welcoming places in any community, and the staff working in these libraries are some of the most helpful people you’ll encounter anywhere.”

3 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 2021, four libraries, Valley Community Library, County and Martin Memorial Library, York County, Matthews Public Library, County, Bethel Park Public Library, Allegheny County, Village Library of Morgantown, Berks County, and Fleetwood Area Public Library, Berks County have completed their maintenance activities and will be the first libraries to have maintained their Gold Star Status through 2022. 

 “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.

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, 2020 and March 31, 2021. For a full listing of PA Forward Star Libraries, visit https://paforward.org/pa-forward-star-program/   The next round of awards will be announced after July 1, 2021.

The list of awardees, by county, follows:

Allegheny County

Bethel Park Public Library – Gold Maintenance                                  CC Mellor Memorial Library – Gold

Northern Tier Regional Library – Silver                                                 Springdale Free Public Library – Bronze

Berks County

Village Library of Morgantown – Gold Maintenance          Fleetwood Area Public Library – Gold Maintenance

Bernville Area Community Library – Silver, 2                       West Lawn-Wyomissing Hills Library – Bronze

Butler County

Zelienople Area Public Library – Silver

Centre County

Holt Memorial Library – Bronze                                                              Centre Hall Area Branch – Bronze

Chester County

Atglen Public Library – Silver

Cumberland County

Shippensburg Public Library – Silver, 5

Fayette County

German-Masontown Public Library – Gold                           

Franklin County

Alexander Hamilton Memorial Free Library – Silver, 1

Lackawanna County

Valley Community Library – Gold Maintenance

Lancaster County

Adamstown Area Library – Silver

Lebanon County

Matthews Public Library – Gold Maintenance

Montgomery County

Lansdale Public Library – Gold                                                  Abington Township Public Library – Silver, 3

Swedenborg Library of Bryn Athyn College – Silver, 5

Washington County

Frank Sarris Public Library – Silver

Westmoreland County

New Florence Community Library – Bronze

York County

Martin Memorial Library – Gold Maintenance

More information about that process, can be found at www.paforward.org.   


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.