PA Forward Star Library Program helps libraries provide literacy
programming in local communities

Mechanicsburg, PA (April 3, 2017) – Earlier this year, the Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA) kicked off a statewide launch of the Star Library Program. Roughly two dozen libraries recently received their stars and are now officially recognized as PA Forward Star Libraries.

“The response to this program has been nothing short of amazing,” said Christi Buker, PA Library Association Executive Director. “When you conceptualize a new program, and test it on a small group, you aren’t always sure what the response will be once you take it to the larger audience. In this instance, we absolutely made the right decision to broaden the program. More and more libraries are looking to receive their star and demonstrate their full value to the communities they serve. For the libraries, they are receiving tools and resources that allow them to offer needed programming to their patrons. For our partnering organizations, there is more opportunity to disseminate information and gain facetime with residents and businesses alike. The libraries have become the place to spark needed conversations and interactions. It’s a true win-win.” 

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 conceived the Star Library Program and the more the program took form, the more they realized the potential for a longer-term opportunity. 

“The Star Library Program went statewide at the beginning of the year,” Buker added. “This program has truly lit a fire within our libraries as they are finding more ways to connect with their patrons and are excited to offer programs they may not have thought of offering previously, and connecting with local resource partners. These programs help our citizens become more informed, suggesting they would likely become more involved in their local areas. There is a real value here.” 

The Star Library recognition offers support to libraries who participate and incorporate the literacies in their programming activities. Those libraries are recognized for meeting benchmarks within the bronze, silver and gold star levels of the program.
Examples of the types of programs libraries offer patrons include those such as Cursive Club and Reading Clubs (Basic Literacy); Social Media for Seniors and Staying Safe Online (Information Literacy); Mock Trial and Mock Election programs (Civic & Social Literacy); Healthy Food Choices Storytime and Community Blood Drive (Health Literacy); and Children and Money and Identity Theft (Financial Literacy.) 

Below is a listing of those libraries awarded their PA Forward Star status in the first quarter of this year’s program:  

Bronze Star Level

Abington Community Library – Lackawanna County 
Cambria County Library – Cambria County
Chippewa Branch Library – Beaver County 
Easttown Library – Chester County
Emmaus Public Library – Lehigh County 
Frackville Free Public Library – Schuylkill County
Free Library of Northampton Township – Bucks County 
Hollidaysburg Area Public Library – Blair County 
Huntingdon County Library – Huntingdon County
Indiana Free Library – Indiana County 
Madigan Library at Penn College – Lycoming County 
Muhlenberg Community Library – Berks County 
Peters Township Public Library – Washington County 
St. Mary’s Public Library – Elk County 
Summerville Public Library – Jefferson County 
Upper Merion Township Public Library – Montgomery County 
Warminster Township Free Library – Bucks County 

Silver Star Level
Altoona Area Public Library (5th Star) – Blair County
Claysburg Area Public Library (1st Star) – Blair County 
Easton Area Public Library (1st Star) – Northampton County
Grove Family Library (5th Star) – Franklin County 
North Pocono Public Library (2nd Star) – Lackawanna County 
Osterhout Free Library (5th Star) – Luzerne County 
Pittston Memorial Library (1st Star) – Luzerne County
Tyrone-Snyder Public Library (1st Star) – Blair Community

Gold Star Level
Tunkhannock Public Library – Wyoming County  

Libraries working toward their star status can submit their documentation by visiting  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 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 

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“This project is made possible 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.” 

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