Strategic Plan

Communicating Value

PA Forward

What is PA Forward?

The Pennsylvania Library Association’s 21st Century Literacies Initiative, PA Forward, was conceived to give voice to what the library community already knows, and what other states throughout the nation are also recognizing:

“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 or follow them on Facebook.

PA Forward Commons

The PA Forward Commons is a database that manages literacy programs, services, and resources offered by public, academic, and school libraries to build PA Forward literacy skills in the communities they serve. Librarians have such brilliant ideas that incorporate the literacies (Basic, Information, Civic & Social, Financial, and Health), and this database provides an easily accessible way to collaborate and share ideas to move PA forward.

PA Forward Toolkit

The PA Forward Toolkit contains all of the resources Pennsylvania libraries can use to promote and use PA a local level. This toolkit is maintained by the PA Forward Steering Committee and updated frequently.

PA Forward Star Libraries

By using the PA Forward branding on the programs and services you already offer, you are showing your stakeholders that your library is part of a larger statewide initiative that is powering progress and elevating the quality of life in Pennsylvania. There is influence and credibility in numbers and a shared voice.

You now have the opportunity to be recognized for the work you are doing at your library by earning the PA Forward Star Library designation. Follow the program to complete the necessary actions for each level and follow the instructions for submitting your documentation and you’re on your way to becoming a prestigious PA Forward Star Library!

Community Engagement

What to Expect from Libraries in the 21st Century

Why do we still need libraries in the age of digital, real-time information? In this emotional talk, Pam Sandlian Smith shows how she works to use the library as a hub for community-based knowledge creation and discourse.

Action Guide for Re-Envisioning Your Library (PDF)

To help library and community leaders use the report, Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries, the Aspen Institute created the Action Guide for Re-Envisioning your Public Library, a set of resources for convening a community dialogue and helping communities take action to re-envision their own public library.

This action guide contains worksheets to be used:

  • for evaluating the current level of activity and support for the library and to determine goals and action steps
  • as a guide for planning and convening a community dialogue
  • for talking points to use in community outreach
  • for links to other resources

Libraries Transforming Communities

Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC) — an initiative of the American Library Association — seeks to strengthen librarians’ roles as core community leaders and change-agents.

Forums Facilitate Important Community Conversations

Sno-Isle Libraries, held a series of four community forums on a specific topic throughout the two-county library district they serve in western Washington; this was the 12th topic around which we’d created a series of forums as a part of our Issues That Matter programming series.

Facilities Management