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.

PA Forward strives to promote five key literacies to Pennsylvanians: basic, information, civic and social, health, and financial. These literacies are essential to greater success in all vital roles of life: as students, as parents, as employees, as consumers, as citizens.


The Five Literacies

Basic literacy benefits everyone by helping them to understand the things they interact with every day, including brochures, signs, newspapers and websites. The Library supports basic literacy through events like Preschool Story Time, Author Events, and Pop Up! Libraries and resources including books, magazines, newspapers, rotating collections in the community and interlibrary loan services.


Information literacy benefits everyone by helping them to better use and understand online resources and helping them to find reliable sources online as they look for information and employment. The Library supports information literacy through programs like Maker Faire, technology classes, and Cyber Story Time and services like wireless internet access and early education iPads.


Civic and Social Literacy benefits all residents by helping them understand the world around them and the people in it, and creating opportunities to meet and engage with their community. The Library supports Civic and Social Literacy through programs like Knit Wits, Teen Nerf Hunger Games, and Stepping Up to Middle School and services and materials including local newspapers, language learning resources, access to historical documents, including online resources like and POWER Library resources, and by being a gathering place for members of the community.


Health Literacy benefits all residents by helping them understand health information, what they find themselves and what is given to them by healthcare professionals, improving the length and quality of their lives. The Library supports Health Literacy through programs like Wellness Wednesdays and through resources such as books and online databases through POWER Library.


Financial Literacy benefits all residents by helping them become informed consumers. The Library supports Financial Literacy through programs like Dash for the Stash and Piggy Bank Tales and through resources such as books and online resources.


The Library is currently a Bronze Star Library!