You may have seen some signs or articles pop up at our library talking about PA Forward recently. Simply put, PA Forward is an initiative created by the Pennsylvania Library Association which supports five categories of literacy: Basic, Information, Health, Civic & Social, and Financial.
What PA Forward does is encourage libraries across all of Pennsylvania to adopt and support these five literacies in their resources and programs for their communities. Their goal is to create “a future where all Pennsylvania public, special, academic and school libraries unite in a shared vision of helping residents succeed as citizens, parents, students, employers, employees and consumers.”
Information Literacy is the ability to find, evaluate, and utilize information from a variety of sources. For example, the trend of “fake news” is an issue that revolves around Information Literacy. In order to know whether the news is “fake,” we have to first learn how to discover if the information is true or false. The process of evaluating information is key to deciding if the news is correct. We then utilize this information in our every day lives.
Programs which our library offers to support Information Literacy include: computer classes and genealogy workshops. Our services include a collection of daily newspapers available to patrons every day and our Reference Librarians who are there to help teach and steer patrons who need to find information.
Civic Literacy is the knowledge of your rights to vote in order to actively participate and make change in a democratic community. Social Literacy means that we are aware and understand the social issues affecting our state and country. Programs we offer at the library that support these literacies include: social justice book club and civic awareness month voter registration forms. We also offer tax forms during tax season for patrons.
Health Literacy is the ability to understand basic health terms and services in order to live a healthy lifestyle. Programs we offer at our library include: Teddy Bear Clinics, Tooth Fairy Day, and select Maker Mondays such as Stroke Prevention and Fad vs. Fact: Diet Trends.
Financial Literacy is the ability to understand and make informed decisions about finances (i.e. mortgage, car loans, student loans). Programs we offer include: select Maker Mondays which hold lectures from financial professionals on a range of topics from scholarships to identity protection.
To learn more about PA Forward and the Pennsylvania Library Association, click on the links below.
If you’d like to suggest a service or program which the library hosts in support of one of the literacy categories above, please feel free to contact us here.