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PA Forward

Are you familiar with PA Forward?

The Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA) initiative, PA Forward, began in an effort to show that libraries are more than books. Libraries are unique community centers that serve real-life needs and aid in the types of knowledge essential to success: Basic Literacy, Information Literacy, Civic and Social Literacy, Health Literacy, and Financial Literacy (Read here for more information).

The Valley Community Library has embraced all five literacies and is just a few steps away from being added as a Gold Star Library by PaLA for its efforts to help patrons achieve the literacies needed as citizens of the 21st century. See below for some of the ways the Valley Community Library has incorporated and promoted the PA Forward literacies.


Basic Literacy

  • VOX Books in the Children’s Department: All-in-one book and audio to allow children to hear the words aloud as they are reading.
  • POWER Library databases
  • Online science and math resources
  • Learning Express Library’s Online Campus
  • Year-round school visits and promotional messages sent home with students
  • Collections of age-appropriate, engaging materials with outreach collections in offsite locations
  • Statewide “One Book, Every Young Child” initiative
  • Baby and toddler storytimes
  • Family literacy programs
  • Summer Reading programs
  • Career collections and workshops
  • Youth volunteer programs
  • Book clubs and discussion groups
  • Easy reader collections
  • Spanish language collection

Information Literacy

  • Enhanced POWER Library
  • Downloadable books and audiobooks
  • Online user account access
  • Free online tutoring from real tutors in math, science, social studies, and English.
  • Creation Station with Adobe Creative Suite
  • Video classes and tutorials
  • Rapid delivery of materials from remote locations
  • eCourses and classes building job readiness skills
  • Workstations with high speed access
  • Computer and tablet classes for senior citizens
  • Wireless access points
  • Online and print resources, tutorials, and databases
  • Government information in print and online

Civic and Social Literacy

  • Downloadable ebooks, audiobooks, videos, etc. that reflect society’s historic and contemporary issues and topics of interest to communities and individuals
  • Databases that support inquiry into historic and contemporary topics and issues
  • Online government resources and information
  • Online language tutorials
  • AskHerePA online, live question and answer services staffed by information professionals
  • Digital archives of local history
  • Broadband Internet access and rapid delivery of materials from remote locations
  • Inviting public facilities that provide space for community gatherings and educational programs
  • Strong print, audiovisual, and digital collections of up-to-date materials that reflect society’s historic and contemporary issues and topics of interest to communities and individuals
  • Programs that educate and inform citizens about contemporary and historic topics in entertaining and meaningful ways
  • Government information in print and online

Health Literacy

  • Teen Health & Wellness database
  • Physicians’ Desk Reference for drug information
  • MedlinePlus and National Institute of Health databases for personal health information
  • Consumer Health Complete database
  • Strong health information print, audio, and video collections
  • Adaptive technology
  • Partnerships with local healthcare organizations to provide health screenings
  • Storytimes that have a full or partial focus on health literacy

Financial Literacy

  • Learning Express Library’s online Job & Career Accelerator for job searching
  • ReferenceUSA: business intelligence database for job seekers, businesses, and economic development agencies
  • Ravel Law: searchable database of American case law provided by Harvard Law School Library
  • Legal Information and Reference database
  • Online consumer buying guides
  • Comprehensive career and employment websites
  • Foundation Center online
  • Enhanced POWER Library: online resources for scientific and high-tech business research and development
  • Storytimes that have a full or partial focus on financial literacy concepts
  • Personal budgeting print resources
  • Tourism collection to promote visitor experiences throughout the state
  • Weiss Financial Ratings Series Online: Easy to use guides to important financial decisions such as Automobile, Homeowners, Long-term Care, Medicare Insurances and Variable Annuities.


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