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.
Libraries have moved far beyond just being book repositories. They’re agile institutions serving real-life needs. Libraries can be key to powering progress and elevating the quality of life in PA by fueling the types of knowledge essential to success: Basic Literacy, Information Literacy, Civic and Social Literacy, Health Literacy, and Financial Literacy.
PA Forward will benefit Pennsylvania’s libraries and all the Pennsylvanians who use them by:
- Making library services available for all Pennsylvania citizens.
- Strengthening state-supported library services and leveraging greater local and private support.
- Having an integrated library system that will not only lower local costs, but improve resource-sharing for citizens.
- Providing more databases at a lower cost and a better statewide delivery system.
- Bolstering the recognized link between library service and workforce development.
- Raising the profile and importance of libraries and librarians.
PA Forward is built upon the belief that libraries are uniquely positioned to help citizens improve their command of five types of literacy:
- civic and social,
- health, and
– essential to greater success in all vital roles of life: as students, as parents, as employees, as consumers, as citizens.