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Opinion Piece: "Reframe Advocacy to Highlight Library's Essential Services"

Posted By Brandi Hunter-Davenport, 4 hours ago

Check out this opinion piece by PA Library Association member, Laura O'Grady, Director of the Hershey Public Library:

"A few weeks ago, an article was written by Christie Nieman and published in an Australian newspaper with the headline, “Libraries are about democracy, not just books.”1 I first dismissed the article as another feel-good squishy love note for library fans to read about how great libraries are. I likened it to the opinion article published in the New York Times a few weeks earlier, “To Restore Civil Society, Start With the Library” by Eric Klinenberg which discussed the necessary social infrastructure that public places like libraries and parks bring to a community.2 While I completely agree with and support Klinenberg’s point (and intend to read his new book), my frustration with articles of this sort is that they tend to stay within the bubble of people who do not need to be convinced of the value of public libraries." 

To access the full article, visit

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Snow delayed opening

Posted By Christi Buker, 10 hours ago
Due to snow, our office will not open until 10am on Friday, November 16.  Thank you for your patience.

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Resource News: "What does financial literacy mean to me?" - Contest for school students

Posted By Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Thursday, November 15, 2018
Check out the attached flier from Harrisburg University about a statewide financial literacy contest. Entries being accepted until November 26.

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  Financial Literacy 

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Partner News: Oral Health Story Kit Follow Up Survey

Posted By Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Please see the below from our PA Forward partners at the PA Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics: 


Did your library receive an Oral Health Story Kit last year? Healthy Teeth Healthy Children (HTHC), a program of the PA Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, is conducting a brief follow-up survey on this project. The survey found here: takes no more than 5 minutes to complete and will provide valuable information to improve community resources like this in the future. Responses are due as soon as possible, but no later than Friday, November 30th. We greatly value your feedback and, as a thank you for your participation, anyone who completes the survey will be entered into a drawing for a $20 Amazon gift card. Please contact HTHC at with questions or concerns.


Thank you again for your assistance and support!


Healthy Teeth Healthy Children Program

PA Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics



Kristin Haegele Hill

Program Director

Healthy Teeth Healthy Children (HTHC)


Tags:  American Academy of Pediatrics  Health Literacy  Oral Health Story Kit 

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PA Library Association Closed Monday, November 12

Posted By Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Thursday, November 8, 2018
The Pennsylvania Library Association is closed Monday, November 12 in observance of the Veterans' Day holiday. Our office will re-open on Tuesday, November 13 at 8:30 a.m. 

Tags:  Veterans Day 2018 

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Libraries Work with PA Forward Partners at Insurance to Host Open Enrollment Sessions

Posted By Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Friday, November 2, 2018

The PA Insurance Department, a PA Forward partner, will be hosting a series of open enrollment health insurance plan sessions at state libraries through November and December. 

The following sessions have been scheduled:

November 5

Richland Community Library, Lebanon County, 2-6 p.m.

November 6

Slippery Rock Community Library, Butler County, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Greenville Area Public Library, Mercer County, 1-3 p.m.

St. Mary's Public Library, Elk County, 4-6 p.m.

November 7

Manheim Township Library, Lancaster County, 4-6 p.m.

November 8

Ashland Public Library, Schuylkill County, 4-6 p.m.

November 15

Emmaus Public Library, Lehigh County, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

November 27

Palmyra Public Library, Lebanon County, 4-6 p.m.

Manheim Township Library, Lancaster County, 4-6 p.m.

December 12

Adams Memorial Library, Westmoreland County, 4-6 p.m.

Adams County Library, Adams County, 4-6 p.m. 

The sessions are being offered to provide residents with information about individual health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Attendees can also sign-up for the selected plan on-site. 

From the PA Insurance Department's press release: 

“Open enrollment for individual health insurance plans under the ACA runs through December 15, and I encourage Mercer County residents who need coverage to take advantage of this opportunity,” Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman said. “Trained navigators will be on hand to help people find the best deal for the coverage they need. There is no cost for the assistance navigators provide.”

“Many people could find comparable plans at lower prices than they are now paying,” Altman said.

Altman noted about four out of five Pennsylvanians currently insured through the ACA with plans bought on the website receive subsidies to offset much of their premiums. Individuals with incomes up to approximately $48,560 are eligible for tax credit subsidies, and families of four with incomes up to approximately $100,400 are eligible.

Information about health plans available by county, along with other resource information is available at 

Tags:  Financial Literacy  Health Literacy 

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Girls Who Code Provides Free Books for 3-5 Grade Book Clubs

Posted By Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Information from Girls Who Code


Girls Who Code Provides Free Books for 3-5 Grade Book Clubs

Girls Who Code, a national non-profit with the mission to close the gender gap in technology, is providing free books for our new 3-5 grade book Clubs.  Club members read and discuss our nonfiction book, Learn to Code and Change the World.  We provide five free books per Club and grant funding!  Clubs can be run entirely offline, and we offer an optional online component if you wish to use it.  No computer science experience necessary! To claim your free books, free curriculum and support, just submit our online Club application at For more information, contact Eve Balick at

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  Girls Who Code 

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Posted By Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Tuesday, October 30, 2018


For Immediate Release

CONTACT: Christi Buker, PA Library Association Executive Director
717-766-7663 or  

Martin Library, York County, Receives First-Ever Library of the Year Award; Master of Library Science Scholarships Awarded

Mechanicsburg, PA (October 16, 2018) – Each year, the Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA) honors the service of their members, as well as those community volunteers, who go above and beyond the call of duty to support the work of libraries throughout the commonwealth. And this year was no different. During their 2018 Annual Conference, the Association proudly recognized the following:  

Library of the Year Award: This is the first year this award is being given. The recognition honors a library that demonstrates excellence in the following areas: service to the community, advancing staff development and leadership in and support of Association activities such as the Pennsylvania Library Association’s Academy of Leadership Studies (PALS) and the PA Forward initiative. Martin Library, one of the York County Library System’s libraries, has the distinct privilege of being the first library to receive this honor. 

Distinguished Service Award: This award is given annually to one person in recognition of exceptional meritorious service to libraries of the commonwealth. This year’s awardee is Paula Gilbert, Martin Library, York County Library System. Paula is a past Association President and currently serves as Chair of the PA Forward Steering Committee.   

Certificates of Merit: These are awarded to individuals making outstanding contributions during the last five years in Pennsylvania. This year’s winners are Jessica Miller, Washington County Library System, and Ed Wolf, Peters Township Public Library. Jessica serves as vice-chair of the Association’s leadership program and Ed oversees the technical aspects of the Association’s Star Library Program.  

Elected Official Award: This award may be given annually to an elected official or officials for exemplary support of library service in Pennsylvania. This year, the association was proud to award this deserving honor to Senator Guy Reschenthaler. Senator Reschenthaler represents the 37th Senate District, covering Allegheny and Washington Counties. 

New Librarian Honors Award: Honors a librarian who has been in the profession fewer than six years. It recognizes the originality and inventive ability of a new librarian who devises new and improved methods in library service on a statewide or local level.  The 2018 awardee is Hailley Fargo with Pennsylvania State University libraries. 

Trustee of the Year Award: Presented to a public library trustee in recognition of outstanding leadership and service to library development at the local, system, district and/or state level. This year’s recipient is Radnor Memorial Library’s Helen Grommell-McGrane. 

“The Pennsylvania Library Association is able to do what we do thanks to the unwavering efforts of our volunteers and our members,” said Christi Buker, PaLA Executive Director. “These awards are just our small way of shining a light on what all librarians, library staffs and our volunteers do to continue promoting the value libraries bring to communities they serve. We are thankful for their support and engagement and are honored to be able to recognize their efforts. Congratulations to all of our 2018 winners.” 

A committee comprised of association members reviews the nominations, submitted in late summer, and selects winners for the listed categories. Awardees are then invited to attend the association’s annual conference where they are recognized among the membership, their peers, representing all library types and sizes from throughout Pennsylvania.   

“It was very gratifying to once again chair this year’s Awards Committee and see that we were able to honor individuals with lengthy and successful careers as well as newer librarians who are developing their leadership skills in this field,” said Janis Stubbs, Assistant Director and District Consultant for the Delaware County Libraries. “Pennsylvania is fortunate to have dedicated professional librarians as well as volunteers who work to strengthen our libraries, so they in turn can continue to strengthen our communities. Congratulations to this year’s award winners. They are all well deserved.” 

The Association’s MLS or Master of Library Science degree scholarship was also awarded during the afternoon event. Three Pennsylvania Library Association MLS Scholarships are available to Association members who are working toward their Master’s degree in the Library Science field.  Each recipient receives a $1,500 scholarship and is required to complete a minimum of three credits toward the degree during the scholarship year. This year’s scholarship recipients are: 

George Matthew, Youth Services Coordinator, Adams County Library System. Attending Drexel University.
Susan Lopez, Director, Boyertown Community Library. Attending Clarion University.
Hillary Hunter, Library Assistant, Williams Jeanes Memorial Library. Attending Clarion University.

For more information about the scholarship, including application information, visit 
Founded in 1901, the Pennsylvania Library Association is the state's oldest and most diverse professional library organization serving libraries, library employees, library trustees, and Friends of the Library groups.

PaLA represents more than 1,300 personal, institutional and commercial members affiliated with public, academic, special and school libraries throughout the commonwealth. The association represents the profession in Harrisburg with the state legislature and provides opportunities for professional growth, leadership development and continuing education for librarians.

For a listing of previous award winners, visit For more information about the work of the Pennsylvania Library Association, visit 

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Tags:  Awards  PA Library Association Conference 

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Partner News: Alzheimer's Association - Greater PA Chapter's Caregiver Conference

Posted By Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Thursday, October 25, 2018
See the flier for an upcoming caregiver conference taking place in Cranberry, PA in November. This event is being offered by our PA Forward partners - Alzheimer's Association of Greater PA.  

Tags:  Health Literacy 

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Partner News: Healthy Me PA Highlights Libraries' Roles in Health Literacy Conversation

Posted By Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Our PA Forward partners at the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) recently highlighted Martin Library for their health literacy programming. The segment was put together as part of HAP's outreach to celebrate Health Literacy Month in October.


To view the segment, with children's librarian, Trish Bissett, visit the Healthy Me PA Facebook page at 

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  Health Literacy 

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