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Member News: Chester County Library Receives $10,000 American Dream Literacy Grant

Posted By Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Monday, March 4, 2019

See the following release issued 3/4/19 by the Chester County Library, a member of the Pennsylvania Library Association. Congratulations! 


Chester County Library Receives $10,000 American Dream Literacy Grant


Media Contact:

March 4, 2019

Amy Krize Suveg, Public Relations Specialist – 610-280-2615

EXTON: The Chester County Library has been selected as one of 16 public libraries nationwide to receive a $10,000 American Dream Literacy Initiative grant from the American Library Association (ALA) and Dollar General Literacy Foundation. The Chester County Library was selected through a competitive, peer-reviewed application process. Nearly 100 public libraries applied for the 16 available grants, according to the ALA Public Programs Office.

The Chester County Library is a close partner with the Chester County Opportunities Industrialization Center (CC-OIC) of West Chester, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free adult basic literacy education and life skills programs that prepare individuals for employment leading to economic self-sufficiency. The Library supports adult literacy through its Adult Graded Reading collection, and by providing office space, computers, supplies and other amenities for the Program Coordinator of the Adult Tutoring Program.  Staff from both organizations worked together to apply for the American Dream Literacy funding which will better enable us to meet the needs of our growing ESL population and continue to support Basic English literacy skills among adults.

With this grant funding, the library will expand and update its literacy collection, offer free workbooks to currently enrolled CC-OIC students, establish a dedicated ESL kiosk with interactive learning features, and support English tutoring pairs in the library with new iPads and other technology.

In addition to new resources, the library has plans to expand the twice-monthly English Conversation Group, coordinated by the Chester County OIC. The conversation groups allow non-native English speakers to come together in a casual environment to practice speaking English. Grant activities will begin in March and conclude in November of 2019.  

The American Dream Literacy Initiative strives to develop tools and resources for libraries and library staff to provide effective literacy services to adult English language learners in their communities and across the country.  Since the program’s inception, more than 200 libraries in Dollar General communities have initiated or expanded literacy services for adult English language learners. The grants allow libraries to augment their print and digital English as a second language (ESL) collections; increase computer access and training; provide job training; hold English language learning (ELL), general educational development (GED) and citizenship classes; and raise the visibility of services for immigrant populations.

The American Dream Literacy Initiative is made possible through the generous support of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

For more information about the Chester County Library visit

The mission of the Chester County and Henrietta Hankin Branch Libraries is to provide informational, educational and cultural services to the residents of Chester County so that they may be lifelong learners.   The Chester County Library is located at 450 Exton Square Parkway, Exton, PA.  For hours or more information, visit our website at





Tags:  Adult Literacy  American Dream Foundation  Chester County Library  Grant  Learning  Workforce 

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PA Forward Partner News: Webinar - Preparing Adolescents for Lifetime

Posted By Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Thursday, February 21, 2019

“Preparing Adolescents for a Lifetime of Investing in Their Own Health Care”

Date: March 14, 2019

Time: 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Register Here

The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP)’s Person and Family Engagement Council member Linda Miller will be one of the featured presenters on this state-wide webinar. Linda became passionate about patient advocacy four years ago, upon the death of her father. That illness, along with some unfortunate situations in the hospital, had a profound effect on Linda. As a result, she not only joined HAP’s Council, but also allotted time and energy to the topic of patient advocacy in the classroom where she is a high school health teacher. Linda developed a core health topic for her 10th grade students with a hope to change the way we educate our youth as it pertains to their self-care and communications with health care professionals.

In addition to Linda, the webinar will include two individuals from the Adolescent Health Initiative at Michigan Medicine, which is an affiliate of the University of Michigan and the Michigan Department of Community Health. These individuals help to run a program designed to empower youth to actively participate in their own health care for lifelong engagement in the health system.

The one hour webinar is appropriate for anyone interested in patient engagement and teaching others how to take an active role in their care. It is offered at no cost and a certificate of attendance will be provided.



Tags:  Health Literacy 

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PA Library Association - 2/20/19 office on virtual status

Posted By Christi Buker, Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Due to winter weather, the PA Library Association office will be on virtual operations on Wednesday, February 20.  Staff may be reached via email.  Thank you for your understanding of our limited operations during this time.

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PA Library Association Closed Monday, February 18 for Presidents Day

Posted By Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Friday, February 15, 2019
Updated: Friday, February 15, 2019
The Pennsylvania Library Association is closed on Monday, February 18 in observance of Presidents Day. The office will re-open at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, February 19. 

Tags:  Office Closing 

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Update: PaLA Office Staffing on Tuesday, February 12

Posted By Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Due to ongoing weather conditions, the Pennsylvania Library Association staff will be working remotely for the remainder of the day on Tuesday, February 12. If you need to reach us, please email. Thanks. Everyone travel safely. 

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Partner News: Financial Literacy Resource for Teens 2/26 Webinar

Posted By Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Tuesday, February 12, 2019

From the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: 

We are working with WebJunction on a webinar on February 26th on financial literacy resources for teens. This webinar will feature Leslie Jones, Youth Financial Education Analyst, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; and Rachel Grimes, Assistant Director of Financial Readiness, Student Money Management Center, University of North Texas, who leads teen financial literacy initiatives at the Plano Public Library. Here is a link to the registration site:


Tags:  Consumer Financial Protection Bureau  Financial Literacy 

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Delayed opening on 2/12/19

Posted By Christi Buker, Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Due to winter conditions our office will be opening at 10am

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Applications are still being accepted for the Leadership Academy and Director's Institute by PALS

Posted By Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Thursday, February 7, 2019
Updated: Friday, February 8, 2019

Dear Pennsylvania Library Association Members:

There is still time to apply for the Leadership Academy and Director's Institute by PALS (Pennsylvania Library Association Academy of Leadership Studies).  

PALS driving philosophy is that leadership is a choice we make, not a position we hold.  Since its introduction in 2009, the PALS programs have sought to mentor librarians from all walks of life and encourage them to become active participants and leaders in their own right.  

Leadership Academy

This 3.5 day workshop is designed for MLS/MLIS librarians whether they are fresh out of school or have been in the field for years.  Participation in this workshop requires a 1 year commitment to assigned PALS group project. All participants must hold an appropriate degree from an American Library Association accredited school at the time of nomination.  

Directors' Institute

This 3.5 day workshop is designed for library directors, assistant directors and branch managers. This workshop will offer tools to help all directors lead their libraries no matter how big or how small.  There is no degree requirement for this workshop.

The deadline to apply is March 4 for those interested in applying for a sponsorship from a PaLA chapter or other financial assistance. 

More information about all three PALS workshops can be found at 

This project is made possible in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services as administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education through the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, Governor.    

On behalf of the PALS Leadership Development Committee,

Jessica Miller, 2019 Chair

Tags:  PALS 

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PA Forward's Story - Video Now Available

Posted By Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Wednesday, February 6, 2019

From Executive Director Christi Buker: 


Awareness of libraries and all the amazing things that you provide is critical for your success and sustainability!  With that in mind, I am pleased to share with you a link to our NEW video.

Please take a look at this evaluative video of PA Forward. This three-minute video succinctly captures all that PA Forward has accomplished since it’s public launch in 2012 and highlights the breadth of the Star Library Program. This is PA Forward’s story and you are each a part of that. 

Tags:  PA Forward 

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Member News: Grow With Google Event at Martin Library

Posted By Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Wednesday, January 30, 2019

For Immediate Release:                                                                                   

Contact: Peter Schottenfels  / 646-832-6785


January 30, 2019

Google Hosts Free ‘Grow with Google’ Training for Local Small Business Owners, Jobseekers at York County Libraries


Mayor Helfrich and Deputy Sec. for Library Services Glenn Mille

on-hand to address, empower participants


YORK, PA (Jan 30)Visiting Google presenters and coaches hosted free “Grow with Google” workshops today at The Martin Library, with onsite instruction provided to local jobseekers and small businesses on integral digital skills needed in today’s business environment. Grow with Google, the tech company’s initiative to help create economic opportunities for Americans, has been touring the state delivering digital skills events. York is the second stop after Philadelphia on Monday. 


“We’re excited to be in York as part of Grow with Google’s tour across America. As we criss-cross Pennsylvania this week, we’re training more than a thousand small businesses and job seekers in new skills that are critical in today’s digital economy. And, to extend the impact of today’s event at the Martin Public Library, we trained education, nonprofit and library leaders from across the region, so that they can share these free resources with their communities going forward,” said Erica Swanson, Google’s Head of Community Engagement.

Google worked with the York County Libraries, York County Economic Alliance and Shippensburg Small Business Development Center to attract workshop attendees and promote the role of small businesses and digitally savvy workers in York’s current and future economic success. Mayor Helfrich and Department of Education Deputy Secretary and Commissioner of Library Services Glenn Miller were onsite at today’s event in support of Google’s digital training efforts. 


Workshops focused on digital skills that help people prepare for or find a job, as well as topics like data analytics and free Search listings that can help small businesses grow. One-on-one coaching sessions also took place with personal instruction on Google Spreadsheets and other GSuite tools.

“York County Libraries is building tomorrow’s transformative learning centers, providing the opportunity for our communities to Imagine, Discover and Connect,” said Robert F. Lambert, President, York County Libraries. “Partnering with "Grow with Google" aligns with our vision to propel York County Libraries forward, bringing people together to build critical digital skills for today's workplace.”

Grow with Google has been on a national tour in partnership with America’s libraries. The tour will host digital skills workshops in libraries in all 50 states and will aim to support libraries’ digital skills offerings on an ongoing basis. Three quarters of public libraries assist patrons with job applications and interviewing skills, and 90% offer basic digital skills training.

To extend the reach of the tour, Google launched the Grow with Google Partner Program to empower nonprofits, libraries, government agencies, educational institutions and other organizations with a range of digital skills resources. Organizations apply to the program and once accepted can use it as a hub for training content, tools and promotional materials. Partners can leverage customized toolkits for getting started, hosting trainings, and sharing Grow with Google programs and resources with their community. 


Starting this week, Pennsylvania libraries are able to apply for funds to kickstart their own digital skills programming. Grow with Google has committed $1 million in microgrants to libraries across the country, through their partnership with the American Library Association. 


“We are thrilled to be partnering with Google for their “Grow with Google” event in York, PA. This is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs and community members to enhance their skills in an ever changing digital world,” said Cheryl Young, Consulting Manager, Shippensburg Small Business Development Center


Specifically, Grow with Google aims to help address the skills gap by preparing Americans for middle-skill jobs, positions that require some skills but not four year degrees. According to the National Middle Skills Initiative, middle skills jobs account to 54% of Pennsylvania’s labor force. A recent study by Burning Glass and Capital One found that more than 8 in 10 middle-skill jobs (82%) require digital skills. Overall, middle-skill jobs average $20 per hour. 


In their 2017 Economic Impact Report, Google announced that 60,000 organizations in the state generated $8.18 billion dollars in economic activity by using Google’s search and advertising tools. The full report details Google’s economic impact state-by-state, and features the stories of businesses fueling that growth, creating job opportunities, and transforming their communities.


According to the American Library Association, nearly three-quarters of public libraries assist their patrons with job applications and interviewing skills, 90% help their patrons learn basic digital skills, and just under half provide access and assistance to entrepreneurs looking to start a business of their own.


About ‘Grow with Google’ 

Grow with Google is a new initiative to help create economic opportunities for Americans. The program draws on Google’s 20-year history of building products, platforms, and services that help people and businesses grow. Through this initiative, we aim to help everyone across America – those who make up the workforce of today and those who will drive the workforce of tomorrow – access the best of Google’s training and tools to grow their skills, careers, and businesses. For more information, please visit



Tags:  Digital  Information Literacy  Skills 

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