Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In | Join PaLA!
News & Notes
Blog Home All Blogs

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 

Share |

Libraries Earn PA Forward Star Status

Posted By Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Thursday, December 20, 2018



For Immediate Release


CONTACT: Brandi Hunter-Davenport, PA Forward Project Manager, 717-766-7663 or  




Some 30 libraries obtain Bronze, Silver or Gold PA Forward Stars between

October 1 and December 15, 2018


Mechanicsburg, PA (December 19, 2018) Libraries across Pennsylvania continue showcasing the value they bring to their communities by providing programs and resources which positively support the patrons served and have earned “Star Library” status in the process.  The Pennsylvania Library Association today announced their statewide PA Forward Star Library Program 2018 fourth quarter awardees.


“Using the PA Forward framework, libraries help patrons meet their own needs and those of their loved ones in an ever-evolving society. We are honored to be able to highlight their work and help all residents connect more with these community pillars,” said Christi Buker, Pennsylvania Library Association Executive Director. “These awards signify intentional investments by library staffs to offer programs and resources that correlate to direct investments in the community. A patron coming to the library to access a computer and the internet to submit an online job application or an individual coming to the library to participate in a program that helps them care for an ailing parent are examples of patrons whose lives have been changed, positively, because of the offerings at the local library. The Star Library Program allows us to put a spotlight on how libraries are moving Pennsylvania forward.”  

PA Forward, launched statewide in 2012, works through five key literacies – Basic, Information, Civic & Social, Health and Financial – to assist individuals in enhancing their overall quality of life. To continue helping libraries use PA Forward to demonstrate all their libraries offer, in January 2017, the Association kicked off the Star Library program statewide. The Star Library recognition offers support to libraries who participate and integrate PA Forward’s literacies in their programming activities. Those libraries are recognized for meeting benchmarks within the bronze, silver and gold star levels of the program. While one star is awarded for both the bronze and gold levels, a total of five stars are awarded in the silver category – one silver star for each of the five literacies of PA Forward.

Stars are awarded on a quarterly basis in the calendar year and the recognition is for the highest level attained in the program at the time of the award. The following library awards are listed by award and county and are for the newest achievements earned between October 1 and December 15, 2018.    

Bronze Star - A total of 10 Bronze Stars are awarded to the following libraries:

Allegheny County

  • Andrew Bayne Memorial Library
  • Andrew Carnegie Free Library
  • Brentwood Library
  • Cooper-Siegel Community Library
  • Northern Tier Regional Library
  • Robinson Township Library

Butler County

  • Butler Area Public Library

Delaware County

  • Sharon Hill Public Library

Erie County

  • Corry Public Library

Montgomery County

  • Lansdale Public Library

Silver Star – A total of 13 Silver Stars, and the levels reached, are awarded to the following libraries:

Armstrong County

  • Apollo Memorial Library, 3rd

Chester County

  • Paoli Library, 1st

Clarion County

  • Knox Public Library, 4th

Dauphin County

  • Penn State University Harrisburg Library, 1st  

Erie County

  • Corry Public Library, 1st  

Fayette County

  • Carnegie Free Library of Connellsville, 5th  

Lebanon County

  • Lebanon Community Library, 4th

Lehigh County

  • Lower Macungie Library, 5th  

Luzerne County

  • Hazleton Area Public Library, 3rd  

Montgomery County

  • Ardmore Library, 5th  

Monroe County

  • Eastern Monroe Public Library, 1st

Somerset County

  • Meyersdale Public Library, 1st

York County

  • Paul Smith Library of Southern York County, 5th  

Gold Star – A total of seven Gold Stars are awarded to the following libraries:

Allegheny County

  • Baldwin Borough Public Library
  • Northland Public Library Authority
  • South Fayette Township Library

Dauphin County

  • Hershey Public Library

Lebanon County

  • Matthews Public Library

Montgomery County

  • Ludington Public Library

York County

  • Guthrie Memorial Library


For more information, including a complete listing of all libraries participating in the program, visit


Tags:  Bronze Star  Gold Star  PA Forward  Silver Star  Star Library 

Share |


Posted By Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Tuesday, October 16, 2018

For Immediate Release

October 16, 2018


CONTACT: Brandi Hunter-Davenport, PA Forward Project Manager

717-421-1164 (cell) or  



For Planning Purposes Only




Harrisburg (Dauphin County)—Representatives from the PA Library Association will be joined by state officials, library workers, staffs and volunteers from throughout the commonwealth to discuss community contributions and value libraries add to the areas they serve.   

After the press conference, several libraries will engage in a special educational session, highlighting programs and services they provide to assist patrons with their needs. Members of the public are invited to participate in the morning activities. 


 Event: State officials and PA Library Association representatives spotlight roles of libraries; showcasing the numerous opportunities and resources they make available in their local communities. Poster education session features examples of programs offered by libraries throughout the state.


Date: Wednesday, October 17, 2018


Time: 10:30 a.m. press conference; 11 a.m. education session


Location: East Wing Rotunda of Main Capitol Building

                 PA State Capitol Complex

                 501 N 3rd St

      Harrisburg, PA 17120



Tags:  Media Advisory  PA Forward  Presser 

Share |

Article of Interest - I’m a public librarian.

Posted By Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Monday, July 2, 2018

Full article available at:

This story is a part of Open Data PGH, a joint reporting project by and PublicSource on open data trends in Pittsburgh. 


I’m a public librarian. This is why I’m also a civic-tech advocate

This is a guest post by Tess Wilson, a LYNCS outreach librarian at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

"...There are software developers working closely with companies to incorporate new tech into their systems. There are city planners who envision a Pittsburgh built on a foundation of free and open data. There are curious citizens coding for a better community, county employees who carry with them the weight of the big picture, and funders with an eye for innovation.

And, of course, there are staff from the public library..."

Tags:  Civic Literacy  Information Literacy  PA Forward 

Share |

Article of Interest - The Critical Role Your Neighborhood Library Could be Playing in Public Health

Posted By Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Monday, July 2, 2018

From Penn Medicine News: 

The Critical Role Your Neighborhood Library Could be Playing in Public Health

Homelessness, mental health, and more recently, the opioid crisis: Librarians across the country have been on the front lines tackling these issues for years. They guide patrons towards health literature. They connect them to the right care. And they even administer the opioid overdose antidote, naloxone, when necessary.

For the full article text, visit

Tags:  Health  Health Literacy  PA Forward 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Resource Information Available from PA Forward partners at Alzheimer's Association Greater PA Chapter

Posted By Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Our #PAForward partners at the Alzheimer's Association- Greater PA Chapter has some information available for you. The Alzheimer's Association recognizes Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month (ABAM) in June as an opportunity to hold a global conversation about the brain and Alzheimer's disease and other dementia.

Topics covered include: 10 ways to protect your brain, alzheimer's workplace alliance, know the 10 signs, the longest day, 6 steps to approaching alzheimer's and 10 steps to take post diagnosis.

If you're interested in any of these materials, send an email to

Tags:  Alzheimer's Association  Brain Health Awareness  Health Literacy  Longest Day  PA Forward 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Next PA Forward Information Literacy Summit Taking Place in 2019

Posted By Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, March 14, 2018

In case you're not aware, there will not be a 2018 PA Forward Information Literacy Summit. Please be on the look out for information regarding the 2019 event once available. Questions can be directed to 

Thanks for your continued support of PA Forward!

Tags:  Information Literacy  PA Forward  Summit 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

National Library Week is April 8-14, 2018

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

#NationalLibraryWeek will be here before we know it! Check out your media toolkit, provided by the Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA)'s PR & Marketing Committee, for ideas to help you showcase all that you're doing at your local libraries. If you missed our previous email with the information, here is the link for reference:…/0126A5AD-64…/NLW_2018_Media_Toolkit.pdf. The word file is also attached as well. And remember, once you secure your county proclamations, please remember to share the photos with us! Thanks again for all you do!

Download File (DOCX)

Tags:  National Library Week  NLW2018  PA Forward 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Celebrating 800 Episodes of PA Books

Posted By Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Friday, March 9, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, March 6, 2018

News from our partners at the PA Cable Network (PCN) as they prepare to celebrate their 800th PA Book! Show airs Sunday, March 11 at 7 p.m. 


Celebrating 800 Episodes of PA Books - For 2018, 18 Favorites

Written by Brian Lockman, PCN’s CEO & President

Hosting PA Books for the past 20 years has been more of a hobby than a job. It has offered me the privilege of spending an hour with hundreds of fascinating people who have written about Pennsylvania. And I hope it has enabled viewers learn something about their home state and, maybe, helped authors sell a few books.

Whittling more than 20 years of PA Books down to my 18 favorites was a very difficult thing to do. It would have been easier to pick my favorite 100, but here goes in no particular order.

1 – John Updike, author of “Buchanan Dying”

After many years of reading his novels, and after 10 years of requesting an interview, I was finally able to sit down with this literary legend. Very few writers have tackled James Buchanan as a subject, but he wrote both a book and a play about Pennsylvania’s only president. Updike was charming, humble, and fascinating. I was in awe.


2 – Dick Boak, author of “Martin Guitar Masterpieces”

Some of the finest guitars in the world, including the ones my wife and I play, are made by C.F. Martin & Company in Nazareth, PA. Dick Boak was director of artist relations there, so he would work with Neil Young, Paul Simon and the like to design guitars to their specifications. After the show, he let me play a guitar owned by Eric Clapton. It had been sent to Martin for some repair work. That made my daughters think they had the coolest dad in the world.


3 – John Grogan, author of “Marley and Me”

This book spent three years on the New York Times best-seller list and was made into a hit movie. I interviewed him when the book first came out. PA Books cannot claim all the credit for the book’s success, but it did not show up on the best-seller charts until after its appearance on PA Books so it does make you wonder.


4 – Lisa Scottoline, author of “Mistaken Identity”

It’s hard to interview writers of fiction, because you really cannot talk very much about the plot, so there is the danger of running out of things to talk about. No problem with Lisa Scottoline. She is so enthusiastic and entertaining that she has been a guest six times.


5 – M.K. Asante, author of “Buck”

This was the first book that ever arrived with its own promotional music video, so the prospect of interviewing him was intriguing. Asante, still in his 30’s, grew up in Philadelphia and is a tenured professor at Morgan State University in Baltimore. He is funny, fascinating, and inspiring. We could have kept talking for hours.


6 – David McCullough, author of “1776”

Most of George Washington’s career took place in Pennsylvania, and I never get tired of reading about him. Plus, you should never pass up an opportunity to interview David McCullough. He was not in his best voice that day because he had a cold, but he was still David McCullough. Even with a cold…what a voice.


7 – Amy Strauss, author of “Pennsylvania Scrapple”

I had to include this book on the list because, whenever I am out with my family and order scrapple, they give me looks of revulsion. This book sets the record straight. The author was animated, fun to talk with, and a relentless supported of this most misunderstood food.


8 – Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker, authors of “Busted”

These two women won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for a series they did for the Philadelphia Daily News on police corruption. It took amazing courage for them to work on this story. Their chemistry was a treat to behold. They were enthusiastic, funny, and serious at the same time.


9 – George Anastasia, author of “Mob Files”

George has been on the program four times. He covered organized crime for the Philadelphia Inquirer. If you want to hire an actor to play a reporter covering the mob, George is straight out of central casting.


10 – Jimmy Heath, author of “I Walked With Giants”

This legendary jazz musician and Philadelphia native was 90 years old and still an active

performer when I interviewed him. He was charming, funny, and full of fascinating stories.


11 – John Eisenhower, author of “General Ike”

PCN has claimed Dwight Eisenhower as a Pennsylvanian, since the only home he ever owned was in Gettysburg. The president’s son, himself a general, told great stories, cussed like a soldier, and when he smiled, was the spitting image of his dad. I interviewed him at his home in Maryland, and when the interview was over, his wife served lunch to the whole PCN crew.


12 – William Hogeland, author of “Declaration”

This book painted a picture of Philadelphia in 1776 that made it sound like Teheran in 1979, with Samuel Adams playing the role of the Ayatolla. The American Revolution was not neat or pretty, and this book did the best job I’ve found in describing the chaos that came with the rebellion.


13 – Diane McKinney-Whetstone, author of “Lazaretto”

I said earlier how difficult it is to interview writers of fiction, but Diane was on the program

three times. She taught writing at the University of Pennsylvania and gave great insights into the challenges of the writing craft.


14 – Cooper Wingert, author of “The Confederate Approach on Harrisburg”

Cooper was 16 years old when I interviewed him. Today he is a 20-year- old Dickinson College student who has ten books to his credit. At 16, he sounded as knowledgeable and well-spoken as any historian I have interviewed. His book caused me to view the Harrisburg area and its role in the Civil War in an entirely new way.


15 – Abdullah Muhammed, author of “Africans in New Sweden”

The town where I grew up was part of the colony of New Sweden, so I find the subject to be fascinating. The Swedes were here before the English and before William Penn, and yet almost no one writes about it. Abdullah is a charming and engaging re-enactor of a historical era that deserves to be better remembered.


16 – Audrey Lewis and Christine Podmaniczky, authors of “Andrew Wyeth: A Retrospective”

We recorded this interview in Andrew Wyeth’s actual studio in Chadds’ Ford. Besides being a very entertaining interview, it was great fun looking around at the easels, palettes, brushes, and memorabilia that are untouched since the famous painter worked in that room.


17 – William Woys Weaver, author of “As American As Shoo-Fly Pie”

This was a delightful discussion of sauerkraut, sausages, desserts, and other Pennsylvania Dutch treats. Weaver is a strong supporter of this cuisine and is always trying to incorporate it into the world of fine dining.


18 – Walt Koken, author of “Fire on the Mountain”

I wanted book show number 800 to feature someone special. My wife and I became fans of Walt and the Highwoods Stringband in the 1970’s. We, and many others like us, play Old Time Southern Appalachian fiddle tunes today because of the inspiration we got from that band. This is a music that has very little commercial value, but among people who play it, Walt is a legend.


The 800th episode of PA Books featuring Author and Musician Walt Koken will air on PCN and the PCN Select Sunday, March 11, at 7 p.m.

How to watch PA Books

Watch PCN (Pennsylvania Cable Network) and stream on demand in HD on your favorite mobile device, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku using the PCN Select app. Subscribe to PCN Select at

About PCN

PCN (Pennsylvania Cable Network) is a statewide, non-profit television network responsive to the needs and interests of Pennsylvania and its people. PCN provides unedited coverage of politics and policy, unique accounts of history and culture, and a variety of sports championships and events from the state of Pennsylvania. Watch PCN on cable and stream on demand using PCN Select. Go to for the schedule and details.



Tags:  PA Books  PA Forward  PCN 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

PA Books on PCN TV Celebrates 800 Episodes

Posted By Brandi Hunter-Davenport, Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Check out this information from our PA Forward partners and tune in on Sunday, March 11!


PA Books on PCN TV Celebrates 800 Episodes

Sunday, March 11, at 7 pm


Did you know…


-Pennsylvania once fought a shooting war against Connecticut?

-The highest paid spy in the American Revolution was the wealthy Philadelphia loyalist Peggy Shippen, the wife of Benedict Arnold?

-The first six Negro Leagues players inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame all played for teams in Pittsburgh?

-The world’s first computer, ENIAC, was built in Philadelphia, and still resides there?

-At age 22, George Washington was famous in the courts of England and France for having started the French and Indian War at Jumonville Glen, PA?

Most people don’t, unless they watch PA Books on PCN (Pennsylvania Cable Network).

A Books is a television program that features one-hour interviews with authors of books about Pennsylvania. For more than 20 years, PCN has offered this unique collection, showcasing the state’s history, culture, and people. Selected for the program are newly-released books about some aspect of Pennsylvania’s multi-faceted story.

With each episode, PA Books engages the viewers beyond the written words and personally connects them with the authors who discuss not only the stories in their book, but also reflect on their research, writing process, and personal impressions of the people and events they’ve spent years studying. Viewers are rewarded with an audiovisual dimension of the book and author exclusive to the PA Books program.

On March 11, PCN will televise episode number 800 of this long-running series.

For program number 800, the guest is Chester County’s Walt Koken, a master of the fiddle and banjo, playing “Old Time Music”, traditional music handed down through generations of mountain folks in West Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. The music was brought to America by Scots-Irish immigrants who carried the tunes with them as they headed west from Philadelphia, through Pennsylvania, and into the Blue Ridge Mountains. “The wonderful thing about Old Time Music,” says PA Books host Brian Lockman, “Is that it has a devoted audience who appreciate something out of the mainstream. Kind of like PCN viewers.” 


To celebrate PA Books’ contribution to preserving Pennsylvania’s history and culture, the top 18 episodes, including the 800th one, will be available free of charge streaming on the PCN Select app and our website through the end of March. The 18 PA Books programs were selected to tell the story of the state through a wide range of topics and guests including Martin Guitars, organized crime, the Civil War, New Sweden, Andrew Wyeth, and Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine plus David McCullough, John Updike, Lisa Scottoline, M.K. Asante, and John Grogan.

Back when PA Books premiered in 1996, it was only available on PCN on cable. With the recent addition of the streaming service, PCN Select, viewers can stream new and on demand episodes of PA Books. PCN has a devoted fan-base who enjoys its coverage of PA Books and other unique historical and cultural programs. Fans also watch PCN’s politics and policy coverage, and a variety of sports championships and events from the state of Pennsylvania. PCN is a statewide, non-profit television network.

The 800th episode of PA Books featuring Author and Musician Walt Koken will air on PCN and the PCN Select Sunday, March 11, at 7 p.m. Please visit for more information.



Tags:  PA Books  PA Forward  PCN 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
Page 1 of 2
1  |  2

Contact Us

220 Cumberland Parkway, Suite 10
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
717-766-7663 Phone
717-766-5440 Fax
800-622-3308 (PA Only)