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Steering PA Forward
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Steering PA Forward

Brandi Hunter-Davenport is the PA Forward Project Manager. She collaborates the Association and a 14-member Steering Committee, which functions as the initiative’s board, to execute the multi-layered program. The initiative is also supported by several sub-committees, comprised of volunteer members and partner organizations.

Steering Committee members include: 

  • Paula Gilbert, Chair, York County Libraries
  • Mary Garm, Immediate Past Chair, Lackawanna County Library System
  • Tina Hertel, PaLA President, Muhlenberg College’s Trexler Library
  • Jessica Church, Punxsutawney Memorial Library
  • Paula Collins, Clearfield County Public Library
  • Joann Eichenlaub, Penn College of Technology’s Madigan Library
  • Barbara Eshbach, Penn State University Libraries
  • Kelli Knapp, Warren County Public Library
  • Rob Lesher, Dauphin County Library System
  • Jennifer Long, Easton Area Public Library
  • Allison Mackley, Hershey High School
  • David Schappert, Marywood University
  • Denise Sticha, Centre County Library & Historical Museum
  • Alicia Stine, Pennsylvania Citizens for Better Libraries (PCBL)

Formed in March 2011 to work with Pennsylvania Library Association staff to prepare for the project’s launch, the Steering Committee is charged with leading and sustaining the campaign over multiple years to ensure lasting improvements to all library services through engagement of the library community, partnership development, training and outreach, fundraising and impact(s) measurement.

"We are demonstrating that literacy is important and libraries can say that moving PA forward is important. We knew our efforts would take time and here we are five years later." ~ Mary Garm, Immediate Past Chair, PA Forward Steering Committee (2017)

As the Steering Committee continues to guide the initiative and conduct work to maintain its position for growth and longevity, the group has undergone a yearly strategic planning process as a pulse check of the work being completed. For the 2017 and 2018 calendar years, the following goals were agreed upon:

  • Communication
  • Partnerships
  • Sustainable Funding
  • Star Library Program
  • Succession Planning

PA Forward is comprised of five literacy teams:

  • Basic (Vacant, Chair; Margie Stern, Vice-Chair, Indian Valley Library)
  • Information (Rebecca Miller, Chair, Penn State University Libraries; Vacant, Vice-Chair)
  • Civic & Social (Amanda Kirby, Chair, Western Allegheny Community Library; Jacque Smith, Vice-Chair, Independent Grant Writer)
  • Health (Amy Knehans, Chair, Penn State Hershey Medical Library; Vacant, Vice-Chair)
  • Financial (Lauren Reiter, Chair, Penn State University Libraries; Emily Mross, Vice-Chair, Penn State University Libraries)

In addition to each of the literacy teams, which meet quarterly to discuss supports that can be offered to the library community, the following committees also work to advance the work of the initiative:  

  • Academic Outreach (Barbara Eshbach, Chair, Penn State University Libraries-York; Christopher Raab, Vice-Chair, Franklin & Marshall College)
  • Training Team (Paula Gilbert, York County Libraries, Chair; Joann Eichenlaub, Penn College of Technology/Madigan Library, Vice-Chair)

PA Forward also receives support from the Association's PR/Marketing Committee (Amy Krize Suveg, Chester County Library System & Regina Fried, Bucks County Library System, co-chairs).

For more information about PA Forward or to get involved, send an email to or call 717-766-7663. 


Contact Us

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