PA Forward Star Libraries

What is PA Forward?

PA Forward is a new initiative of the Pennsylvania Library Association, which aims to make sure that libraries have what they need to help people reach their greatest potential and meet the demands of 21st century life. This initiative establishes new public-private partnerships and builds on the belief that libraries are uniquely positioned to help Pennsylvanians improve their command of five types of literacy essential to greater success in all vital roles of life, from citizen, students, and parents, to employers, employees, and consumers.

The five essential literacies are:

Basic Literacy – the ability to read, write, speak, and listen with comprehension at all levels of life, career and community involvement; the functional and practical use of language in all formats. Foundational literacy education includes, but is not limited to, reading, writing, math, job application assistance, fundamental terminology and technical concepts in a field of study, learning new languages and new technologies for communication, and overall life-skill development.

Information Literacy – The ability to express, connect with and understand communication in numerous formats; to locate, evaluate, and use effectively and ethically resources of information; to distinguish between credible and non-credible sources; to recognize when information is needed to further oneself, an objective or a project.

Civic and Social Literacy – The ability to engage in discourse while remaining respectful of other individuals of varying opinions; to understand the importance of community and engagement which allows individuals to interact with one another in a participatory manner; to invoke change in an area.

Health Literacy – The ability to understand basic health information and services (including insurance and medical billing) in order to make informed decisions concerning health choices; to be able to work in partnership with medical practitioners and caregivers to provide and receive the best health care possible.

Financial Literacy – The ability to make informed decisions in areas ranging from personal finance, to business management, to teaching spending and savings skills to children, to helping elders with retirement and/or estate planning.

PA Forward Logo in Color
PA Forward Literacy Graphics in Color
PA Forward Star Program
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