PENNSYLVANIA (WTAJ) – 15 counties in Pennsylvania had libraries that were awarded star distinctions by the Pennsylvania Library Association.

Last week the Pennsylvania Legislature passed a budget that makes the largest investment in libraries in more than 14 years.  This investment will be used by libraries to increase the impact they make in their communities and to increase the functional skills and literacy necessary for residents to be successful in a 21st Century society. 

Libraries throughout the Commonwealth partner with community organizations to bring quality programming into the libraries and which are offered free to all residents.  These partnerships provide a platform for experts to share information and skills while residents are introduced to concepts which will improve their lives, increase their health, strengthen digital and information literacy, understand their neighbors, and grow their financial capabilities. 

The list of awardees, by county, follows:

Adams County

  • Adams County Library System – Silver

Allegheny County

  • Mt. Lebanon Community Library – Gold, Maintenance
  • Western Allegheny Community Library- Gold, Maintenance
  • Northern Tier Regional Library – Silver

Armstrong County

  • Ford City Public Library – Gold, Maintenance

Berks County

  • Wernersville Public Library – Gold
  • Kutztown Community Library – Gold, Maintenance        
  • Mifflin Community Library – Gold, Maintenance
  • Womelsdorf Community Library – Silver

Blair County

  • Altoona Public Library – Gold, Maintenance

Bucks County

  • Free Library of Northampton Township – Gold Star Maintenance

Centre County

  • Holt Memorial Library – Gold
  • Penn State – University Park Library – Silver

Chester County

  • Kennett Library – Gold
  • Chester Springs Library – Silver
  • Henrietta Hankin Branch Library – Bronze

Clinton County

  • Anne Halenbake Ross Library – Gold, Maintenance

Delaware County

  • Marple Public Library – Gold, Maintenance

Franklin County

  • Alexander Hamilton Memorial Free Library – Gold, Maintenance

Lancaster County

  • Manheim Township Public Library – Gold

Lackawanna County

  • Taylor Community Library – Gold, Maintenance

Montgomery County

  • Huntingdon Valley Library – Gold, Maintenance
  • Free Library of Springfield Township – Gold, Maintenance
  • William Jeanes Memorial Library – Silver
  • Penn State – Abington Library – Bronze

Somerset County

  • Somerset County Library

Libraries that work to provide literacy-focused resources and high-quality programming are being recognized for their accomplishments and their partnerships by the awarding of PA Forward Star designations from the Pennsylvania Library Association.

“Yes, you can go to your local library and check out books, but these agile institutions demonstrate day in and day out they offer more than books,” Christi Buker, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Library Association noted. “Libraries offer the world to those who enter their doors. It is an honor to highlight those efforts with the PA Forward Star Library designation. Congratulations to all of our highly accomplished Star Libraries.”  

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 that participate in and integrate PA Forward’s literacies in their programming activities. Program topics can include information such as retirement planning (financial literacy) to more physically active programs such as walking book club discussions (civic and social literacy and health literacy).

Libraries are recognized by their peers 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. For each silver star award, a number appears denoting the number of silver stars obtained to date.

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The libraries noted below are those that earned a first-time star or a new star level between April 1 and June 30, 2022. For more information about the program visit the Star Library Program website.

The next round of awards will be announced after October 6, 2022.