Last month I attended a multi-district workshop–Committed to Future Relevance: Relationships, E-Books, and Literacies. As part of the workshop, attendees were given a preview of an initiative that has been in development for several years and will be officially rolled out to the public at the beginning of next year–PA FORWARD.

PA FORWARD is part advocacy, part marketing campaign designed to benefit all libraries–public, academic, school & special by promoting the idea that “with the right support, libraries are ideally positioned to become the community centers of information technology that will fuel educational and economic opportunity for all of our citizens.” The cornerstone of the initiative are the five literacies, which are fundamentally important to individual success–basic literacy, information literacy, civic and social literacy, health literacy, and financial literacy. The goal is to position libraries as the “key to powering progress and elevating the quality of life in Pennsylvania by fueling the types of knowledge essential to success (the five literacies).

This is exciting! I have high hopes for this bold move forward in library advocacy and education in Pennsylvania. The official Web site is not yet up and running, but it’s under construction and will be online in the coming weeks. There is an article in the most recent PaLA Bulletin (which should be indexed here soon). More information about the five literacies can be found at the PaLA Web site.

Here’s to looking FORWARD!