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PA Forward: Our Star Library Journey

The Learning Commons is a proud participant in the Pennsylvania Library Association's PA Forward initiative. Learn more about that initiative on this guide.

Our Star Library Journey

Part of becoming a Star Library is completing core and bonus actions in addition to providing programming that aligns with the literacies. Academic libraries may not always have the freedom to engage in some of the bonus or core actions, and in those cases, you may need to work with PaLA to get creative. Read below to learn more about the actions we completed.

Learn more about the program at the PA Forward Star Library Program website.

Earning the Bronze Star

In order to earn a Bronze Star, you must complete six core actions in addition to three bonus actions.

Core Actions

  • Create your account on the Star Libraries website and your cloud folder in which you will share your completed actions documentation.
  • Watch the PA Forward 5 Literacies webinar.
  • Have your library “like” or “follow” the PA Forward Facebook page and/or Twitter account.
  • Submit a description of a PA Forwarded branded event to the Commons.
  • Discuss PA Forward at a staff meeting.
  • Include the PA Forward logo on at least 5 different library marketing materials.

We were able to complete almost all of the actions without modification. Our institution prohibits individual departments from having their own social media accounts, so in order to complete this action, our director “liked” the PA Forward page with her personal Facebook account and then took a photo of herself showing that she had liked the page. You can see the photo in our shared folder linked below.

We also submitted information on the first program we decided to brand with PA Forward – our common book program.

We included the PA Forward logo on the following marketing materials:

  • Learning Commons email blast template.
  • New student orientation handout.
  • Library instruction handouts.
  • New hire orientation handout.
  • Learning Commons PowerPoint presentation template.

Bonus Actions

We chose to complete the following bonus actions, which we could do without any modification.

  • Display a PA Forward poster.
  • Hang a window cling.
  • Include PA Forward logo in librarian email signatures.

Learn More

Click here to view our Google drive folder.

Earning the Silver Star

In order to earn a Silver Star, we had to complete the same core actions for each literacy as well as one additional bonus action for each literacy.

Core Actions

  • Identify a new or existing event that supports the literacy.
  • Include the corresponding literacy logo in a library display about the event.
  • Discuss the literacy in a library publication.
  • Discuss the literacy on your library’s social media.

At the time of completing the star actions, our Learning Commons was prohibited from having print displays; thus we displayed event information and the corresponding logos on our digital display screens.

We do not produce any library publications such as newsletters, so we were able to modify this core action and create a library guide with tabs for each literacy.

We do not have social media, but we do have a library news page that we update with events and programs happening in the Learning Commons; the news page was allowed as a substitute for social media.

Bonus Actions

We chose the following five bonus actions, which we could complete without modification.

  • Include the PA Forward logo on your library’s homepage or LibGuide: We added this to the footer of all of our LibGuides.
  • Include a general PA Forward logo on your library’s LCD or screensaver: In addition to marketing events corresponding to each literacy on our digital display, we have a general PA Forward logo and our star level in the regular digital display loop.
  • Discuss PA Forward in a presentation: One of our librarians discussed PA Forward/information literacy as part of a poster presentation on research parties.
  • Discuss PA Forward in a press release: Once we began earning our stars, we submitted press releases to our College’s marketing department and to Pennsylvania Libraries: Research & Practice (PaLRaP). We got a mention on our College newsletter and we had a “News Item” spot in PaLRaP.
  • Include PA Forward logo on a free library giveaway: We included the logo on a piece of Learning Commons swag.

Learn More

Click here to view our Google drive folder.

Earning the Gold Star

In order to earn a Gold Star, the library must complete four additional bonus actions and have at least one staff member be a member of PaLA. We chose the following bonus actions which we could do with minimal or with no modification.

  • Include a page on your library’s website where you discuss PA Forward and how your library is involved: Because we have little control over web content, we couldn’t create a separate page dedicated to PA Forward; however, we could create a tab on a table on our homepage. This tab provides information on PA Forward and directs to our PA Forward LibGuide.
  • Have a staff member present a session on a PA-Forward related topic: One of our library staff members presented at a local library conference about integrating information literacy into courses. She included the PA Forward logo and mentioned our involvement with PA Forward.
  • Invite a PA Forward ambassador to speak to library staff: We invited a member of the PA Forward Financial Literacy team to speak to a group of staff to help us evaluate and revise the financial literacy programming we offer.
  • Have a staff member serve on a PA Forward-related committee: Our director is currently on the PA Forward Information Literacy team.


Learn More

Click here to view our Google drive folder.

Health Sciences Library - Seraph Learning Commons - Cooper Building - 850 Greenfield Road - Lancaster, PA 17601 - - (717 947-6022).PA Forward logo