Guest Blog: The Role of PaLA and PA Forward in addressing core literacies

The following is a guest blog post from Rob Lesher.

I want to thank Beth for inviting me to write a guest blog post on her TechieLibrarian blog. I would like to write about the role of the Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA) and the PA Forward initiative in helping libraries of all types address literacy needs. In particular, I would like to write about the intersection of technology and PA Forward.

PA Forward is an initiative spearheaded by the PaLA to help libraries in the state address common literacy needs of their patrons. PA Forward addresses five literacies: basic literacy such as reading skills, information literacy, civil and social literacy, health literacy and financial literacy.

Libraries must address digital media literacy in all of these literacy areas. For example, patrons need basic literacy skills, but they may also need technology skills to be able to select, download and read ebooks on ereaders. Health literacy includes the skill set of finding and evaluating quality health information online .

PA libraries of all types, including public, academic, and special libraries, must address PA Forward literacies that are relevant and needed by their patron groups. Technology needs and training must be included when addressing all of these five critical literacies.

Rob Lesher is the Executive Director of the Adams County Library System. He served as President of the PA Library Association in 2011.

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