Request for Authors and Illustrators to Speak Up for Pennsylvania Libraries

Pa Forward Speak Up!

PA Forward is seeking authors and illustrators to write up short narratives about their support for Pennsylvania Libraries.  Please pass on the letter below to anyone who may be interested in helping.  They are particularly looking for anyone who has published books of interest to the general public or school age children. Thanks for your help in spreading the word.

PA Forward is a campaign by the Pennsylvania Library Association to promote public, academic, and school libraries and ensure that all Pennsylvania libraries have what they need to help people reach their greatest potential and meet the demands of the 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 citizens, students, and parents, to employers, employees, and consumers.  The five areas of focus are basic literacy, information literacy, civic and social literacy, health literacy, and financial literacy.

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The Pennsylvania Library Association is proud to introduce the “PA Forward Speak Up! Authors & Illustrators Speak Up for PA Libraries” initiative. This initiative places Pennsylvania authors and illustrators in the spotlight, increasing support for libraries everywhere during a critical period of economic downturn. As a partner and spokesperson, your involvement can help fuel the dialogue on Pennsylvania libraries and the key role these institutions play in the economic, social and educational fabric of our state.

Your leadership comes at a true watershed moment for libraries everywhere. With Americans facing economic uncertainty, high unemployment rates, and the dizzying pace of an increasingly digital world, libraries remain the great equalizer. While statistics show us that library usage is up in unprecedented numbers, reports from libraries around the country tell us that tight city and state budgets are closing library doors, reducing collections and resources, and ultimately reducing access when it’s needed most.

The library community is keenly aware of this irony, but our message is heard best when it’s delivered by those outside of the library, particularly those who can speak eloquently and articulately about the value of libraries and the issues facing them. And who better than individuals whose works are the very reason we have libraries: authors like you. Authors are natural allies of libraries. You appreciate them as a quiet space to write or do research and you understand that the library that houses your books immortalizes your words and ideas.

Please visit and provide us with the information we need for our grassroots campaign. If you have any questions feel free to email at

PaLA Northeast Chapter Holds Annual Social

nepala fall social 2013On Sunday the Northeast Chapter of the Pennsylvania Library Association held its annual Fall Social at the brand new North Pocono Public Library in Moscow, PA. The theme of the social was Maker Spaces and we heard from Jared and Ellis from Make Lehigh Valley. Maker Spaces or Hacker Spaces are places/organizations for people to join and make things, usually electronics and technology focused but may include anything from knitting to soldering. Jared explained how Make Lehigh Valley was formed and the projects they have been involved with, like teaching classes for kids at a local science center, building a 3D printer, experiments with Raspberry PI and Arduino workshops. After the presentation, Ellis taught chapter members how to build cellphone microscopes.

Other chapter members demoed maker-type projects they’ve been holding at their libraries. Elizabeth Davis from the Scranton Public Library demoed Makey Makey boards and robotic programing. Brian Fulton from the Scranton Times-Tribune displayed postcards he designed and printed. Sheli McHugh from the University of Scranton demoed button making with the button maker that the Library just purchased and used at the Game Night in October. The demos provided an opportunity for librarians to learn about new programs that they may want to offer at their libraries.

The social attendees then toured the beautiful new North Pocono Library and enjoyed snacks and goodies provided by the library and the chapter.

Pennsylvania Library Association Conference: Award and Presentations

The Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA) held its annual conference in Seven Springs, PA, October 20-23rd. University of Scranton Librarian, Bonnie Oldham, was honored with an award at the conference. Two other University of Scranton librarians attended this year; Digital Services Librarian, Kristen Yarmey, and Cataloging and Metadata Librarian, Sheli McHugh.

During the annual business meeting for PaLA, University of Scranton’s Information Literacy Coordinator, Bonnie Oldham was awarded a Certificate of Merit for her continued contribution to the Association. Oldham has served on the board of College and Research Division of PaLA as well as the Northeast Chapter. Congratulations, Bonnie Oldham!

Yarmey presented a conference session titled “Capture all the URLs: First Steps in Web Archiving” where she discussed her work implementing Archive-It at The University of Scranton and how other institutions can begin to plan their web archiving projects. Yarmey also presented on a panel with other Pennsylvania librarians to discuss programs that support and highlight PA Forward‘s Five Literacies, focusing on Civic and Social literacy.

McHugh presented a poster session discussing survey results that analyzed how cataloging librarians use Twitter as a Personal Learning Network to connect with other catalogers. The survey also examined if their Twitter use can lead to higher levels of Social Capital, or sense of belonging to ones community.


Did you hear about Sheli?

Sheli (second from left) represented the U as part of the Northeast Chapter Jeopardy team at the annual PaLA conference

Have you heard about Sheli?  She’s our new Cataloging/Metadata Librarian who also serves as the chair of the Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA) Technical Services Roundtable.  In this role, she attended the PaLA conference last fall, along with several other University of Scranton librarians, and she has an article in this month’s Pennsylvania Library Association Bulletin called “Technical Services Programs – Big Hit at PaLA.” Congrats, Sheli!

Pennsylvania academic librarians gather in Scranton

Yesterday, the University of Scranton campus welcomed the Pennsylvania Library Association‘s College & Research Division for its annual conference.  Academic librarians from all over the state (even as far away as Pittsburgh) came to the DeNaples Center to learn from their peers and discuss new ideas.

The theme of this year’s conference was “Information Commons in the Wild: Lessons from the Field.”  Dr. Scott Bennett, Yale Librarian Emeritus and a Library Space Planning consultant, served as the keynote speaker and led conference participants in discussing the philosophy and purpose behind the information commons design model.

In the afternoon, a panel of librarians (Don Smith, Katherine Furlong, Sally Kalin, and Anu Vedantham) shared experiences with creating information commons at their respective institutions (the University of Louisiana at Monroe, Lafayette College, Penn State, and the University of Pennsylvania).  We’ve posted a few photos of Scott and the panel on our Flickr page.

Many thanks to our speakers and all of the librarians who survived I-81 traffic jams to participate! And special thanks to our own Bonnie Oldham, PALA-CRD’s chair elect, for all of her work coordinating the event.