Pennsylvania libraries are transforming themselves to keep pace with the needs of the communities they serve. From technology to education, to social services, to the arts, libraries like the James V. Brown Library, 19 E. Fourth St., are transforming from books and banks of computers to community centers – deepening engagement with their communities.
In an increasingly digital world, Pennsylvania libraries provide and promote a sense of place in the community, an anchor where all are welcome. New moms connect at baby story times, older adults find help making life transitions, patrons are to make new friends at book discussion groups, teens connect with one another after school.
“Pennsylvania libraries serve as the people’s university, providing information and educational opportunities, many of which are at no cost to their patrons,” said Robin Glossner, Development, Marketing and Programming Director. “In addition, libraries recognize their role as not just providing content, but to enable community members to create their own content through STEM programs and technology classes.”
Libraries serve as catalysts for community change and their staffs are in unique positions to gather information on societal issues as they interact with people from all walks of life. More and more libraries are partnering with government and social agencies to address the needs of their communities.
“Libraries are places where people gather to interact with one another, explore the world, and imagine the possibilities” added Barbara McGary, Executive Director of Brown Library. “Libraries are building partnerships with area organizations and institutions to build collaboration, education, health and well–being for all.”
Pennsylvania libraries have moved beyond being book repositories. They are agile institutions serving real–life needs. Libraries are key to powering progress and elevating Pennsylvania’s quality of life by fueling the types of knowledge essential to success: Basic Literacy, Information Literacy, Civic and Social Literacy, Health Literacy, and Financial Literacy.
Working in partnership with the Pennsylvania Library Association, the Brown Library is helping to move PA Forward. PA Forward spotlights what libraries are doing every day, demonstrating that with the right support, libraries are positioned as community centers of information, technology, and learning, fueling educational and economic opportunity for all citizens.