Penn College Home to State’s First ‘Gold Star’ Academic Library
The initiative was launched in January 2017 to showcase Pennsylvania’s libraries and the myriad ways they serve their constituents, and Penn College quickly moved through the bronze and silver benchmarks in the intervening 15 months.
At each level, specific objectives were seamlessly reflected in displays, events and activities – ranging from Open House and Hispanic Heritage Month to suicide prevention and (in a nod to the college’s automotive restoration major) attention-grabbing displays of vintage vehicles.
“We’re proud of being a participant in the PA Forward Stars program, which has helped us spotlight the important role libraries play in the lives of our community members,” said Tracey Amey, Madigan Library director. “As part of the program, we’ve provided not just books and information, but promoted therapy dogs, art exhibits and stay-healthy giveaways.”
By incorporating all five key literacies into its programming – basic literacy, information literacy, civic and social literacy, health literacy, and financial literacy – Madigan Library joined the many other Gold Star libraries throughout Pennsylvania, including the James V. Brown Library in downtown Williamsport, that work diligently to serve the real-life needs of residents, she noted.
Participation in PA Forward has brought about some unexpected, but welcome outcomes.
“For example, we did a health literacy campaign in January that focused on actions students could take to stay healthy during the flu season,” Amey said. “Our sample products and information brochures flew off the display. Clearly, our goal for providing students information they will use every day was overwhelmingly fulfilled and we discovered a demand we hadn’t previously met.”
While attainment of gold status is in itself a pinnacle, Amey characterized it as the first step on the library’s “star-gazing adventure.” Library faculty and staff will continue to provide information on the five foundational literacies and keep a collective eye “looking upward to even more activities,” she said.
“Literacy IS power,” added Joann L. Eichenlaub, assistant director, who spearheaded the college’s involvement, “and libraries provide the services and resources to fuel the progress in moving PA Forward!”
The Madigan Library’s journey through the Stars program has involved collaboration with many other campus offices and departments, she said, including participation of The Gallery at Penn College for an “Old Books/New Lives” display and a “Books Undone” juried exhibit; the Student Activities Office; the School of Business & Hospitality for student-assisted tax preparation; Human Resources’ Professional Development Office for programs on intellectual property; and Public Relations & Marketing for promotion of library events.
For more information about the library, call 570-327-4523.
For more about the college, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.