The long-awaited public launch of Pennsylvania Library Association’s PA Forward initiative has been confirmed for Monday, February 13, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. at the State Capitol Rotunda.  This press conference will highlight the vital role libraries play in improving literacy and the innovative library partnerships that PA Forward represents.  Feel free to join us in person if you’d like to be part of the live event.
Much to celebrate:  PA Forward has attracted an impressive group of fifteen “founding” partners – corporations, state agencies, and statewide associations with a public commitment to libraries and literacy.  More exciting news:  a passionate library advocate, best-selling Pennsylvania author Lisa Scottoline, will be PA Forward’s honorary chair, and we’ve recruited an Advisory Board of thirteen equally passionate leaders from various fields to provide strategic  guidance, connections, and advocacy.  I’ll brief you soon on more exciting PA Forward developments, including the upcoming launch of our website,
Your own launch:  We encourage you to plan your own “launch” event after February 13 to reinforce the statewide launch of PA Forward and the importance of the “five literacies.”  Ideally we want the “buzz” to build statewide following the launch and continuing through National Library Week in mid-April.  Some libraries are planning their own press conference to announce a new literacy-related program or strategic partnership.  Others anticipate celebrating and promoting an ongoing program/service tied to one of the essential literacies.  Regardless of the form your launch takes, we encourage you to create your own buzz by showcasing the ways your library helps people build essential literacy skills.
To help you “build buzz”:  You’ll find new PR “toolkit” materials on the PaLA website (, click on PA Forward Library Resources) to guide you through the event planning process and give you language to position your library in a new way.  Developed by PPO&S and PaLA’s PR/Marketing Committee, these documents offer a wealth of event ideas, planning guidelines, and checklists, plus tips for creating partnerships and working with the media.  And coming next week: an elevator speech and press release templates for your literacy-related events.
Keep us posted:  We want to know your PA Forward plans, so please submit a launch event form, which you’ll find among the toolkit materials.  It will take just a few minutes to complete.
Many, many thanks:  We have much to celebrate as PA Forward prepares to go public, and PaLA is grateful to the libraries, organizations, and individuals whose generous commitment of wise counsel, strategic thinking, and financial support has led us to this point.
On to the launch!
Warmest regards,
Kathy Silks
Project Manager, PA Forward | Pennsylvania Libraries
Pennsylvania Library Association
220 Cumberland Parkway, Suite 10
Mechanicsburg, PA  17055