In 2020 McCord Memorial Library will embark on a quest to earn a gold star in the PA Forward Star Program, which focuses on five key subject areas to better serve our community. Each point of the star makes up part of the whole.
Basic Literacy is reading and writing, the first terms most think of when hearing the word literacy. McCord Memorial Library (along with other Pennsylvania libraries) will be striving to achieve one of the highest literacy rates in the country, with a better trained and more skilled workforce. Workshops related to this would be job skills, ESL classes, and resume help.
Information Literacy is the second subject in this program. The focus here is to help individuals learn how to use online resources and current technology to improve education, enhance job skills, and participate fully in a digital society. Basic computer classes for all ages would be a part of this area.
Civic and Social Literacy is focused on bettering the community through civics. This aspect of the program will focus on giving citizens of all ages the knowledge and skills they need to improve their lives, to contribute effectively in their communities, and to participate in civil discourse. Though a large swathe of ideas fit into this area, the big takeaway is that civics helps make individuals better citizens.
Health Literacy is the fourth point on the star, and is related to making informed health decisions. McCord Memorial Library is planning to partner with other groups to help citizens actively manage their own and their family’s well-being. We aim to make them effective partners with their health care providers, and hopefully reducing costs. We have done this in the past, with National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) mental health first aid training, and hope to expand to other areas.
Financial Literacy relates to more than just balancing a checkbook. Financial literacy is gaining the knowledge to better manage your money and assets, a useful skill for all individuals. This subject informs consumers and guides individuals, small businesses, and other organizations to contribute to the economic vitality of themselves and their communities.
McCord Memorial Library will be offering programs for all ages in these key areas. We will also be partnering with community groups to offer new and unique programs. The PA Forward Star Program will help McCord fill in gaps in our available workshops, offerings, courses, and programs. Simply, the program will help us figure out better ways to help our patrons.
We will continue to offer our regular programs, including the February Speaker Series, Teen programming, and Children’s Story Times. McCord Memorial Library is a part of this community. We wish all to feel welcome so that we can make our community as a whole stronger. The PA Forward Star Program will help us further this goal. So join us on this quest, stay tuned for future updates and by all means, stop by and say hello!