Butler Area Public Library awarded Gold Star for library excellence

In October 2019, the Butler Area Public Library became one of only 107 libraries in Pennsylvania to be awarded a Gold Star by PA Forward and the Pennsylvania Library Association for promoting five essential literacies aimed at enhancing the overall quality of life for Pennsylvania citizens.  

The Butler Area Public Library supports the Pennsylvania Library Association’s 21st Century Literacies Initiative, PA Forward which was conceived to give voice to what the library community already knows, and what other states throughout the nation are also recognizing:

With the right support, libraries are ideally positioned to become the community centers of information, technology, and learning that will fuel educational and economic opportunity for all of our citizens.

Libraries have moved far beyond just being book repositories. They’re agile institutions serving real-life needs. Libraries are the key to powering progress and elevating the quality of life in Pennsylvania by fueling the types of knowledge essential to success: Basic Literacy, Information Literacy, Civic and Social Literacy, Health Literacy, and Financial Literacy.  The Butler Area Public Library regularly integrates PA Forward's literacies into their programming and community events.

By meeting benchmarks within the bronze, silver and gold star levels of the PA Forward initiative, the Butler Area Public Library is recognized by its peers as a library which provides exceptional service and serves as an incredible resource for this area.    The library is one of only two libraries to earn this level of certification in Butler County.

What are the essential PA Forward literacies?

1. Basic Literacy – libraries can help citizens of Pennsylvania to achieve one of the highest literacy rates in the country, a trained and skilled workforce, and a growing economy, tax base, and population.  Butler Area Public Library encourages literacy for our youth by providing story time programs.  We also provide study rooms where tutors meet with adults learning to read.

2. Information Literacy – libraries can help all Pennsylvanians learn how to use online resources and current technology to improve their education, to enhance their job skills, and to fully participate a digital society.  Butler Area Public Library has 18 public access computers in the computer center with a full time staff member dedicated to answering patron questions.  Patrons can also request one-on-one sessions with library staff to answer questions such as how to access the internet, set up an email address, complete an online job application and download eBooks and audio books.

3. Civic and Social Literacy – libraries can provide citizens with the knowledge and skills they need to improve their lives, to participate and contribute effectively in their communities, and to connect with one another in civil discourse.  Butler Area Public Library provides programs designed to encourage citizens to be involved in community events, to teach them how to make a positive impact in the community and to be responsible voters.

4. Health Literacy – libraries can help citizens actively manage their own and their family’s well-being, making them effective partners with their health care providers, and living longer, more productive lives.  Butler Area Public Library offers a variety of print and electronic resources designed to help patrons maintain and improve their health and well being.

5. Financial Literacy – libraries can play a role in helping Pennsylvanians become informed consumers and individuals, encourage small businesses, and organizations contribute to the economic vitality of their community through innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic development.  Butler Area Public Library provides information to help citizens meet their personal and corporate financial goals.