Where To Start

PA Forward Star Library Program: Where To Start

Document submissions are made through the PA Forward Star Library website, www.paforwardstarlibraries.org.  If you are unable to access the site due to Firewall or other reasons, please see the note below.

Once you have reached the site, click the Register link found in the Log In box to the right.  To create an account, you must provide a username, email address and password, as well as your name, position, the name of your library, the library’s type (public, academic, school, or other), and your county.  Once you have created your account, you can begin submitting actions.  (For help creating an account, check out our Star Account Help Video or our Star Account Help Sheet.)

The first action to complete is Core Action 0, found under the Core Actions tab.  There are five directions for the action:

  1. Create an account with the PA Forward Star Library Program–which you already have!
  2. Create an account for your library with a cloud-storage service such as GoogleDrive, DropBox. Box or a similar service.
  3. In that account, create a folder entitled “PA Forward Star Library Program”, and generate a shareable link for that folder (typically by either right-clicking on the folder name or clicking on the menu associated with that folder)–this is where you will put your program images and document!
  4. In the submission box, copy and paste that link–so that we can see all the work you’ve done!
  5. Lastly, and also in the submission box below, tell us how far you envision yourself going with the PA Forward Star Library Program–for example, are you just trying it out and hope to see how far you can get in a year, or are you planning on going for the Gold!

(For help with completing this Action, check out our Core Action 0 Help Video or our Core Action Help Sheet.)

There are three types of actions you will need to complete:

  • Core Actions – actions designed to help you understand just what PA Forward is and how you can begin incorporating it into your library
  • Literacy Actions – actions which promote a specific type of literacy—basic, information, financial, civic and social, and health
  • Bonus Actions – additional actions designed to help spread the news about the importance of PA Forward and all the wonderful things your library is doing

To access additional actions, simply click on the Action’s title.  Read through the description and complete whatever tasks are provided.  For documentation, you will be asked to upload an image or document (depending on the action) which shows the completed task to your shared cloud folder.  Once you have done that, just type the word COMPLETED in the submissions area below the description.  (For help with completing Actions, check out our Submitting Actions Help Video or our Submitting Actions Help Sheet.)


How to Earn A Star Level:

When you have completed enough actions to qualify for a PA Forward Star, click the PA Forward Stars tab located in the website toolbar.  Click on the title of the Star you’ve completed and read through the requirements to make sure you have accomplished everything.  To claim your star, in the submission box paste the link to your shared cloud folder.  In addition, tell us a little about your Path to the Stars…For example:  Was the process easier or harder than you expected?  Has the whole process changed the way you think about the programs, services and materials your library offers to the public?  What other thoughts can you share to help make the process of earning a Bronze Star better and/or easier for other libraries?

Then, just click submit and sit back and relax!  Submissions to the PA Forward Star Library program are verified 4 times a year.  Once everything has been checked, you will be notified and your star awarded—but don’t let that stop you from jumping right back in!  You can start planning your actions and submitting for your next star as soon as you’ve submitted for your last one!  (For help with submitting for your Stars, check out our Submitting Stars Help Video or our Submitting Stars Help Sheet.)


Note Regarding Site Access:

Some libraries have reported that due to their firewall controls they are unable to access the PA Forward Star Library website. If you have this problem, fear not! You can still participate—rather than submitting your documentation to the website, you can just email it to us!

To participate via email, please send an email to PAForward@palibraries.org. in that message, provide us with your name, your position, the name of your library, the library’s type (public, academic, school, special or other), and your county, as well as a brief statement informing us that you are unable to access the site.

Once you’ve done that, go ahead and create that shared cloud folder mentioned above.  When you’re ready, being completing the tasks listed on the Action List—remembering to save your documentation into the cloud folder—only instead of going to the website, send us an email telling us what you’ve completed.  Be sure that in each email you provide us with your name and library, the address of your cloud-storage folder, and what actions or star you are submitting for.

If you have any questions, please contact the PA Library Association at PAForward@palibraries.org or call 717-766-7663.