Libraries are positioned as community centers of information technology that, with the right support, can fuel educational and economic opportunity for all of our citizens. But PA Forward is not entirely based on aspirational visions. Throughout the state, there is tangible evidence of libraries assuming a leadership role in advancing the five key literacies and making a real difference in peoples lives.
WHAT ARE THE 5 KEY LITERACIES?
- If 50 first-graders have trouble reading, 44 of them will have reading problems in the fourth grade.
- A child’s library use raises his or her fourth grade assessment scores.
PA Forward libraries address basic literacy skills for all ages, helping to improve literacy rates and contributing to a workforce that is trained and skilled.
- Students lack sufficient strategies for deciding what Web information is true and what is not. Twenty-two percent of all students think 80-100% of what they find on the Internet is truthful.
- More than 9% of information needed for research papers was sourced from Wikipedia or other wikis.
- The higher the grade point average, the lower the reliance on search engines such as Google or Yahoo for research papers.
PA Forward Libraries will teach citizens how to use online resources and current technologies to improve their education, enhance their job skills, and participate in an increasingly, digital society.
- Only 42% of the state’s registered voters voted in the 2010 gubernatorial election.
- Less than half of all Americans can name all three branches of government.
- Good readers make good citizens. Regular readers are more than twice as likely as non-readers to volunteer or do charity work.
PA Forward Libraries will aid all citizens to have the knowledge and skills they need to improve their lives, participate and contribute effectively to communities, and to connect to one another.
- Nearly half of all adults have difficulty understanding and using health information.
- Far more people look for health information online than see a doctor on a typical day.
- Nothing – not age, income, employment status, education level, or racial and ethnic background – affects health status more than literacy skills.
PA Forward Libraries contribute to empowerment in relationships by providing a wealth of knowledge to citizens and allowing them to become active partners in managing their well-being, along with their heath-care providers
- Forty-one percent of U.S. adults give themselves a grade of C, D, or F on their knowledge of personal finance.
- One in four adults does not pay bills on time. One in three has no savings and does not save any portion of household income for retirement.
- Good readers generally have more financially rewarding jobs. Proficient readers are 2.5 times as likely as basic readers to be earning $850 or more a week.
PA Forward Libraries provide the foundation where citizens become informed consumers and contribute directly to the economic vitality of their community.