Librarians converge at Penn State for statewide information literacy summit

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The University Libraries recently hosted the first PA Forward Information Literacy Summit, organized by the Pennsylvania Information Literacy Learning Community, an online group of librarians from K-12 schools, higher education and public libraries, who share strategies, experiences and best practices in the field of information literacy instruction. More than 85 attendees explored this year’s theme, “Building Bridges through Curriculum and Collaboration,” in the daylong meeting.

Ellysa Stern Cahoy, Penn State education and behavioral sciences librarian and assistant director of The Pennsylvania Center for the Book, was on the planning team and one of the keynote speakers at the event. She noted, “This event is the first of its kind. Public, school and academic librarians from across Pennsylvania came together to strategize on how to maximize students' ability to find, evaluate and use information. It was an honor to be a speaker at the event and exciting to learn new educational strategies from my statewide library colleagues."

Penn State University Libraries’ Learning Services Director Loanne Snavely was pleased that Penn State could host this summit on Information Literacy in Pennsylvania. She added, “The summit has provided the groundwork for collaboration and progress between and among libraries of all types in promoting information literacy for Pennsylvanians of all ages."

Support for the summit was provided by the following partners: Central PA K-16 Librarians Information Literacy Network, an outreach project of Penn State’s Libraries; PaLA College & Research Division, with partial funding provided by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services as administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Tom Corbett, Governor; PaLA Teaching, Learning & Technology Roundtable; and the Penn State University Libraries.

PA Forward is a Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA) state initiative that supports libraries in helping Pennsylvanians improve their essential literacy skills. It focuses on five critical literacies: basic, information, civic and social, health and financial; 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. Today they are agile institutions serving real-life needs. Libraries can be key to powering progress and elevating the quality of life in Pennsylvania by fueling the types of knowledge essential to success.

For more information on the Pennsylvania Information Literacy Learning Community and the PA Forward initiative, go to For questions or comments, contact Ellysa Cahoy at

Media Contacts: 
Last Updated July 25, 2013