POTTSTOWN PA – Hard work by its staff and board, and a ream of documentation that detailed those efforts, resulted Friday (Nov. 17, 2023) in designating the Pottstown Regional Public Library as a “Gold Star Library” recognized by the Pennsylvania Library Association.
Achievement as a star library, part of the association’s “PA Forward” program, acknowledges that qualifying libraries have gone above and beyond by integrating knowledge areas, or literacies, into their public activities, the association said. They include basic literacy, as well as those for information, civic and social, health, and finance.
A panel of peer librarian judges recommended Pottstown’s gold-level award in determining it hit the mark on all five. The library’s programming, panel members agreed, helps its patrons in specific ways.
Consider three examples. The library offers “storytimes” Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays every week to enhance basic literacy for children from infancy through age 5. Its “Teen Time” program addresses civic and social literacy needs every Tuesday, by providing a “safe haven for all teenagers to hang out” and have fun while learning through planned activities.
And on Tuesday (Nov. 21) at 3 p.m. in the mezzanine of the library at 500 E. High St., it’s offering a free seminar to set participants up “for financial success.” Its partner in the project is the Tri-County Area Federal Credit Union. Advance registration is suggested for that financial literacy program; send an e-mail to email@example.com for more information and to sign up.
Becoming a ‘library of excellence’
Before claiming its Gold Star, the library earlier also progressed through bronze- and silver-award levels.
The work hasn’t been easy, library Executive Director Mindy Lee M. Lipsky, MSLS, admits. “The staff worked together diligently to help us become a library of excellence,” she said Friday, and described the gold status as “a huge honor.”
Lipsky, members of the library board of directors, its Friends organization, and its staff were surrounded Friday by well-wishers as PA Forward Program Manager Rob Lesher made the library association’s award presentation. Among those attending were a representative of state Sen. Tracy Pennycuick, state Rep. Joe Ciresi, and Pottstown School District Superintendent Stephen Rodriguez. Pennycuick’s office also presented her congratulations.
The library expects an increase in its patrons and usage statistics will grow within the next 12 months, primarily among students from Pottstown and Pottsgrove high schools. As part of the award celebration, Lipsky reported directors in both school districts have authorized a program that allows students to use their school photo IDs as library cards.
Photos provided to Travels With The Post by the Pottstown Regional Public Library