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American College Application Campaign

Sue Banks
Sue Banks, Director of the Bureau of Library Development


Dear Library Friends:

Greetings from the Bureau of Library Development (BLD) of the Office of Commonwealth Libraries! The BLD has officially moved to 333 Market Street in Harrisburg and we are enjoying getting to know our friends in all the Offices, Bureaus and Divisions that make up the PA Department of Education (PDE).

Our new colleagues in the Bureau of Postsecondary and Higher Education are inviting libraries to participate in a national initiative to help people apply to college – the American College Application Campaign (ACAC).  The annual effort has been underway since 2014, and libraries have not traditionally been a part of the campaign.  This fall, we’re hoping to pilot participation with a few libraries across the state.

The Campaign is part of the ACT Center for Equity in Learning’s national effort to increase the number of college applicants – especially first-generation and low-income students – pursuing a college degree or other higher education credential. In previous years, the focus has been primarily on high schools and high school students – but we in the library field know that prospective college students are of all ages and stages of life – and the focus for this program aligns well with the members of our communities who libraries are uniquely positioned to serve.

In school settings, these “Why Apply” events take place during the school day, and feature representatives of colleges, universities and other training programs.  In libraries, these events (targeted for November and December) could happen on evenings or weekends and involve staff that serve teens and adults as well as our Postsecondary and Higher Ed community partners and volunteers. This could be a great opportunity to spotlight the kind of education that we have had as librarians and library workers – a topic that we should celebrate and a conversation that might help diversify our field.

As part of the pilot inclusion of libraries, there will be in-person and web-based training in all the tools available to help learners find the educational opportunities to answer their specific needs.

The availability of the Common Application for colleges across the country has helped the program succeed in encouraging more than 1.5 million prospective students to submit 2.5 million applications. Take a look at some of the information linked in this email and email me at if you’re interested in exploring the opportunity further.  This should be a fun and creative way to extend our pursuit of a stronger and more successful Pennsylvania. Libraries of all sizes from all communities are welcome!


Susan Banks, MLIS | Director, Bureau of Library Development
Office of Commonwealth Libraries | Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market Street | 12th Floor | Harrisburg PA 17126
Phone: 717.214.4046 | Fax: 717.772.0044 |



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