ILEAD USA Teams, Mentors and Projects | Compendium

ILEAD USA Pennsylvania Teams, Mentors and their Project Descriptions are listed below:

ALT (Adult Basic Literacy)

Team Members:
Joanne Austin, Osterhout Free Library
Edward Lupico, SCI Houtzdale
Rick Miller, Executive Director, Osterhout Free Library
Elaine Stefanko, Osterhout Free Library
Mentor:  Bonnie Powers

It was easy for us to identify our community need: it is adult literacy. Our libraries receive many calls from community members and teachers seeking help with this issue.  We have been unable to identify a free, easily-accessible service in our communities to help adults improve their basic literacy skills. Whether filling out a job application or e-mailing their child’s teacher, many members of our community need assistance with literacy skills to be able to function in society today.   In the case of correctional institutions, demographics show low educational achievement and literacy skills  across a large proportion of inmates.

Our project proposes to develop an online resource that will be used to train literacy volunteers. This proposed resource can be adapted to serve different kinds of libraries. Our group will be targeting public libraries and a prison library. The volunteers who are trained using this resource will then conduct one-on-one sessions with the individuals that need literacy help.  For example, in the prison library more educated inmates can serve as literary volunteers for other inmates.  In the public library all types of adults could be trained as literacy volunteers.


Team Members:
Jennifer Coleman, Summerville Public Library
Jessica Lasher, Punxsutawney Memorial Library
Rosalee Pituch, Rebecca M. Arthurs Memorial Library
Karl Rebon, Reynoldsville Public Library
Mentor: Maryam Phillips

Our communities currently lack a comprehensive resource for information relating to the PA Forward literacies. Each team member will tackle one of the five literacies–basic literacy, information literacy, health literacy, financial literacy, and civic and social literacy–to gather local references and potentially develop interactive components relevant to users learning about these essential topics.

The Bookends will approach the needs of our communities by developing a patron-centered, web-based tool to connect patrons with these literacies on individual levels. This tool will bring reliable information to the fingertips of our users. Developing it with the end-user in mind, it will be easy-to-use and utilize minimal technology requirements. Together, we will collaborate our efforts to provide support in our communities for life-long learning.

Job Squad

Team Members:
Rebecca Baker, Community Library of the Shenango Valley
Nicole Henline, Monroeville Public Library
Leslie LaBarte, Sugar Grove Free Library
Rob Lesher, Adams County Library System
Robin Pundzak, Mercer Area Library
Mentor:  Elizabeth Mahoney

The unemployed or underemployed patrons in the Job Squad libraries are in need of job readiness skills.  The Job Squad team will address common issues in the job search process for these patrons by creating a tool and service to help those who lack computer expertise and an understand of the job search process develop the skills necessary for finding employment.

The Job Squad tool will pull together useful resources that help in the job search process. To advance technology skills, the tool will have information on how to create email accounts and search the web for job opportunities. To support the patron’s job search process, the tool will include information on how to write a resume, create a cover letter, solicit reference letters, fill out an online application, participate in online training, prepare for an interview, etc.

Memory Masters

Team Members:
Janet Eldred, Hollidaysburg Area Public Library
Abigail Gulya, Harrisburg Area Community College
David Runyon, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology
Beth Transue, Messiah College Murray Library
Edward Wolf, Bethel Park Public Library
Mentor:  Mary Garm

The goal of the Memory Masters project is to design a framework for the capturing, recording, storing and exhibiting of oral and visual histories.  Utilizing either the creation of a new, specially-designed platform or the repurposing of an existing service, the objective of the project is to enable libraries and other cultural institutions with the ability to ensure the preservation of the rich histories which surround them.  Whether it is local history, family legends, cultural reminiscences, project documentation, individual achievements or any other form which a history may take, the aim is to provide libraries and institutions with the means of preserving these accounts for future generations through a participatory technology approach to history-keeping.

Conceptually, this project is designed to be used by any interested member of a library’s constituency.  In designing a service with such a large and diverse group in mind, the idea is to not limit the potential users but to make the service open to and applicable by as broad an audience as possible.  At the same time, such a service must ultimately be adaptive to those individuals’ needs.  Therefore, the end-product of the Memory Masters project is the creation of a digital exhibition space, where these histories can be grouped and displayed according to the users’ needs—whether that be in the form of a collection of local histories or the documentation of student projects.

Ultimately, the goal for the Memory Masters project is to create a framework which can be shared with other libraries and institutions, thereby expanding the scope of the project to include many different types of histories in a variety of environments.  The objective is to create a dynamic system which can continue and grow beyond the initial timeframe
imposed by the iLEAD program and to create a truly user-based means of capturing the oral and visual record of the present, as well as the individual and collective experiences of the past, and preserving that well into the future.


Team Members:
Mary Glendening, Middletown Free Library
Jason Fialkovich, Middletown Free Library
Laura Kuchmay, Middletown Free Library
Darlene Marshall, Mengle Memorial Library
Susan Ware—Penn State Brandywine Vairo Library
Mentor:  Melinda Tanner

The Techni-gals ILEAD program will focus on creating interest in STE(A)M careers in middle school age girls through a series of hands-on workshops at the Middletown Free Library and a STEM Day at Penn State Brandywine campus.  Middletown Free Library will complement the Penn State program through a series of workshops that will offer hands-on learning opportunities in various STE(A)M activities.  We have discussed holding a workshop prior to the day at Penn State and then conducting a series of workshops after that event.  Workshops will bring in these female leaders to help lend their expertise and continue to role model and perhaps even become mentors to the girls who participate in our programs.

The workshops being held at the Middletown Free Library will most likely focus on e-textiles, 3D printing, and perhaps robotics/animatronics.  We are planning on the workshops being an ongoing series of programs where the girls will work on a project that will help them build skills and find their interests.  We are looking at the teams building e-textile puppets or exploring animatronics and creating stories that will be filmed and shared virtually via Vimeo and YouTube.  The girls will create the stories, props and puppets or animatronics to bring their stories to life.  This type of workshop series allows the girls to get hands on experience with a variety of tools and finds the area they are most interested in exploring further whether it be robotics, programming, video & story, etc.

The program being held at Penn State Brandywine will be a one-day workshop featuring local STEM leaders.  Susan will working on recruiting experts as well as girls to take part in the program.  Speakers are at the heart of the program being held on the campus and there will be a variety of small workshops running 30-40 minutes throughout the day featuring the guest speakers.