PALS Spotlight: PA Forward Partnership Publications | Compendium
Caitlyn Boland

Caitlyn Boland, Assistant Director at Butler Area Public Library, Currently Re-reading: The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

By Caitlyn Boland

 The Pennsylvania Library Association’s Academy of Leadership Studies (PALS) is a training opportunity designed to help Pennsylvania librarians maximize their leadership potential. Many participants come away from the experience feeling energized and confident in their own abilities, but training is only one component of the program. The other element is participating in a year-long service project designed to further the goals of PA Forward.

My group’s project has been to write articles for the Compendium, sharing and celebrating the work libraries are doing to promote PA Forward around the state. We’ve decided to turn the spotlight on our fellow PALS graduates and share their projects with you.

PA Forward Partnership Publications
Under David Schappert’s mentorship, Christy Fic, Becky Ginther, Sam Hull, Claudia Peterson, and Becky Pollino have worked the past year to make optimum use of established PA Forward partner communication vehicles in order to inform and engage partner stakeholders throughout Pennsylvania.

In the past year, the PALS team has worked to establish and maintain communication with the PA Forward partners to seek opportunities to write personalized articles or to develop infographics for the partners’ publications. The scope of the project has included:

     the development of a communication plan to systematically and regularly make contact with the partners

     building and maintaining relationships with the partners

     working with the PA Forward Project Manager and PR/Marketing Committee chair to develop a schedule of personalized topics that support the PA Forward communications plan

     assigning responsibilities for researching and writing articles/developing infographics

     determining a process and deadlines for approval and submissions

     submitting articles to the PA Forward Project Manager for approval

     submitting articles to the partner contacts for publication

     evaluating the fulfillment of communication goals

With so much to accomplish, the biggest challenge for the group was finding the time to communicate with PA Forward Partners. The group’s advice for future participants is to “just to understand if your goals for your project (or anything related to your professional career) aren’t fulfilled to your exact expectations, think of ways you can modify them!”  The other major takeaway is that everyone you meet through PALS will prove to be invaluable resources for your career.

 The PALS program is an excellent way for to meet and collaborate with librarians from across the state while advancing PA Forward. For information about how to apply for the 2016 PALS, visit