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PALS Star Library Recertification Group: Meet the Team

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Since 2015, many of our Pennsylvania libraries have been participating with the PA Forward Star Library Program achieving Bronze Star, Silver Star and Gold Star status. It is now time for us to take the next steps in the recertification of those libraries who have reached the Gold Star level and have asked “what’s next”.

Through the PaLA Academy of Leadership Studies (PALS), our team has been assigned to develop the Star Library Program’s recertification process. Our committee members are:

Sarah Fetzer is a Reference Librarian at the Free Library of Northampton Township  in Richboro, PA. She received her Masters of Library Science from Indiana University in 2011. Her hobbies are reading, knitting, and hiking.

Jackie Laick is the Systems Librarian at Washington & Jefferson College  in Washington, PA. She is very excited to be a member of this group as it is an initiative that wants everyone in Pennsylvania to succeed. When she is not hanging out in her favorite library, she can be found reading outside in the sunshine with her English Bulldog Daisy.

DeAnne O’Brien is a Reference Librarian at Upper Dublin Public Library in Fort Washington, PA and Library Assistant at William Jeanes Memorial Library in Lafayette Hill, PA. She enjoys singing a cappella barbershop music with The Liberty Bells Chorus, reading, movies, and listening to podcasts.

Alice Pakhtigian is the Reference Librarian at Harcum College  in Bryn Mawr, PA. Some of her hobbies include reading, travelling, gardening and exercising. She is very excited be a part of the PA Forward Star Library Recertification Program.

Maggie Savidakis-Dunn is the STEM Librarian at Shippensburg University  in Shippensburg, PA. Her interest areas are data management and security, student research programs, library outreach, microbiology, and forensic science. In her free time, Maggie enjoys animal rescue, cooking, baking, and gardening.

Over the next nine months, we will be reviewing the current PA Star Library Program and working to develop the next layer of the program – the recertification process. We will determine action items for the recertification process, what the star level looks like once a library has gone beyond the gold and how long the status obtained as a part of the recertification process is valid. We will work very closely with the current PA Forward Star Training Team to understand the format of the current program and work to develop the next generation of the program. We believe our efforts will add more validity and value to the Star Library program for libraries in Pennsylvania and will continue to keep PA Forward a vibrant and unique part of our PA libraries.

For more information or to contact our committee, you can email us at


Submitted by: DeAnne O’Brien

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