For immediate release | April 23, 2019

ALA, PLA Select First Round of Libraries Lead with Digital Skills Awardees: 20 Pennsylvania Public Libraries Receive Funding for Workforce Development

Today the American Library Association (ALA) and Public Library Association (PLA) announced the names of 20 libraries* in Pennsylvania selected to receive funding from Libraries Lead with Digital Skills, an initiative of ALA and PLA, sponsored by Grow with Google. The goal of the initiative is to ensure that public libraries across the nation receive ongoing access to free tools and resources to help everyone across America grow their skills, careers and businesses.

Pennsylvania is the first of 50 states to receive funding from Libraries Lead with Digital Skills to develop free programs that will either assist job seekers in finding or preparing for work, or empower small businesses to grow online. Newly awarded libraries in Pennsylvania will integrate Grow with Google programs into events or ongoing workshops to address the needs of their communities, including:

  • Support for veterans seeking résumé or job search assistance to transfer military service into civilian experience
  • Mentoring from community members to help new entrepreneurs create a business plan or learn skills to grow their small businesses
  • Connecting unemployed or underemployed young adults with training to get a job in the IT industry
  • Job fairs offering connections to local employers, interview preparation, and workforce readiness skills

“It’s exciting that Pennsylvania is the first state in the nation to receive Libraries Lead with Digital Skills funding,” said Pennsylvania State Librarian Glenn Miller. “Many libraries across the commonwealth already serve job seekers and entrepreneurs. This funding will allow 20 of them to ramp up their programs to build specific skills.

The $1,000 grants are intended as an encouragement to participate in the initiative and can be used by libraries to continue or expand services and programs related to workforce development. In addition to the funding, awardees will receive marketing support, technical guidance, advocacy tools and a community of practice with the goal of drawing attention to the services libraries provide.

“The concrete skills people gain in a matter of hours can transform them for a lifetime,” Miller said. “Pennsylvanians can come into the library barely knowing how to do a Google search and leave with the skills to find and apply for a job online. New business owners with no online presence will leave with a public listing on Google.”

“Public libraries are constantly innovating new ways to address the challenges of building skills for their community’s workforce,” said Monica Dombrowski, Executive Director of Sycamore Public Library (Ill.) and Chair of PLA’s Digital Literacy Committee. “Libraries Lead with Digital Skills will enable more libraries to meet those challenges with resources and a plan to move forward. It’s not only about enhancing programs at select libraries. These awards in Pennsylvania will result in case studies for libraries around the nation to draw upon as they build economically successful communities.”

“Libraries are pivotal leaders in providing digital skills programs in the community,” said Nicky Rigg, program manager for digital skills outreach at Google. “We are excited to learn from libraries across the country and shine a spotlight on how important their services are to job seekers and small businesses.”

Grow with Google is an initiative to help create economic opportunities for all Americans. In 2019, Grow With Google made a commitment to deliver free, in-person workshops for job seekers, small businesses, and library staff in all 50 states. As the tour progresses to each state, applications will open for libraries seeking Libraries Lead with Digital Skills funding. After programs are completed, at least one grantee library per state will receive a “spotlight” award, including an additional $3,000 and opportunities for ALA, PLA, and Google to promote their library’s program as a best practice. For tour dates, application deadlines and lists of each state’s awardees, visit Follow the conversation at #Libraries Lead and #GrowWithGoogle @ALALibrary and @PLALibrary.

*Libraries Lead with Digital Skills Recipients in Pennsylvania

Andrew Bayne Memorial Library, Pittsburgh

B.F. Jones Memorial Library, Aliquippa

Bosler Memorial Library, Carlisle

Carnegie Free Library of Connellsville, Connellsville

Community Library of the Shenango Valley, Sharon

FOR Sto-Rox Library, McKees Rocks

Hazleton Area Public Library, Hazleton

Hollidaysburg Area Public Library, Hollidaysburg

Lower Macungie Library Inc., Macungie

Memorial Library of Nazareth and Vicinity, Nazareth

Mifflin Community Library, Shillington

Millvale Community Library, Millvale

Montgomery House Library, McEwensville

New Castle Public Library, New Castle

Scranton Public Library, Scranton

Slippery Rock Community Library, Slippery Rock

Southern Lehigh Public Library, Center Valley

Summerville Public Library, Summerville

Tyrone Snyder Public Library, Tyrone

Wilkinsburg Public Library, Pittsburgh


About ALA

The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access in information for all.

About PLA

The Public Library Association (PLA) is the largest association dedicated to supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals. Founded in 1944, PLA serves nearly 10,000 members in public libraries large and small in communities across the United States and Canada, with a growing presence around the world. PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders.

About Grow With Google

The Grow with Google initiative draws on Google’s 20-year history of building products, platforms, and services that help people and businesses grow. Through this initiative, we aim to help everyone across America – those who make up the workforce of today and those who will drive the workforce of tomorrow – access the best of Google’s training and tools to grow their skills, careers, and businesses. Learn more about the tour and upcoming events at


Shawnda Hines

Asst. Director, Communications

Public Policy and Advocacy

(202) 628-8410