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Turning Outward Initiative   

This statewide program was designed to instill a more vibrant, outward-looking culture within Pennsylvania public libraries through workshops, webinars, and monthly coaching sessions. The initiative’s objective was to make public library services more relevant and significant in the life of communities through the development of strategies that created or strengthened community partnerships and relationships.

Over two years (2017-2019), the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation (Bethesda, MD) worked with teams from 17 competitively-selected libraries to implement Harwood’s “turning outward” approach. 

The Turning Outward initiative libraries were:

At the completion of the 2-year effort, Warren Library Association (the initiative’s fiscal administrator) created a video that features participating librarians and board members talking about the project’s results:

Participating libraries also submitted case studies that will be published later in 2020.

More Information

For questions about the Turning Outward initiative or the Office of Commonwealth Libraries work to strengthen community engagement, email

IMLS Funding Acknowledgement

This project is made possible by federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services as administered by the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, Department of Education, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, Governor.