As we celebrate our 50 years of championing the humanities throughout the state, we’re spotlighting some of the people who’ve joined us along the way and contributed to our work with their donations, time, energy, skills and creativity.
This month we spoke with former PA Humanities board member and board chair, Mary Garm. Garm, of Forest City, Pa., recently retired as executive director of the Lackawanna County Library System. She was recognized as a recipient of the prestigious President’s Award from the Pennsylvania Library Association, co-founded the Association Academy of Leadership Studies that trains the next generation of library leaders, and was also involved in the PA Forward Program that promotes the value of libraries in our communities.
Can you share the impact PA Humanities has had on you?
As a lifelong reader and learner, as well as a professional librarian, I have the opportunity to see the impact of the humanities on a regular basis, and I respect the focus that PA Humanities brings to both our personal and work lives. As one example, the Teen Reading Lounge program has, for many years, brought together teens in libraries across the state, making them better and more careful readers, more thoughtful about the value of the humanities in their lives, and more involved in their communities. The ongoing effect on our teens gives me great hope for the world they will build.
What message would you like to share with those who’ve been part of the journey so far and/or those who will join the movement in years to come?
PA Humanities is an essential organization that reaches individuals and groups in communities across the state. It brings people together to discuss, discover, and create as a path to improving our lives and our world. The staff and board of PA Humanities dedicate themselves to providing meaningful programs and partnerships that provide insights into our culture and way of life. Touches our hearts and minds.
And, finally, how do you see the role of PA Humanities and its importance to the future of Pennsylvania?
PA Humanities is a connector, bringing together communities large and small, individuals and groups, artists, writers, and government officials. Using a statewide lens, PA Humanities improves our understanding of each other, our quality of life, our unique cultural heritage and diversity, and our appreciation of the world we inhabit.