POWER Library: Pennsylvania’s Electronic Library


PA POWER Library

Ever since Benjamin Franklin founded the nation's first public library, Pennsylvanians have been empowered by their libraries—to research, study, learn, communicate, discover new interests, develop new skills, retool their careers, and find a pathway through life.

POWER Library is a service of the Office of the CommonwealthLibraries within the Pennsylvania Department of Education, administered by Hosting Services and Library Consulting (HSLC).

The Ivy Group has collaborated with HSLC since 2008 on a variety of planning, branding, graphic design, and website development projects.

Expanding the POWER Library network

Like many familiar brands, such as CVS, AT&T, and 3M, "POWER" is actually an acronym: Pennsylvania's Online World of Electronic Resources!

Originally only encompassing e-resources databases, POWER Library is now the umbrella term for all that Pennsylvania libraries have to offer.

Logo for POWER Library, Pennsylvania's Electronic Library

The array of valuable services HSLC manages for Pennsylvania libraries are delivered under a variety of graphically unique access points. Rebranding POWER Library offered an opportunity to declutter the presentation of these service lines and better communicate their interrelationships.

Online portal for Pennsylvania library services

Next, we worked with HSLC to redesign and build powerlibrary.org to improve the user experience by upgrading access to Pennsylvania's core statewide library services and more effectively communicating the full gamut of offerings.

POWER Library book, movies, and more banner for Access PA, statewide catalog

HSLC launched the beta version of powelibrary.org in September 2013 with core features, including:

  • "Chat"(formerly Ask Here PA) - statewide 24/7 live chat reference service   
  • "e-resources"- subscription access to thousands of magazine and journal articles, newspapers, photographs, pictures, charts, maps, and reference materials
  • "Books, movies, and more in a PA library" (a.k.a. Access PA) - statewide catalog and interlibrary loan (ILL) system
  • "PA Photos and Documents" (formerly the Access PA Digital Repository) - an online collection of digitized historical and cultural collections created by libraries and other organizations throughout the Commonwealth
  • "For Librarians" - professional resources and information
  • eCardSignup - via Auto-Graphics
  • "Find a PA Library" - a custom search tool to allow allows users to find their closest PA library

The portal is the place to find trustworthy answers to questions about healthcare, consumer purchases, personal finances, to locate books not available at your local library, to research a subject, and much more.

POWER Library e-resources banner
Old POWER Library homepage
The original portal page was dated, clunky, and unhospitable to both users and search engines.

POWER Kids

The POWER Kids portal was developed in 2015, specially designed to serve kids in grades K-5. Its lively colors and playful graphics direct children to resources tailored to their interests and needs.

POWER Kids logo for POWER Library, Pennsylvania's Electronic Library
Featured content on the POWER Kids page

The Discover Pennsylvania for Kids! page includes an overview of state symbols, lyrics to the state song, and additional educational links.


Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, mighty is your name, steeped in glory and tradition, object of acclaim…

POWER Teens

POWER Teens, launched in late 2018, targets 10- to 13-year-olds, grades 5 through 8. The Chat feature is even more prominent, and engaging photos signal that this part of the site is exclusively dedicated to teens.

POWER Teens, sub-brand of POWER Library