Tag Archives: Philadelphia

Philadelphia libraries to get $600 million makeover courtesy of Mayor Kenney’s new plan

“Nothing is spared by the passage of time, whether it be people, roads, houses … or libraries.And in a city as old as Philadelphia, it does not come as a shock that some of its oldest public libraries suffer some major structural issues.With the help of Mayor Jim Kenney’s massive $600 million plan to restore Philadelphia’s public libraries, recreation centers and parks, these libraries will finally begin to find new life, according to a March 14 Philadelphia Inquirer article. Kenney hopes to fund this plan by selling $300 million in bonds, along with around $200 million in supplementary donations and state and federal funding. Those who work closely with Philadelphia’s libraries see first hand the need for this restoration plan.”< (via a href="http://www.thedp.com/article/2016/04/philadelphia-mayor-600-million-dollar-library-makeover">The Daily Pennsylvanian)

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In city elementary schools, a campaign for libraries

“Across the city, many classrooms lack what Alison Walters has cobbled together from 10-cent yard sales, book-club deals, and the proceeds of side jobs she works “to support my teaching habit”: a colorful, voluminous classroom library. City and school officials want to change that. On Tuesday, Mayor-elect Jim Kenney, Superintendent William R. Hite Jr., and 30 other leaders gathered at Clara Barton School to launch a $3.5 million fund-raising campaign aimed at placing libraries in every Philadelphia School District elementary classroom.” (via Philly.com)

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This private library in Philly scans some of the world’s most prized documents

Some very impressive documents have lain on the bed of the Cruse SC 220 ST Fine Art Scanner that dominates a back room of the Athenaeum of Philadelphia. They include: Four or five copies of the Declaration of Independence. The Treaty of Paris. The text of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln, and the witness book from his assassination.” (via technical.ly)

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Public libraries: Shelved

“THE central branch of the Free Philadelphia Library is an impressive building—its neoclassical facade looming over most of a block. But inside, though chandeliers still hang from the ceilings and the floors are of polished marble, there is a feeling of neglect. A musty taste hangs in the air; many of the books are rather battered. “The building opened in 1927 and we’ve really not touched it since then,” says Siobhan Reardon, the library’s president and director. “And you can tell.” (via The Economist)

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[Philadelphia] Free Library gets its biggest grant ever

“The William Penn Foundation is extending its longtime role as primary benefactor of the Free Library of Philadelphia by awarding the library the biggest grant in the history of either institution. The Free Library will receive $25 million from William Penn over three years, helping to pay for renovations at the Central Library downtown, plus the renovation and expansion of five neighborhood branches in South Philadelphia, central North Philadelphia, Logan, Tacony, and Mount Airy.” (via Philly.com)

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Philadelphia library cooks up culinary literacy

“What’s cooking at the Philadelphia public library? Plenty, now that it has a million-dollar kitchen at its main downtown branch. The library has whipped up an unusual culinary program designed to improve the city’s low literacy rate. Some courses will use recipes and nutrition labels to teach language and math, while others are geared toward immigrant restaurant workers learning English.” (via AP)

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He’s handing in his Library (Company) card

“John Van Horne did not inaugurate the move into the computer age at the Library Company of Philadelphia. When he arrived in 1985, the venerable research archive already had a Wang word processor. Van Horne quickly acquired a fax machine that used thermal paper and cost thousands of dollars.” (via Philly.com)

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West Philly libraries, key to student success, struggle to exist

“While Penn students might dread their weekend visits to Van Pelt Library, it is clear from the crowded cubicles and GSRs that the University would lose a valuable resource if its doors were closed. This is exactly the situation in which Philadelphia elementary school students find themselves. Because of extensive budget cuts, students are locked out of their school libraries without access to books or trained librarians. The School Reform Commission passed a “Doomsday Budget” in late May last year, in which $304 million was cut from Philadelphia schools for the 2013-14 fiscal year. As a result, about 3,800 school employees were laid off, 24 schools were closed and money to extracurricular programs was eliminated.” (via The Daily Pennsylvanian)

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Library hot spot opens at Philadelphia airport

“Philadelphia International Airport has partnered with the Free Library of Philadelphia to bring the library’s electronic resources to airport customers in a brand new Virtual Library Hot Spot. The Virtual Library Hot Spot, situated on the busy walkway between Terminals D and E, will allow customers to log on to the airport’s free Wi-Fi to access the library’s e-books, nearly 1,200 author podcasts, and other digital content. Much of the Free Library’s digital content, including classic titles and podcasts, is available to anyone, but a free library card is necessary to download nonclassic titles and some digital content.” (via Courier-Post)

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Students, Librarians Speak Up For Lack Of Libraries In Phila. Schools

“Librarians in town for a national conference joined Philadelphia public school parents, students and staff, yesterday, to call attention to the lack of libraries in district schools. Inspired by the historic setting of Philadelphia, the group gathered at the Library Company and signed a “Declaration for the right to libraries.” There are just 16 librarians in all 214 district schools– and two of them are paid by anonymous donors.” (via CBS Philly)

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