“Everyday life experiences can teach children lessons – even hard lessons. Unfortunately, the Free Library of Philadelphia is giving up an opportunity to teach its younger patrons a lesson about responsibility. Beginning July 1, the library plans to stop fining children who fail to return books on time. Well-meaning librarians in neighborhood branches recommended eliminating the fines to avoid cutting off poor youngsters seeking library services. Some believe the children are returning books late for reasons beyond their control.”(via Philadelphia Inquirer)
“A Council committee defeated a bill Wednesday that would have thwarted the Free Library of Philadelphia’s plan to eliminate late fees for children – a move recommended by librarians to prevent cutting off poor children from library services. Councilman David Oh, the primary sponsor, said about $70,000 of the $400,000 in late fees collected last year came from children’s books and material. He said individual librarians have the freedom to forgive late fees if they believe families cannot afford to pay – although a librarian who later testified disputed that she had that power.” (via Philly.com)
“BEN FRANKLIN was one of our greatest visionaries and the founder of the first public library in America. I wonder what Franklin would think of the “visionaries” now running the Free Library of Philadelphia. The Library is asking the city of Philadelphia to restore a 20 percent funding cut, while, through a new policy, it is losing $70,000 in fines that it collects from customers who lose or are late in returning borrowed materials.” (via Philadelphia Daily News)
AP – “Police say thieves busted through walls to steal six computers from a library in a poor Philadelphia neighborhood. Library staff noticed the thefts from the Cecil B. Moore branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia on Tuesday morning.”
Philadelphia Gay News – “Although trans woman Bobbie E. Burnett wants to leave her job at the Free Library of Philadelphia as soon as possible, she won’t leave yet. Burnett, describing her work environment as “hostile,” said she won’t leave until she receives legally enforceable assurances of adequate compensation for the discrimination she says she’s endured within the library system.”
Philly Free Library Blog – “Just minutes ago, the Pennsylvania State senate passed bill 1828 by a vote of 32 to 17. For all of you who have been following the saga over the city’s budget crisis, this is indeed the legislation that was needed for the City of Philadelphia to avoid the “Doomsday” Plan C budget scenario, which would have resulted in the layoff of 3,000 city employees and forced the closing of all libraries.”
A blog from citizens hoping to save Philly’s libraries.
http://www.pww.org/article/articleview/15760/”>People’s Weekly World – “PHILADELPHIA – Protesters rallied outside of the City Council here where the cityâ€™s $3.8 billion budget passed unanimously on May 21. The Coalition for Essential Services organized the protest to bring public attention to the cuts in city services which include closing libraries on the weekends and cuts in library programs, cuts in after school programs and closing 30 pools.”