June 3, 2014 |
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. Those antediluvian days obviously are long gone. Today the Library Company - the nation's oldest library and research institution, founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1731 - is swimming in digital waters.
April 29, 2014
I totally agree with your editorial, "No Mere Words," that libraries are important and that every school child in Philadelphia should have and utilize a library card. As the proud holder of four Vacation Reading Club certificates from the Free Library of Philadelphia (1956-1959), as the daughter of a decade-long head of the Falls of Schuylkill branch, as a retired English teacher who walked entire classes across the parking lot from Rush Middle School to the Katharine Drexel branch, as a retired English department head at A. Philip Randolph Technical High School who regularly invited the local branch librarian to freshman orientation to sign up students for cards, and as now a board member of the Friends of the Free Library, I would, under normal conditions, applaud the motive and action of awarding member cards to every student in the city.
April 17, 2014
THERE are those of us whose memories of libraries include hushed tones, the feel of pages softened by time and handling, and, mostly, the smell of books - an intoxicating perfume of old paper, binding glue and the traces of the hundred other readers who turned those pages before us. That's as old school as it gets, especially considering today's libraries, in which actual books play a secondary role to coffee bars, computers, DVDs, CDs, community meetings...
June 28, 2013 |
WHETHER you've escaped down the shore or are keeping cool at home in the air-conditioning, summer is the perfect time for passing the lazy, hazy afternoons with a few good page-turners. To encourage everyone in Philadelphia to get reading this summer, the Free Library has issued a big challenge as part of our annual Summer Reading program: We're asking all residents of our fair city to collectively read a grand total of 20 million minutes! That may seem like a lot, but with everyone's help, we can reach this momentous goal.
May 8, 2013 |
The Free Library of Philadelphia's plan to eliminate overdue book fines for children has struck a sour note with some members of City Council, who question the financial aspect of the policy and the message it sends. Councilman David Oh was among three Council members who introduced a bill last week against the move, which has been instituted in San Francisco, Milwaukee, and elsewhere. Oh, in an interview Monday, said he opposed the measure because the money from the fines, which the library estimated at $70,000, could be used to extend hours or provide resources.
September 12, 2012 |
LOS ANGELES - Illegal immigrants in California's largest city could use library cards to open bank accounts and access an array of city services under a plan being considered by city officials. Under the plan, anyone with proof of Los Angeles residency could get a library card, the Los Angeles Times reported. The idea is to provide a form of ID to those who cannot get a driver's license because of their immigration status. The City Council unanimously voted recently to consider the proposal, which would have Los Angeles join a growing number of cities across the nation that offer various forms of identification to illegal immigrants and others who cannot get driver's licenses because of their immigration status.
November 30, 2011
Are you a mature adult curious about those newfangled digital reading tablets? The Free Library of Philadelphia has a deal for you. Nook e-readers preloaded with best sellers and classics are available for two-week loans to library-card holders age 50 and up who owe no fines and can produce a photo ID that matches the name and address on their library card. Better yet, the library will teach you how to use the device - or any Kindle, iPad, Android or Sony e-reader you own or receive as a holiday present.
June 14, 2011
I was one of those kids who lived for the bedtime story. Having grown up during a time when television actually "signed off" for the evening, I looked forward with eager anticipation for the story my mother would read to me and my big brother Reese every night. And Mom was a gifted storyteller. When she read, she added voices and sound effects that really brought the stories to life. As we got older, Mom got books that had voice parts Reese and I would fight over representing the characters in each tale.
June 18, 2010 |
If the Joan Rivers of 1980 could look at herself in 2010, she might describe Rivers 8.0 as a dirty-mouthed septuagenarian who resembles a female impersonator "doing" Joan Rivers. Two years ago Billy Sammeth, the comedian's erstwhile manager, observed that "people now see her as a plastic-surgery addict who's past her sell-by date. " That was then. Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work is now, testament to the enduring resilience and indefatigable wit of its subject. Age cannot wither her, nor Botox stale her infinite hilarity.
May 8, 2010
Delaware County library patrons will be able to directly download audio books using an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, officials announced Friday. About 300 titles, both adult and children's books, are available for a 14-day checkout period. Users first need to download free Overdrive software available at the Apple App Store. After the software is installed, users then need to visit the online site www.delcolibraries.org and click on "download audiobooks. " A library card from one of the 26 libraries is needed.