January 5, 2016
ARDMORE The Ardmore Free Library will reopen Monday after nearly a year of renovations. It's the oldest branch in the Lower Merion Library System, with parts of the building dating to 1917 and others to 1927. The renovations opened up more usable floor space, said head librarian Jane Quin, including a loft that had not been accessible to the public before. Other improvements include a new elevator, new paint and carpeting, a children's play area in the basement, and accessibility upgrades to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Quin said Monday will be a soft opening, as computers and furniture are still being set up in advance of the grand opening celebration at 1 p.m. Jan. 9. "It's kind of a madhouse, but hopefully we'll be ready," she said.
December 12, 2015 |
City officials announced Thursday a pilot program that will allow prison inmates to read books to their children through live video at neighborhood libraries. The program, called "Stories Alive," will be launched in February at three branch libraries, likely in Frankford, Nicetown, and Kensington, said Titus Moolathara, who manages prison library services for the Free Library of Philadelphia. Inmates and family members approved by the Philadelphia Prison System will have access on Saturdays to hour-long reading sessions.
November 19, 2015 |
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. Yesterday, Mayor-elect Jim Kenney, Superintendent William Hite and 30 other leaders gathered at Clara Barton Elementary to launch a $3.5 million fundraising campaign aimed at placing libraries in every Philadelphia School District elementary classroom.
November 19, 2015 |
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.
November 6, 2015 |
Hearing the words of Mark Twain, Frederick Douglass, and Ulysses S. Grant come to life is a privilege and a pleasure. The same goes for interviewing the actors who portray these three American icons onstage. "I hope we do more than entertain people," says longtime Twain actor Rick Bonnette. He's the author of two literate, witty, and affecting plays in which he will appear, separately, with Leon Morgan as Douglass and Richard Gross as Grant. "When you pick three towering figures to write about," Bonnette says, "you've got an opportunity to say something.
October 11, 2015 |
The beleaguered Kennett Public Library should hold off on its plan to move and its president should quit, according to a library-commissioned study. But library leaders say that while the report was valuable and changes are in the works, the $6 million campaign to relocate and expand is still on, and the president says she's not quitting. The study, in which 41 stakeholders, donors, and potential donors participated, was aimed at gauging interest in the capital campaign. The results were released last week, and not all of them were flattering.
September 18, 2015 |
After 13 years on the road, the Moorestown Theater Company would like to build a home of its own. The nonprofit group dreams of building a new performing arts center on the site of the soon-to-be-demolished former Moorestown library. "I have not heard one person say it's a bad idea," declared company founder and promoter-in-chief Mark Morgan, whose troupe stages 14 to 16 Broadway musicals annually at churches, schools, and other venues around town. Although Moorestown contemplates using the library site for green space, parking, or additional municipal facilities, the theater company would like to lease the ground while trying to privately raise perhaps $10 million to build the performing arts center.
September 10, 2015 |
Got an e-card and an e-book in your "electronic wallet"? The Free Library of Philadelphia is hosting a sign-up event - a promotional show-and-tell at the Municipal Services Building with library president and director Siobhan A. Reardon - on Wednesday for its newly launched virtual library card. But the irony here - and the message that library staffers will spread - is that you no longer need to go anywhere, not even to a library branch, to claim a digital library card. The whole process can be accomplished in as little as 90 seconds just by taking your Internet-accessing self (and device)
August 14, 2015 |
Shelves of books may evoke peace and quiet, but it has been a season of turmoil for the Kennett Public Library. Board member resignations, a controversial name change, and a renewed debate about the library's location have raised concerns about the future of the Chester County library. Leaders of the library in Kennett Square, formerly known as the Bayard Taylor Memorial Library, say they are making changes - and reconsidering a plan to move out of the borough. But library critics have called for creating a task force to intervene.
July 20, 2015 |
Carol M. Highsmith looks at the Cherry Hill Mall and sees America. "I'm making a historical record of our times - a visual study," says the celebrated photographer, who has collaborated with the Library of Congress for 35 years. Highsmith's visits to Cherry Hill in April and June yielded about 30 pictures of South Jersey's signature suburb. "I roamed around to see what I could see, and I was impressed," she says. "I've been all over the country, and I've seen towns of Cherry Hill's size fail.