October 25, 2014 |
Howard Lutnick lost his mother to cancer when he was a high school junior. And one week into his freshman year at Haverford College, his father died, too - the result of a tragic medical mistake. That's when he got the phone call from Robert B. Stephens, then president of Haverford: "Howard, your four years here are free. " Since then, Lutnick has been returning the kindness of the college that became a family when he most needed one. Now 53 and chairman of Cantor Fitzgerald L.P. - a New York City financial firm that lost 658 employees in the World Trade Center attacks - Lutnick has become the college's largest donor, a distinction deepened on Saturday with the announcement of his $25 million gift.
October 22, 2014 |
What's the value of a high school education? Recent U.S. Census data says it's worth at least $10,386 - the difference between the average income of high school graduates and the income earned by dropouts. Seeking to help county residents earn high school diplomas - and potentially more money - the Camden County Library System has enlisted in a New Jersey State Library-aided program that offers a second chance to dropouts. The Career Online High School (COHS) program, which has brought a slew of new laptops to the county library system, can accommodate up to 35 county library card holders who are at least 19 years and have completed their freshman year of high school before dropping out. First to enroll in the program was Nancy Torres, 29, of Camden.
October 8, 2014 |
The Latin phrase engraved in decorative medallions on the new Moorestown Library was supposed to inspire. The building's planners thought its translation was: "We confirm all things twice. " Apparently, they didn't . . . confirm all things twice, that is. The Latin words - Nos Secundus Coniecto Omnia - actually mean "we second-guess all," which is what some critics have been doing lately. Not to worry, though. Moorestown Mayor Chris Chiacchio said two medallions with the incorrect phrase would be replaced with an appropriate motto yet to be determined.
October 6, 2014 |
The author events series at the Free Library of Philadelphia can boast impressive numbers - more than 130 events a year, nearly half a million podcasts downloaded, and more than 30,000 book-lovers in attendance. Andy Kahan, 51, director of the series, reflects on the series and its future. Q: What have been the highlights of the series? A: My highlights might not be your highlights (or anyone else's), but some that come to mind include having Richard Clarke the day after he testified to the 9/11 Commission; the couple of events we had with the ever-passionate and intense Jeanette Winterson; any time we host Toni Morrison, David Mitchell, or A.S. Byatt; Rachel Maddow's appearance a couple of years ago; and Hillary Clinton's recent book signing.
September 20, 2014 |
Does God exist? What was Nixon really like? And perhaps most important: Will the Eagles make it to the Super Bowl? You can ask Sam Harris, Henry Kissinger, and Ray Didinger those questions, or anything else on your mind. Authors Harris ( Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion ); Kissinger ( World Order ), and Didinger ( The New Eagles Encyclopedia ) may not give you the definitive answers, but they will give you highly informed opinions. They are just three on the impressive roster of more than 50 writers coming to Philadelphia over the next few months for the Free Library's annual author series.
September 15, 2014 |
In the cramped main room of the historic Darby Free Library, outdated electrical wiring prevents the air-conditioning from running at the same time as the printers. Cracks show in the ceiling of the brick building, which dates to 1872. Residents crowd the library, waiting as long as two hours for access to one of five computers. Founded by a group of Quakers in 1743, the Darby Free Library is the oldest continuously operating public library in the United States, as best as the state Department of Education can determine.
September 12, 2014 |
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.
September 2, 2014 |
Rutgers-Camden students assiduously avoided studying in the dark, dusty library basement, crammed in between book stacks with asbestos tile and the ghostly noises of a building built in the middle of the last century. Not that things were ideal elsewhere in the library, where book stacks across two floors limited seating and study areas, a lack of electrical outlets led students to bring their own extension cords, and piecemeal furniture replacement led to a grab-bag vision of interior design.
August 31, 2014 |
The West Philly Tool Library has launched a $10,000 crowdfunding campaign to keep its membership fees low and buy new tools. Since 2007, the Tool Library has helped homeowners save thousands of dollars on tools they would otherwise have to buy; instead they borrow. The Tool Library lends 1,200 tools to members every month, a 35 percent increase over last year, said director Peter Foreman-Murray. Since its founding, the library has grown to 1,700 members. "Trouble is, we can't meet the demand," said Foreman-Murray.
July 24, 2014 |
Billy Joel, an American treasure According to no less an authority than the Library of Congress, pop chanteur Billy Joel , 65, has made a primo contribution to American culture. The six-time Grammy-winning singer of "Allentown" and "Goodnight Saigon" is this year's winner of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, says Librarian of Congress James H. Billington . "Billy Joel is a storyteller of the highest order," Billington says. "His piano-fueled narratives take listeners into the relatable and deeply personal moments of life.