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.
July 8, 2015 |
Caitlin Moran talks so fast, my digital recorder couldn't keep up. I wanted to catch every word - because, as the English columnist, TV critic/celebrity writer, satirist, novelist, public intellectual, now-wave feminist, and funnyperson vroomed on at comet speed, she was talking more sense per femtosecond than your average extraordinarily gifted person. Moran, who will speak Thursday at the Free Library, is cobbling together a cool, fresh way of thinking the future into being.
April 25, 2015 |
Was it a birdhouse? A storage locker? A plant stand? The pretty red-and-turquoise box had suddenly appeared at the side of Penny's Flowers, the focal point of Glenside's Keswick Village shopping district. A few months later, a mile away, another box appeared on a quiet street in the Ardsley neighborhood. It looked like a newspaper honor box, but like the one at Penny's, it was filled with books. Indeed, these were two new outposts of the Little Free Library, a worldwide program that encourages people to take books at will and donate others.
April 24, 2015 |
Marivic Wright, a Philippine immigrant, was a return visitor Tuesday to the E-Gadget Help Desk at the Free Library of Philadelphia. She came for assistance in finding another e-book after poring through two on her Samsung Galaxy Note 8 "phablet. " Her latest: The 4 Percent Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality. Calvin Moody of Germantown stopped by to get help with his Android tablet, which wasn't loading new e-mails. "I'm from the old school.