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.
July 9, 2014 |
Just 13 hours before Moorestown's new library was due to open its doors to the public, the township's consulting architect, Rick Ragan, recommended to the township council that it demolish the former library. Speaking Monday before the council's regular monthly meeting, Ragan said it would cost about $3.4 million to bring the massively built concrete structure up to modern construction code - even before the building would be modified for some new purpose. "In all likelihood, the cost of rehabilitating and modernizing it would exceed the cost of replacing it," Ragan, of Ragan Design Group of Medford, told the council.
June 27, 2014 |
West Philadelphia-based photographer Kyle Cassidy has made a career of sidestepping political land mines as he dives deep into American subcultures. Consider, for example, his 2007 book Armed America: Portraits of Gun Owners in Their Homes. But in February, he published a photo essay that really touched a nerve. The subject? Librarians. "Certainly, the gun book was much less controversial," he said. Cassidy's photographs - taken at the American Library Association (ALA)
June 24, 2014 |
OVER 1,000 images were recently digitized into the Philadelphia Library Company's African Americana online collection, serving as a window into black history in Philadelphia and beyond. The African Americana database is the end result of a project that was "20 years in the making," one that will give anyone with an Internet connection access to these cultural relics, said Prints Department Associate Curator Erika Piola. The Philadelphia Library Company has been collecting images since its founding by Benjamin Franklin in 1731, and scholars began collecting photographs, political cartoons and drawings for its African Americana collection in the late 1960s.
June 10, 2014 |
Traveling across the Mantua Creek into Paulsboro's two square miles of aging infrastructure, there's a modest-seeming collection of local history on the left, right, and below. There's the home of the borough's namesake family, the house-turned-library built in 1806, and a Native American encampment under the dirt and grass. The triad of sites at Broad and Commerce Streets have become a lesson in preservation amid present-day realities. Officials this week will break ground on a long-planned expansion of the Gill Memorial Library, which was a house, general store, and doctor's office before it was donated to the borough in 1949.
June 9, 2014 |
A painter on a ladder was sanding a wall, an electrician was tugging wires from a floorplate, pages were stacking DVDs into newly installed shelving, and the man in a Teamsters T-shirt wanted to know where to deliver his crate just as a load of plastic-wrapped biographies rolled through the front door of the new Moorestown Library. "Look," joked library director Joe Galbraith. "There goes Che Guevara. " He meant the book, not the late revolutionary, but his good humor was understandable.
June 9, 2014 |
The library has one wall painted bright yellow, because that was Jamie Soukup Reid's favorite color, and six chess sets, because she loved and taught the challenges of the game. Among its 6,000 books are some of her personal favorites, like Holes and To Kill a Mockingbird , and others that she shared with her students. On a table stands a doll of Ms. Frizzle, the eccentric flame-haired teacher in The Magic School Bus . Reid so loved those stories that she dressed as Ms. Frizzle for Halloween.