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Sunday, August 02, 2009

Philadelphia Library Budget Battles Will Continue

Many of you may saw the articles in the media last fall about the Mayor of Philadelphia trimming money from the library budget that threatened to close 11 branches. I published a cover story in Marketing Library Services (but it is not online in full text) about how the library's Friends group spearheaded grassroots efforts that stopped the closures.

However, a couple days ago, I got word from the Free Library of Philadelphia that its budget is in danger again. Advocates are urging Philly-area residents to send this letter to their representatives:

July, 2009

Dear [Legislator's Name Here]

We have just heard our Mayor announce the possible closing of many of our public libraries if the State does not end the budget impasse very soon.

The Free Libraries in Philadelphia are in every one of our neighborhoods and provide essential services in these communities. Use of Library resources has increased dramatically this year as job seekers come to use the Library's free public computers to do job searches, children seek homework help in a safe environment after school (most Philadelphia public schools have no libraries!), and seniors come to access information about social security and other federal benefits--information now found only online. Almost half of Philadelphians are without internet access at home.

This crucial resource cannot and should not be taken away!

I urge you to pass the budget and restore the cut to library services. Now more than ever, we need libraries to serve the under-served and those challenged by this economy.

Please keep our vital libraries open!

[Your Name Here]

Read the latest budget news here. And here you'll find a list of news articles relating to Friends of the Free Library and its work on behalf of all branches of the Free Library of Philadelphia. Follow the saga as it continues...

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