For Release: Immediately
Department of External Affairs
Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710
FAX (215) 567-7850
Contact: Communications and Development
For Release: Immediately
Contact: Communications and Development

Lillian Marrero, Librarian, Advocate, and Gardener

Lillian Marrero, 48, passed away Monday morning after a long illness. She is survived by her husband Hector Rios and their daughter Tanya, who turns twelve this March.

Marrero had been a librarian at the Free Library of Philadelphia since 1991, where she became a beacon in the North Philadelphia community while serving at the Lehigh Avenue Branch. She had a special passion for empowering the underpriveledged by assisting them with housing, jobs, English as a Second Language, and other educational initiatives. She set up a computer lab at the branch to offer classes to the community. Marrero created a hub of neighborhood activity at the library branch and formed partnerships with local community groups, especially with the Latino community. Through her community efforts, $25,000 was raised for the renovation of the Lehigh Avenue Branch in 1997.

Marrero was also known for her green thumb. She planted a garden at the Lehigh Avenue Branch that included many trees and azalea bushes. She tended the garden and the grounds herself, making sure that the branch stayed litter free inside and out.

Donations to Marrero’s memory can be made to the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, 100 N. 20th Street, 5th Floor, Philadelphia PA 19013. they will be used for use in the Philadelphia Green program, specifically in the central area of North Philadelphia where she spent so much time helping people, communities, and trees thrive.



Department of External Affairs, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710, FAX (215) 567-7850