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

Free Library Celebrates Success of 10,000 Books for Children

Two-month book drive ends on high note with 10,000 new books for the Summer Reading program

PHILADELPHIA, June 15, 2009—Thanks to the generosity of the Philadelphia community, 10,000 new books await Philadelphia’s school children as they begin celebrating summer vacation this month. Free Library of Philadelphia locations throughout the region begin opening their doors today to welcome school children for the annual Summer Reading program, and this year, the success is truly a community effort.

Through the 10,000 Books for Children drive, classics such as Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and The Phantom Tollbooth, as well as popular new books like the tween saga Twilight, line the shelves waiting to take children and teens along on exciting adventures. Beginning on April 13 with generous support from Target and Friends of the Free Library of Philadelphia, the two-month-long 10,000 Books for Children drive collected 10,000 new books for the more than 60,000 Philadelphia school children participating in the Library’s Summer Reading program.

Over the course of two months, individuals and a myriad community businesses and organizations donated tens of thousands of dollars and stacks-upon-stacks of books to the Free Library. Barnes and Noble, who joined the library halfway through its drive, rallied patrons in seven area stores with signs, intercom announcements, window displays, and point-of-sale efforts, ultimately collecting several thousand books for the Library. Smaller businesses held internal book drives and sold books at their counters, and grassroots efforts to reach out to donors and civic groups to support the Library’s goal helped to accrue enough funds to purchase the additional books needed for Summer Reading.

“The Free Library is incredibly grateful for the individuals, organizations, and businesses that helped us reach the goal of filling our shelves with 10,000 new books for the Summer Reading program,” said Free Library President and Director Siobhan A. Reardon. “On behalf of the more than 60,000 Philadelphia school children that will learn, explore, and be inspired by these books—thank you!”

The Summer Reading program is one of the most important programs offered by the Free Library—studies have shown reading five or more books during summer vacation helps students retain appropriate literacy levels for their return to the classroom in the fall. However, due to the economic downturn, the Free Library was forced cut its book budget by 25 percent and stop ordering new books for all Library locations until early July, which left the Library with a lack of funds to purchase books for the program.

Additional businesses that partnered with the Library to reach its goal included Bob Evans, Children’s Book World, Joseph Fox Bookshop, the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies, Philadelphia’s Valley Green Bank, Post & Schell, Paul Dry Books, Philadelphia Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, and Simon and Schuster.

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The Free Library of Philadelphia system consists of 49 branches, three regional libraries, the Parkway Central Library, and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. With more than 6 million visits annually, the Free Library is one of the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia.



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