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


Knight Foundation Grant Allows Free Library of Philadelphia to Provide Computer Access, Training

PHILADELPHIA, April 20, 2011—Philadelphians living in some of the city’s neighborhoods that lack free and reliable connections to computer technology and high-speed internet now have access to these resources and services provided by four Free Library of Philadelphia technology Hot Spots. These Hot Spots bring computer classes and access to the latest software, technological resources, and the internet to community centers in Philadelphia. Free Library Hot Spots are now open at the following locations:

     • Heavenly Hall Annex | 4015 Poplar Street 
       Hours: Monday through Friday, 1:00-5:00 p.m.
     • Institute for the Development of African-American Youth | 2221 North Broad Street 
       Hours: Monday through Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m. and Friday, 1:00-4:00 p.m.
     • Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia | 2416 S. 7th Street 
       Hours: Monday through Friday 1:00-5:00 p.m.
     • The Village of Arts and Humanities | 2544 Germantown Avenue
       Hours: Monday through Friday, 1:00-5:00 p.m.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation generously provided funding for the Hot Spots, as part of a national initiative to improve internet access and expand digital literacy skills.

“Internet access is a prerequisite to being an informed and engaged citizen in the digital age – whether you’re looking for information on health issues, school scholarships, or trying to find employment,” said Donna Frisby-Greenwood, Philadelphia Program Director for the Knight Foundation. “Libraries are essential hubs for that access, and for the training to use it effectively.”

Each Free Library Hot Spot includes six computers, one printer, and all necessary broadband equipment, as well as a small selection of Free Library materials, such as reference materials on job searches. Free Library Hot Spots are staffed by computer assistants trained to provide residents with guided instruction as well as open-access internet usage periods. In Philadelphia, where more than 40 percent of residents do not have home internet access, these Hot Spots will provide an essential service.

“We are proud to be opening our technology Hot Spots throughout the city,” said Siobhan A. Reardon, President and Director of the Free Library of Philadelphia. “A major part of reviving the economic vitality of Philadelphia involves giving residents access to the tools that will allow them to become fully contributing members of the 21st century workforce. In addition to the 54 Free Library locations with 950 public access computers, these outposts will ensure that residents in all city neighborhoods are given the opportunity to increase their technological literacy and reap the subsequent benefits.”

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Free Library of Philadelphia
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 six million visits annually, the Free Library is one of the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia. For more, visit

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed and engaged communities and lead to transformational change. For more, visit


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