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


Interactive technology will promote literacy and engage learners of all ages

PHILADELPHIA, August 24, 2011—The Free Library of Philadelphia is opening Smart Technology Centers in six Library locations throughout the city, funded by a generous grant from the Verizon Foundation. These Smart Technology Centers will allow the Free Library to train customers of all ages to use and enjoy the state-of-the-art equipment.

Each Smart Technology Center will help engage school-age children in productive, interactive, and educational after-school programs, like creating movies or animating a favorite book, using smart boards and other new technology. The Smart Technology Centers will also help Free Library customers who have recently arrived in the United States to master the English language through a variety of interactive vocabulary programs and large group lessons.

“As the Free Library of the 21st Century, we are always looking for ways to best integrate innovative technologies into the work we do every day in order to help all Philadelphians thrive in our digitally driven world,” said Siobhan A. Reardon, President and Director of the Free Library. “Thanks to the generous support of the Verizon Foundation, we will be able to provide new, interactive learning opportunities for creative and curious minds of all ages.”

“Libraries are vital educational links in the communities they serve, and integrating technology and interactive literacy activities into their programs will give them powerful tools to promote literacy and learning,” said Gale Y. Given, president of Verizon Pennsylvania. “It is exciting to partner with the Free Library and its neighborhood branches and see these organizations reap the rewards for their encouragement and leadership in providing the resources needed by individuals across the lifespan to succeed in the journey of life.”

Smart Technology Centers will be located at Free Library branches throughout Philadelphia, including West Oak Lane, 2000 Washington Lane; Roxborough, 6245 Ridge Avenue; Widener, 2808 West Lehigh Avenue; Tacony, 6742 Torresdale Avenue; Ramonita de Rodriguez, 600 West Girard Avenue; and Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine Street.

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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