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



Philadelphia, PA, October 18, 2011 – Siobhan A. Reardon, President and Director of the Free Library of Philadelphia, has been named the recipient of a Philadelphia Business Journal 2011 Women of Distinction award. One of the most prestigious awards in the Philadelphia area, Women of Distinction recognizes 25 women each year who have made a significant impact on our region.

“I’m honored to receive a Women of Distinction award,” said Reardon. “As the President and Director of the Free Library, I see firsthand the impact that strong leadership has on making Philadelphia a more vibrant city. I look forward to meeting my fellow recipients and to learning more about their exciting and impactful work in our region.”

“Philadelphia Business Journal is thrilled to honor the women who are true role models in our region in professional achievement and in community service,” said Craig Ey, editor of Philadelphia Business Journal. “The 2011 Women of Distinction winners, in particular, embody all of what makes the Philadelphia region great; people who are very talented, passionate about what they do, and committed to personal, professional, and community success.”

Reardon became the seventh President and Director of the Free Library of Philadelphia in September 2008. She is the first woman to serve in this capacity in 114 years, and was appointed after a national search conducted by the Free Library's Board of Trustees and the Free Library Foundation Board of Directors.

Since joining the Free Library of Philadelphia, Ms. Reardon has overseen's expansion as a major digital force, featuring a robust set of downloadable materials, online collections, and mobile web pages; has successfully re-conceptualized the campaign to enhance and expand the Parkway Central Library, launching the first major renovations to the Beaux-Arts jewel in its nearly 100-year history; and has spearheaded the Library's initiative to move beyond its walls by creating computer and internet outposts—called Hot Spots—located deep in the hearts of underserved neighborhoods. In addition, Ms. Reardon is working with Mayor Michael A. Nutter to tackle the city's literacy crisis and equip all of its citizens with the necessary skills to contribute to the economic vitality of Philadelphia and fully thrive in the 21st century.

Previously, Ms. Reardon was Executive Director of the Westchester (NY) Library System, a 38-member cooperative library system. Prior to that, she was Deputy Executive Director of the Brooklyn Public Library, serving as Chief Operating Officer of the nation's fifth largest library system. She also served as Acting Executive Director and Director of Finance, responsible for the Library's $85 million annual budget.

Ms. Reardon began her library career at New York Public Library. She holds a B.A. from SUNY Purchase, an M.A. from Fordham University, and an M.L.S. from the Palmer School of Library Science at Long Island University. She serves on the boards of several local organizations, including the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the Philadelphia Education Fund, the West Philadelphia Alliance for Children, and Lyrasis, a national library board. She is a resident of the Logan Square neighborhood of Philadelphia.

Reardon and her fellow Women of Distinction will be recognized in a special section of the Philadelphia Business Journal on November 25, and will be honored at an awards program at the Sheraton Downtown Philadelphia on November 29.

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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