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


The Free Library of Philadelphia is pleased to announce the recent election of Judge Pamela Pryor Dembe to the position of Chair of its Board of Trustees. Judge Dembe has been a Common Pleas judge for over 24 years and currently sits in the Commerce Court. She is also the immediate Past President Judge of the Common Pleas Court.

Judge Dembe was first appointed by the Mayor to the Free Library’s Board of Trustees in 2007. She was Secretary from 2008 to 2010 and Vice Chair from 2010 to 2015. She is succeeding former Chair Robert C. Heim, who served in the position for the past eight years. Heim was appointed to the Board of Trustees by the Mayor in 2004 and was Vice Chair from 2006 to 2008 before serving as Chair from 2008 to 2015. He was also elected to the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation’s Board of Directors in 2007 and will continue to serve as a member.

“I am so pleased to welcome Pam as the new Chair of the Board of Trustees,” said Free Library President and Director Siobhan A. Reardon. “Her steadfast dedication to the Free Library is commendable and has been truly invaluable, and I am looking forward to working with her to help advance our mission and lead the Library confidently forward. At the same time, I am deeply grateful to the decade-plus service of Bob Heim, who in his tenure oversaw so many of the Library’s incredible achievements. His presence on the Board of Trustees will be missed, but his legacy of leadership will be everlasting.”

A graduate of Temple University School of Law, Judge Dembe is the Past President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas and the Past President of the of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges, the Pennsylvania Judicial Auditing Agency, the National Conference of Metropolitan Courts, the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Criminal Law Section, the Brehon Law Society, and the Temple American Inn of Court.  In addition to her service on the Board of Trustees at the Free Library of Philadelphia, Judge Dembe is a member of the Strategic Planning Committee for the National Conference of Metropolitan Courts and a director of the Clover Club.  She is a member of the Union League of Philadelphia, serving on numerous committees, and is also a member of the Athenaeum and the Orpheus Club.

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The 61-location Free Library of Philadelphia system advances literacy, guides learning, and inspires curiosity with millions of digital and physical materials; 25,000 yearly programs and workshops; free public computers and extensive Wi-Fi; and rich special collections, including  those at Parkway Central Library and at The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia. With more than 6 million in-person visits and millions more online visits annually, the Free Library and the Rosenbach are among the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia and boast a worldwide impact.


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