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, March 17, 2016—The Free Library of Philadelphia is pleased to announce that three of its librarians have been recognized for their outstanding professional achievements by Library Journal, a national magazine.

Liz Fitzgerald, the administrator of the Culinary Literacy Center (CLC), has been recognized by Library Journal as one of its 2016 Movers and Shakers” for her extraordinary vision for and leadership of the CLC, which opened in the spring of 2014. She has pioneered engaging and exciting programs for Philadelphians of all backgrounds designed to teach not only healthy cooking and eating habits, but also reading via recipes, math via measuring, and science via seeing what pops out at the end of the cooking process. Her unique programs include English-as-a-Second-Language programs for restaurant workers; a hands-on, nose-to-tail goat butchering course; culinary storytimes for children; and workshops dedicated to helping people cook and enjoy meals that are healthy on the waistline as well as the budget.

Titus Moolathara, an adult/teen librarian and the project manager of the Library’s new Prison Services initiative, has also been recognized as a 2016 Mover and Shaker” by Library Journal, following his extensive efforts to bring library services to the Philadelphia Prison System. He helped create standing libraries at Curran-Fromhold and Riverside Correctional Facilities, which led to improvements in inmates’ reading levels and a reduction in the participants’ number of verbal and physical incidents. He is now overseeing an expansion of these services, including a re-entry guide for returning citizens and an innovative program that allows inmates to read books to their children through a “televisit” program set up at neighborhood libraries. This program helps deepen engagement between members of this underserved constituency and their neighborhood libraries.

In addition, Kenneth Manns, the director of the Library’s Volunteer Services, was selected for an honorable mention for Library Journal’s Paralibrarian of the Year Award. Under his leadership, the Volunteer Services department has increased the number of volunteers from six to 284. He initiated partnerships with local colleges to hire Work-Study student interns, who provide support for library programs. Because of his work, the Library now has volunteers and interns working in such roles as, English-language conversation group facilitators, résumé and job search assistants, LEAP (Literacy Enrichment Afterschool Program) assistants, tour guides, and Summer Reading specialists.  Kenn was also founding steering committee member for the Library’s All Staff Day, which brings together the entire library system staff for a day of learning and networking. 

“Our staff cares so deeply about serving the public and constantly seeks new ways to further community engagement and literacy across our city,” says Siobhan A. Reardon, president and director. “I am so proud to have Liz, Titus, and Kenn on our library team.”

To learn more about the Free Library of Philadelphia, visit And to check out our fantastic librarians in action, stop by your neighborhood library today.

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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 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