Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
FAX (215) 567-7850
Contact: Communications and Development
FOUR REIMAGINED 21ST CENTURY LIBRARIES REOPENING IN NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER
These renovated and expanded neighborhood libraries are part of the Free Library’s Building Inspiration: 21st Century Libraries Initiative.
PHILADELPHIA, October 15, 2017—The Free Library of Philadelphia is excited to announce the reopening of four neighborhood libraries this fall. These pilot locations in the Library’s Building Inspiration: 21st Century Libraries Initiative—the Lillian Marrero, Logan, Lovett Memorial, and Tacony libraries—are reopening to the public after receiving extensive modernization and expansion that will allow them to meet the changing needs of today’s library customers.
Each library has a unique programmatic focus, chosen in response to identified community needs. The transformed 21st Century Libraries are all ADA compliant and include an improved circulation desk; updated program, meeting, and study rooms; and a computer bar. All have been fitted with warm, state-of-the-art spaces, including a vibrant Children’s Library, dedicated Teen Zone, and a customized Pre-K Zone, as well as a welcoming living room space. The libraries will also include site-specific commissioned artwork, supported by the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy’s Percent for Art Program. The Free Library collaborated with architect James. R. Keller, who specializes in design and planning for libraries, to reimagine these neighborhood libraries.
“Most of our neighborhood libraries have not experienced substantial renovation in decades, and many can no longer adequately support the rich and complex needs of today’s users,” says Siobhan A. Reardon, president and director of the Free Library. “These beautiful, dynamic 21st Century Libraries will serve as models of what a library can and should be in today’s society. We are so thrilled to welcome these communities home to their beloved neighborhood libraries.”
The four libraries will reopen in November and December 2017:
- Logan Library, located at 1333 Wagner Avenue, will open on Saturday, November 4, with a community celebration from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. This library will have a programmatic focus on family literacy and will include a new reading garden.
- Lillian Marrero Library, located at 601 West Lehigh Avenue, will hold its grand reopening celebration on Saturday, November 18, from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. Its programming will emphasize both early-childhood literacy and resources for new Americans, bolstered by expanded bilingual resources and enhanced workplace readiness resources.
- Tacony Library, located at 6742 Torresdale Avenue, will celebrate its reopening on Saturday, December 2, from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m., coinciding with the Tacony Civic Association’s Winterfest. Tacony’s new Small Business Resource Center—developed in response to the work of the Tacony Community Development Corporation, which has been working to establish the neighborhood as a quality destination for shopping and dining—will focus on small businesses and entrepreneurs.
- Lovett Memorial Library, located at 6945 Germantown Avenue, will reopen on Saturday, December 16, inviting community members to a celebration from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This library’s programming will emphasize the Mt. Airy Community. Renovations were developed in close collaboration with Mt. Airy USA, which provided landscaping and a beautiful new garden for the community to enjoy.
This transformational work has been made possible in large part by a historic $25 million gift from the William Penn Foundation—the largest private gift ever received by the Free Library—as well as a number of private individuals, institutional funders, and the City of Philadelphia. ADA improvements at Logan and Lovett Memorial libraries were supported by funding from the Keystone Recreation, Park, and Conservation Fund—administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education through the Office of Commonwealth Libraries—and other essential support came from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation. The Library is also grateful to Ruth W. and A. Morris Williams, Patricia Kind, Janet and Jim Averill, Martha and I. Wistar Morris, Barbara B. and Theodore R. Aronson, The Sheller Family Foundation, Toba and Lawrence Kerson, and Dale and Richard Levy for their generous support of the Building Inspiration initiative.
To learn more about the Building Inspiration initiative, visit freelibrary.org/21centurylibraries.
# # #
The Free Library of Philadelphia system, with 54 locations and the Rosenbach, 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, including neighborhood Hotspots; and rich special collections, including those at Parkway Central Library and at the Rosenbach. With more than 6 million in-person visits and millions more online 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