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

Barbara Sutherland Named Chair of Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation Board of Directors

PHILADELPHIA, June 21, 2018—The Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation is pleased to announce that Barbara Sutherland is the newly appointed Chair of its Board of Directors. Ms. Sutherland is a long-time Free Library supporter and advocate, having served on the Foundation Board of Directors for six years. The Foundation and the entire Library staff salute and thank outgoing Chair Tobey Gordon Dichter as she concludes her successful and transformative tenure of nearly seven years, during which she led the Board through the renovation of the fourth-floor of Parkway Central, featuring dramatic new spaces such as the Skyline Room and Terrace; the launch of the Culinary Literacy Center; and the completion of the first phase of Building Inspiration: 21st Century Library Initiative, which transformed five neighborhood libraries into welcoming, resource-rich, state-of-the-art community destinations.

Barbara Sutherland pursued a career in banking and finance before leaving to raise two sons and contribute her energy, knowledge, and skills to advance the missions of not-for-profit organizations and activities.  She has served as Chair of the Wayne Art Center (Wayne, PA) and Daemion House Community Counseling Center (Berwyn, PA) boards, and as Rector’s Warden at St. David’s Episcopal Church (Wayne). She holds a degree in economics from Duke University and an MBA from Villanova University. She served on the Board of Visitors for Duke University’s Trinity College of Arts and Sciences and on a number of leadership committees at Duke. 

“I am so pleased that Barbara Sutherland will be the new Chair of our Foundation Board of Directors,” said Siobhan A. Reardon, President and Director of the Free Library of Philadelphia. “Her dedication to building the Free Library’s fiscal strength, its holdings and programs, and its roles as a multifaceted resource for Philadelphians and center for civic engagement will enhance and guide our ambitious efforts to meet the needs of all Philadelphians.” 

Ms. Sutherland joined the Free Library Foundation Board in 2012, was elected Secretary in 2015, and served as  First Vice Chair in 2018. She is a member of the Finance, Special Collections, and Institutional Advancement committees, and co-chaired the Center for Public Life committee. 

Ms. Sutherland lives in Haverford, PA, with her husband, Fred Sutherland.

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About the Free Library of Philadelphia

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 5 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