Building Inspiration: Lovett Memorial Library

By Jenn D. RSS Wed, July 9, 2014

Transforming neighborhood libraries like Lovett Memorial is the essence of the Free Library of Philadelphia’s 21st Century Libraries Initiative. The 21st Century Libraries Initiative will remake the neighborhood libraries physically and programmatically, ensuring that strong, neighborhood-specific programming and resources are offered in a warm, state-of-the-art space, helping the Library to advance literacy, guide learning, and inspire curiosity across Philadelphia.

The Lovett Memorial Library will be transformed into an even more vibrant community space and will include several special features, such as:

  • LIVING ROOM: A warm and welcoming space where customers can self-check books, gather with friends, and enjoy the library’s programs
  • TEEN SPACE: A haven for teens to gather, do homework after school, engage in age-appropriate programming, and receive academic support
  • CHILDREN’S LIBRARY: A focal point of the new space, featuring comfortable children’s furniture, designated reading areas, and computers equipped with age-appropriate software
  • PRE-K ZONE: Located within the Children’s Library and brimming with picture books, small tables and chairs, and movable soft furniture that toddlers can use comfortably
  • COMPUTER LOUNGES: Three centrally located spaces featuring state-of-the-art technology that provides access to the internet and to the Free Library’s rich digital resources

The transformed Lovett Memorial Library will also include updated program, meeting, and study rooms; new elevators; an improved circulation desk/area; a quiet zone; and a Maker Space. This project is being developed in close collaboration with Mt. Airy, USA, which will be providing landscaping and a beautiful new garden for the community to enjoy.

Stay connected! To become involved with and learn more about this transformative initiative for Lovett Memorial Library, you can:

  • Attend community meetings
  • Follow the Lovett Memorial Facebook Page
  • Make a gift of support by visiting

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Neighbors and Lovett users may also stay connected by joining with the Friends of Lovett Memorial Library, founded in 1982. Please find us on the Web at, e-mail us at, and like us on Facebook,!
Friends of Lovett Memorial Library - Philadelphia
Thursday, July 10, 2014

Hello everyone! We at Lovett so excited to receive this transformation which will lead us into the 21st Century. Connect to us via Facebook, Twitter (@Lovett_Library), and Yelp (we love to read those positive reviews). Also, please visit the branch and learn more about what makes Lovett Memorial so special. See you soon!
Branch Manager - Mt. Airy, Philadelphia, PA
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I have read news reports that the print collections at Lovett (and presumably all branches to be "updated") will be reduced. This is unacceptable. I am well aware that trumpeting technological and "innovative" features is thought necessary to secure funding, but this should never come at the cost of a robust book collection. Circulating books is the core of the literacy mission of public libraries. Reduction of collections is a failure of this mission. Makers spaces, social media, etc., are the flavor of the day, but public libraries are at risk of losing their identity by identifying too strongly with the corporate tech model. I have no interest in spending time in a library thats little more than a glorified computer lab, nor in a library thats modeled on the priorities and aesthetics of an Apple store or corporate office building. Libraries should be a haven from the noise and hype of the marketplace. Keep community libraries community-focused and full of books.
Ben Webster - Philadelphia
Monday, September 8, 2014

Thank you for caring about the Free Library of Philadelphia and our future. Updates and renovations will give us the chance to thoroughly review the collections at each neighborhood library and create the best mix of specific assets for each unique one. Large portions of current collections will remain along with a variety of new items. There will still be plenty of books! Additionally, please don't forget that with your library card and our Interlibrary Loan program, now or at any future time, you can borrow books or magazine articles from libraries throughout the U.S. if we do not own the material you seek.
Jennifer--Communications Coordinator - Free Library of Philadelphia
Monday, September 8, 2014