Our Commitment to Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion at the Free Library

By Siobhan Reardon RSS Mon, December 19, 2016

The Free Library of Philadelphia is a welcoming, safe, and inclusive space for all members of the public. The programs and services at each of our 54 libraries are available for people of every age, ethnicity, race, religion, and sexual orientation, and for those across all economic, social, and political spectrums.

During a time when many are feeling vulnerable and others are anxious to learn how they can help their neighbors and become civically engaged, the Free Library is the ideal venue for inclusive discussion and the discovery of information. In an effort to meet these needs, library staff has come together to educate themselves about the best social service, non-partisan political, and civic resources across the region. If you have questions, call us.

Already, many local organizations from a variety of avenues are offering support. Check out the following, which are just a few of the countless available resources across our region:

Today, the Free Library is proud to post this inclusivity statement, which affirms our purpose in and commitment to the community:

The Free Library of Philadelphia is a welcoming and inclusive public space and strongly believes in promoting understanding and community engagement. All 54 of our libraries provide a safe haven for individuals of all ages and backgrounds, providing homework help, ESL classes, supportive job search assistance, and much more. We encourage and host conversations about differences and complex social issues. The library exists to provide opportunities for discussion supported by educational resources, access to a vast array of information, and ideas that transform communities, open minds, and promote inclusion. Our mission is to advance literacy, guide learning, and inspire curiosity for all.

Have a question for Free Library staff? Please submit it to our Ask a Librarian page and receive a response within two business days.

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Would welcome FLP advocacy for restoration of professionally-school libraries as suburban schools have. I speak as the daughter of an FLP librarian.
Barbara Dowdall - Germantown
Tuesday, December 20, 2016

This seems intended to suggest that the presidential election gives cause for fear. Does the Free Library endorse political candidates?
Chaim Jacobs - Philadelphia
Thursday, December 22, 2016

This is really helpful, and inspiring. The Civic Engagement Fair on Inauguration Day is a stroke of genius!
Elizabeth McGoran - Elkins Park
Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Not a single Black group among your list of groups committed to equality and diversity! What is up with that?
william f collins - PHILADELPHIA
Friday, March 10, 2017

Hi William, Thanks for taking the time to read our blog and sending us your feedback. The groups represented in the resources listed above support our diverse community of people from all backgrounds, and some in particular highlight issues affecting the African American community, such as the team at the Philly Coalition for REAL (Racial, Economic, and Legal) Justice. As ever, as an inclusive institution, we are always on the lookout for new groups and institutions to work with and would be happy to pass along the names of any organizations you think we should look into partnering with in the future.
Web Admin - Philadelphia
Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Okay, but where is you commitment to EXCELLENCE, to MERIT, to ACHIEVEMENT? Is our goal to be inclusively, and equally, mediocre?
Richard Iaconelli - Philadelphia
Monday, March 20, 2017

Hi Richard, To address your question and comment, the Free Library is committed to excellence in all that we do, from providing access to critical information in all forms to creating new innovative programs. We strive to serve our public with excellence each and every day!
Web Admin - Philadelphia
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

I wasn't at the Civic Engagement Fair. Is there a way to find out what community groups were at the fair and how to connect with them?
Andrea - Philadelphia
Tuesday, May 30, 2017