Free Library Fund: A Public and Private Partnership for Success!

By Emily S. RSS Mon, November 20, 2017

At the Free Library, we’re all about connecting people with the information they need to enhance and improve their lives. We connect job seekers with résumé workshops, small-business owners with career coaches, history buffs with landmark exhibitions, and bookworms with bestsellers and classics alike.

And so, in the interest of information sharing, here’s a crucial piece of intel we want to pass along: The Free Library that you know, love, and depend on exists only because of an incredibly deep and meaningful public-private partnership.

As many of you know, the City of Philadelphia provides public funding for our 54 library buildings and the friendly, knowledgeable librarians and staff that bring them to life. That’s the public part of the partnership.

But did you also know that while the City provides for the Library's facilities and infrastructure, critical programs are only made possible by private gifts from people like you? That’s where the private part of the partnership comes in.

The Free Library Fund supports the critical work of Philadelphia’s public library system through private gifts, sustaining the Free Library’s mission to advance literacy, guide learning, and inspire curiosity throughout the city.

This powerful public-private partnership helps make possible:

Literacy Initiatives
The Free Library is deeply committed to enhancing literacy throughout the city, with programs like our Literacy Enrichment Afterschool Program (LEAP) for school students, and Stories Alive, which connects families separated by incarceration through online storytimes.



Humanities Programs
Programs like our renowned Author Events series and the beloved One Book, One Philadelphia program link literature lovers with great authors and conversations—and one another.


Innovative Initiatives
The Culinary Literacy Center, Maker and STEAM activities for teens, and the work of the BRIC (Business Resource and Innovation Center) are at the heart of our 21st-century offerings, impacting Philadelphians across the city in bold new ways.



We all know that information is most powerful when one knows how to wield it. So now that you’ve got the scoop on the public-private partnership that underlies the work of the Free Library, what can you do to use this information to empower yourself and those in our community?

Simple! Support the Free Library Fund and help to connect your fellow Philadelphians with the information they need most. Your gift to the Free Library Fund will be allocated to the areas of most urgent need each year and touch every one of the Free Library’s 54 locations across the city.

In this way, the Free Library Fund ensures that Philadelphians of all ages, stages, and abilities have access to life-changing programming and resources in their communities.

And here’s the really exciting part—gifts of every size make a big difference. Whether you contribute $5, $50, or $500, your gift will help us meet the most critical needs in Philadelphia.

Information is power. Use it wisely and support the Free Library Fund today!


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I can not believe that the Nonprofit Library Company has not set up an endowment fund like most universities and colleges to ensure its perpetuity. I would prefer to put a donation in a fund for this honourable and noteworthy cause. I always look to the future. I can't imagine you begging for donations every year with no objective goal. If I looked at a speadsheet for the Library, I should see Endowment Fund, Capital Campaign for much needed expansions, renovations, remodeling and building maintenance to the Central and neighborhood libraries. I think the programs at the Central Library are pertinent and relevant but I still miss some good ones from the neighborhoods like the Northeast because of distance. I wish they repeated those programs at the Central. I also wish that they repeated programs periodically period. You feel like once you've missed it, you missed it for life. That's a depressing feeling.
Juanda Myles - Southwest Philly
Saturday, November 25, 2017

Dear Librarian Main Campus subject matter, FALLING INTO GOOD BOOK, quote of the day, good morning, have a nice day. And so what? children learn to read, can have ability to write, a book that is interesting, to me as it is Falling In Love, rocking Michael Jagger, Rolling Stone knote taking for Bianca Jagger his wife, very good call bank note, welcome to Philadelphia. Dilworth Park memory last a life time, Mery Chrismas to you, and happy New Year.
Siri Pinnya - Central Library
Monday, November 27, 2017

Juanda, Thank you so much for your comment and your interest in the Free Library's sustainability and the continued accessibility of its programming! The Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation does indeed have an endowment to help sustain its ongoing operations, but annual fundraising through the Free Library Fund is essential to maintaining day-to-day efforts, capitalizing on new opportunities, and meeting unexpected challenges. In short, the Free Library Fund is critical to many needs at the Library that endowment support does not cover. We are grateful for all of the many wonderful ways that the city and its citizens support the Library each year. Please don't hesitate to contact the Free Library Foundation at 215-567-7710 or anytime we can provide more information on how you can get involved in your library's future.
Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation - Philadelphia, PA 19130
Thursday, November 30, 2017