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:
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.
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.
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.