We are pleased to announce that South Philadelphia Library has been designated a Zone of Peace by the Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia. This title is granted to both religious and secular institutions "working to address the root causes of violence and make us safer in the communities where we live, work, and play." The Zones of Peace Steering Committee determined the South Philadelphia Library as a location answering their Call to People of Faith to Stop Violence which encourages us to "make our neighborhoods zones of peace, free from fear, filled with respect, and marked by deeds of kindness."
The council was impressed by the Library’s function as an inter-generational and multicultural gathering place, as well as a hub for a wide variety of community-based organizations. They noted it was difficult to differentiate between programs offered by library staff, and those offered by other community organizations which they viewed as a "sign of close cooperation between staff, volunteers, and partner organizations, which is good for the community."
A particular offering the Council took note of was our Older Adult Lunch, a plant-based cooking class and luncheon for seniors taught by Chef Char Nolan. In partnership with Philabundance, participants are able to not only learn new recipes, socialize with peers, and enjoy a nutritious meal, but also bring home a bag of fresh produce to replicate the recipes at home.
As all Free Library locations do, South Philadelphia Library provides access to information and safe shelter to those who are the most vulnerable in our communities. In an effort to further extend a welcome environment to our patrons experiencing homelessness or difficulty accessing personal care supplies, we have an ongoing distribution of Hygiene Kits. This is a community effort sustained through fundraising by the Friends of the South Philadelphia Library, and individual donations of products.
In the recognition of South Philadelphia Library, the Steering Committee wrote:
"The Zones of Peace Steering Committee is profoundly grateful and impressed with the effective work your library is doing to address violence... your sensitive and varied response to a wide range of the community’s challenges is extraordinary."
Please join us this evening, December 16, when we will be having a presentation from the Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia recognizing the South Philadelphia Library as a Zone of Peace. This will be part of our Winter Solstice Celebration which will also include live music, crafts, and more. We will be collecting unused toiletry items for our Hygiene Kits, which can also be donated directly online.