Breaking News - Legislation to keep libraries open passes!

By Kathleen Thu, September 17, 2009

Just minutes ago, the Pennsylvania State senate passed bill 1828 by a vote of 32 to 17. For all of you who have been following the saga over the city's budget crisis, this is indeed the legislation that was needed for the City of Philadelphia to avoid the "Doomsday" Plan C budget scenario, which would have resulted in the layoff of 3,000 city employees and forced the closing of all libraries. 

We are enormously grateful to everyone who advocated on our behalf. More than 2,000 letters to state legislators were collected from our libraries, and countless others made calls and sent emails underscoring how important public libraries are to the economic, educational and social life of our city. We also thank our incredible library staff, who despite the threat of imminent layoffs continued to provide excellent service to the thousands of people who use one of the 54 libraries in our system.




This is a amazing news!!!!! I having been praying and hoping that the public would fight to keep our libraries open and running. I could not believe that a city as large as this would not have a library. That would be disgraceful. I'm so happy that the experience happen it would allows us not to take for granted the opportunities we have with having the libraries available to us.
Ify - University City Thu, September 17, 2009
That's great news! I'm so glad. :)
Yee Mey - Piscataway Thu, September 17, 2009
Good luck to you and your library's.. I live in a very small town and I don't know what we would do without our library we have no book stores... people use the newspapers for looking for jobs to passing time .. computers are waiting in line..Thanks to everyone who makes this possibl
Dona - Florida Thu, September 17, 2009
This is the best news I have heard all week! I am so delighted that our treasured libraries will remain open. As an avid reader and a mothr of a teenage daughter, we are often at the library. We have been going at leas once a week since she was just a baby and there were many times over the course of her lifetime where the library provided us with much needed reading materials and computers. Thank you!!!
Mary - NE Philly Thu, September 17, 2009
The threat of FLP's closure has been bleak news to us library school students in Alberta, and we're heartened to see that your doors will remain open. Congratulations!!! And it's nice to see that citizens CAN make a difference by contacting their legislators.
Future Librarians for Intellectual Freedom - University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada Thu, September 17, 2009
Congratulations! This is indeed wonderful news. And may all your libraries stay free and open forever.
Teri - Sydney, Australia Thu, September 17, 2009
Good news indeed! Congratulations!
Sue Kamm - Los Angeles, CA Thu, September 17, 2009
Fantastic news for the people of Philadelphia and library advocacy in action!
Melissa - AL Thu, September 17, 2009
THANK YOU, THANK YOU. I am a wife and mother of two, I have used the library for at least 30 years, starting at a very young age. I have instilled this in my children and now have an eleven year old THAT CRIED WHEN SHE THOUGHT THE LIBRARY WERE CLOSING BOTH TIMES. Thank you for everyone who has helped our young children know the importance of how reading can better your life and education.
stella - philadelphia Thu, September 17, 2009
Wonderful Just wonderful News...Dont know what i would do without the Libraries
Marc - Philadelphia Thu, September 17, 2009
Thank you for keeping the library open. I come every 3 weeks to borrow books for my 3 year old son. This is a routine we have followed for the past 2 years. I didn't know how I would ever explain to him that the library was not open any more. Thank you!!
Bonnie - Philly Thu, September 17, 2009
This is GREAT news. My heart sank when I first read the Pop Candy piece about the possibility of Philly's librarys closing, and now it is elated that lawmakers have done the right thing. I know I depend on the L.A. Library for my blog now, but I've always enjoyed the library wherever I have lived. Way to go, folks!
Michael - Los Angeles Thu, September 17, 2009
Congratulations and kudos to the dedicated staff of the Philadelphia public library system for the excellent service they provide to this community. Truly, the Free Library is one of Philadelphia's most valuable assets.
Melissa - Queen Village Thu, September 17, 2009
Talk about publicity. This news reached a New Zealand e-list I receive. Great result though for all fans of libraries!!!
Bob - Brisbane (.au) Thu, September 17, 2009
Hurrah! I'm so happy I can still use the Free Library of Philadelphia. As an international student in this city, having access to the fantastic collection of the Free Library is one of the perks of living here. I could not imagine this important resource suddenly disappearing. Thank you!
A student - Philadelphia Thu, September 17, 2009
Yay!! What a relief - I think people take their libraries for granted until they are threatened...
Librarian - Melbourne (aus) Thu, September 17, 2009
That's super great news! I'm glad they are to remain open since there are just sooo many resources!!!
Raenie - Philadelphia Thu, September 17, 2009
I grew up in Philadelphia and spent a lot of time at the library. It would be horrible to have the state budget close you. Reading should be a priority in every state.
Joyce - Moville IA Thu, September 17, 2009
News certainly does travel fast! And yes, the news made it all the way to a New Zealand library list! I'm sure it's been around the world many times over due to the blogging efforts of dedicated librarians everywhere! I'm so pleased the Philly libraries will remain open - I hope it provides a good example for other local governments, too.
Librarian - Palmerston North, New Zealand Thu, September 17, 2009
I am overjoyed! I hope something like this never happens again and that our libraries are open for a long, long time! Thanks everyone.
Mike Spencer - Philadelphia Thu, September 17, 2009
Thank G-d and thank everyone who wrote letters, made phone calls, and did whatever they did to keep the libraries open. Every time I go into my branch I see adults, young children, and students of all ages actively using the library and its resources.
Anne - Queen Village, Philadelphia Thu, September 17, 2009
Great news for the community! I was heartbroken, and a little angry, when I heard that the Free Library might be closing down, because it's clear how valuable it is for countless individuals in the Philly area. Thanks to the staff and leadership for their great work in maintaining this excellent community resource.
Harish - University City Fri, September 18, 2009
Free the Free Library! Now is a great time for people to enjoy the library more then ever. I hope people have a new found enthusiasm and appreciation for the Free Library.
Relax - Phi <-> LA Fri, September 18, 2009
We've been following this story all week...great news, what a relief. Good luck with everything and just know that librarians and library users all over the world are supporting you all!
tess - vancouver Fri, September 18, 2009
Actually, wrong again. Many governments are having shortfalls. Belt tightening should be across the board. Our system has cut back purchases, reduced hours (total comp). Of course, PHila has bloated staffs elsewhere, and overly generous pension programs. A bankruptcy filing would have been best. No assets are sold, but all City contracts are rewritten. As of yesterday, the Commonwealth was 78 days late adopting the annual budget. We have a disfunctional legislature here from the top. Yes, nice to keep the libraries open, but the real problem has not been addressed. Let's see if this gets posted.
2burmdad - formerly Phila area Fri, September 18, 2009
Librarian - Cincinnati Fri, September 18, 2009
This is great and i love it!! I started using the library just this week and i was afraid whether it was going for be my first and last time!!
Philip - NE Philly Fri, September 18, 2009
I'm thankful that the legislation actually listened to the people. Libraries are an important place for young and old alike. Libraries are magical. Edwina Librarian,Corrales NM
Edwina - New Mexico Fri, September 18, 2009
I'm so happy to hear the libraries were saved! They are an invaluble resource and to close them would be a travisty.The fact that free libraries began in Philly and were almost lost is scarey indeed,closing them would truley be "un-American"
Dara - NJ Fri, September 18, 2009
Congratulations!it's a very greatest news today.thank you so much.
leo - philadelphia Fri, September 18, 2009
There is only one thing to say, congratulations on getting that bill passed. I work with Harford County Public Library system in Harford County Maryland and we also have had hard budget hits this fiscal year. We never know how the budget will effect us (the library) but one thing for sure is we need public libraries and your elected officials realized this. Great news!
Sara - Harford County Public Library, MD Fri, September 18, 2009
I am so glad to hear the Free Library has been saved. I was starting to organize a fundraiser--selling artist books to raise money--but it would have been a daunting task!
Esther - New York City Fri, September 18, 2009
I'm so happy that they finally came to their senses. As a Penn student, your 40th and Walnut branch is sometimes the only thing that keeps me sane. I posted many Save the Free Library tags on Facebook and I was so glad when a fellow activist linked to me that they passed legislation to save the libraries!
Stephanie - Philadelphia Fri, September 18, 2009
Thank God! I am a mother of three, my Boys love to go to the library and would have been upset if they closed.
Ruby - Philadelphia Fri, September 18, 2009
Thank God! I am a mother of three, my Boys love to go to the library and would have been upset if they closed.
Ruby - Philadelphia Fri, September 18, 2009
Thank you those to fight to keep our libraries open! I thought we really have to say goodbye:(
Nancy - Philadelphia Fri, September 18, 2009
That is wonderful news!
Sonya - Savannah, GA Fri, September 18, 2009
Although my family and I moved to Florida earlier this year, I grew up in Philadelphia and worked for the Free Library for 33 years. I am so glad the potential tragedy of the closing of the Library has been averted. What would Philadelphia do without its wonderful library and amazing staff?
Lauren - Orlando, FL Fri, September 18, 2009
You dodged the bullet this time, but next time there'll be no money from the state to bail you out! You'd better start putting the collection in shopping carts or as we call them GREEN BOOKMOBILES!!!!!! hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahaaaahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahaahahahahaahahahahahaaha
Hotis - NE Philly Fri, September 18, 2009
Good job, everyone who wrote e-mails, made calls and wrote letters along with me in support of the Free Library system. While it's true the problem has not been fully fixed, it was and incredibly important for so many Philadelphians to have access to the libraries' resources while unemployment remains so incredibly high. Hurray for the FLP, regardless of what naysayers like those above have to say!
Lauren - Norristown Fri, September 18, 2009
Congratulations and may you forever provide your community with free, open, and uncensored information! There is hope for this country after all!
Linda - Bettendorf, Iowa Fri, September 18, 2009
I prayed that our libraries would remain open. I'd like to send a special thank you to the Eastwick Branch Library. The staff is always helpful and courteous. I am so glad you are still open! Keep up the good work! Congrats to all the other branches too!!
Crys - Philadelphia Fri, September 18, 2009
Great news! I hope someone does something to prevent this possibility from ever being an option ever again. Here in Idaho, public libraries have a separate levy that funds their existence in every city. As long as there is a city, there will be a library funded. Get your state legislature to enact something similar so you never have to worry again.
Laura - Jerome, Idaho Fri, September 18, 2009
Keep the library's open!!
BarStools - Cali Fri, September 18, 2009
Wonderful news - but it's worrying to think that there were actually 17 votes aaginst the funding. As far as I'm concerned, it should have been unanimous!
Mary - Inglewood, New Zealand Sat, September 19, 2009
My two boys are teenagers now but they are big readers because the only place I could take them to free when they were little was the library so they loved books and still do.
SHEL - MISSOURI Sat, September 19, 2009
When I contemplated our libraries closing, and the impact that would have on thousands of individuals, and the long-term impact that might have on society, it felt like the beginning of the end. I'm so relieved and glad that these safe, friendly places so important children, seniors and others (like jobless adults without computers) will stay open. Thanks to the friendly, persistent and professional staff at the Lovett branch for all they do!
Deanna - Mt. Airy, Philadelphia Sat, September 19, 2009
Congratulations! This news is great and made me so happy.Doing this can help the state to have better future.
Brayden - Philadelphia Mon, September 21, 2009
Congratulations! Thanks a lf of all people helped this project.
Asheley - Savannah Mon, September 21, 2009
Congratulations! Thanks a of of all people helped this project.
Asheley - Savannah Mon, September 21, 2009
As a former resident of Philadelphia and a frequent visitor to the beautiful and wonderfully named Free Library, this is excellent news. But I'm concerned that we have to be grateful to the State Senate for keeping the library open. While I'm excited that the legislation went through, I think we should all be deeply troubled that closure was threatened in the first place, and that 17 senators ultimately voted against this measure. Why is it that libraries are treated as some kind of unnecessary expense rather than a priority for the education of our children and the enrichment of our communities? The answer is a political culture that perceives ignorance as a virtue, and champions privatization at the expense of all else. A free, public library is an affront to both of those ideological goals, and so must always hang in the balance. In this political culture, the friends of the library MUST continue to be politically active. The threat to the Free Library has not passed for good, an no one but us will lobby for access to books and knowledge.
William - New York Mon, September 21, 2009
William, I don't have an answer but that is beautifully said!
Laura - Philadelphia Mon, September 21, 2009
Hallelujah! I now live in Kitchener, Ontario which has a fantastic library system, but I'm a displaced Philadelphian who was horrified at the thought that such a wonderful resource might shut down. What is a city without a vibrant library system? Libraries have been called "the university of the people". Long live the Philly Free Library!!
Kathleen - Kitchener, ON Canada Mon, September 21, 2009
Thank goodness. I couldn't believe the library system founded by Ben Franklin was having to shut down! I left my home in Chester County almost 20 years ago, and am now in CA where budget nightmares are forcing similarly unthinkable closures. I just pray we have a few schools, libraries, parks and museums left by the time the economy recovers.
Ellen - California Mon, September 21, 2009
Very VERY glad to hear this news! -a fellow librarian in Boston :)
Rebecca - Boston, MA, USA Mon, September 21, 2009
Awesome! Glad to see Philly is keeping their libraries.
Anonymous - Cambridge, MA Mon, September 21, 2009
I"m so glad that it had to to happen.No one wants to lose thier jos. the economy is bad as it is.people are trying to hold on to everything they have to make the best of it.
Julia - Philadelphia Tue, September 22, 2009
Congradulations!!!I"m so glad that it had to to happen.No one wants to lose their jobs. The economy is bad as it is.People are trying to hold on to everything they have to make the best of it.
Julia - Philadelphia Tue, September 22, 2009
very good news for the library community and libraries everywhere -- i would have hated to see the closing actually go through and set some kind of a precedent. advocacy works!
Hillary - Oregon Tue, September 22, 2009
I'm all the way in NJ but still rooting for you. I'm still jumping for joy! Congratulations!
Ana - Northern NJ Thu, September 24, 2009
Totally Amazing!
Jim Withington - Portland, OR Fri, September 25, 2009
This is great and i love it!! I started using the lbrary just this week and i was afraid whether it was going for be my first and last time!!
Nikde - Hoston Sat, October 24, 2009 has helped libraries, schools and friends groups across the country bring in an extra source of revenue by selling their discards/donations online to a global market. Our program allows you to use our services completely at your own pace, with absolutely no costs out of your pocket. You can get started within minutes of signing up. A report is sent out on a monthly basis detailing your sales, and any revenue earned will also be sent out on a monthly basis. We are committed to maximizing the potential of every book sent to us. For more information please visit our website If you would like to contact a live person please email 24 hours a day or call 281-829-8293 8:00am – 4:30pm CST Monday – Friday. Messages will be returned promptly during the work day. We will be happy to assist you with any part of the process or answer any questions you may have. Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to hearing from you soon. Sincerely, Tosh Welch Manager "A library book, I imagine, is a happy book." – Cornelia Funke Share your happiness with the world! -- 281 - 829 - 8293 5750 Campbell Rd. Houston, TX, 77041 This is not an automated email! Always feel free to reply to this email address, and a response will be in prompt order.
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