Tagged community

Strategic Planning Prioritizes Community Connections

You’ve been reading about how libraries are increasingly moving beyond our brick and mortar structures and into the communities we serve, but how, you might ask, does this work reflect back to the strategic direction of the Free…

Skills for Community-Centered Libraries: Learning through Experience

“Tell me and I forget.Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” - Xun Kuang, philosopher   Imagine trying to learn to knit. Would you learn best by reading a book about knitting? Hearing a friend talk about…

Celebrate Take a Hike Day with the Free Library!

Maybe when they say November 17 is Take a Hike Day , they mean you’re supposed to tell someone on your nerves to go take a hike?! Hmmm. *shrug emoji* In any case, we figured it was a good time to remind you that the Free Library…

Skills Training for Community-Centered Libraries: Building Your Library Team

Our first cohort of staff members participating in the Skills for Community-Centered Libraries training recently learned about and explored team roles and dynamics. Staff reflected on their own strengths and what attributes they bring…

Better Together: The Free Library Partners with Schools

Now more than ever , students and teachers at our schools need the information and skills that librarians and libraries can provide. This year, the Free Library is working to spread the word about the information, ideas, and resources…

Check Out Our New Strategic Plan!

In July, the Free Library launched its new strategic plan for the next three years. This plan is a refresh of our prior five-year plan and keeps the same mission: Advance literacy, guide learning, and inspire curiosity and vision:…

Defining Community Engagement and Outreach

The Skills for Community-Centered Libraries initiative – a series of trainings meant to build community engagement capacities among staff – launched on October 2, so it’s a good time for The Free Library of…

The Paschalville Partnership: Catalyzing a Community-Led Future

Did you know that nearly a third of library users visit the Free Library of Philadelphia to look for a new job or learn new skills? This revealing finding was reported in the Free Library’s December 2017 Impact Evaluation Report .…

Conversations Between Libraries and Communities Spark Program Ideas

In a previous post, we shared some stories about how meetings between libraries and other community organizations can lead to what the American Library Association calls the “domino effect of positive results.” One potential…

Connecting with Local Organizations Builds Library Community Engagement

The Free Library of Philadelphia’s Cluster Leaders – staff who supervise 5 to 8 neighborhood libraries grouped together geographically – recently discussed what the American Library Association calls the "domino…

The Leaders We Have Been Waiting For

“We are the leaders we have been waiting for.” Grace Lee Boggs, Philosopher and Activist   The Free Library of Philadelphia is full of leaders, and so are the neighborhoods in which we are located. To foster…

Select Free Library Locations Open on Independence Day as Cooling Centers!

As the heat wave continues, these Free Library locations will serve as cooling centers on Wednesday, July 4. All other locations are closed in observance of the Independence Day holiday. Normal library hours resume on Thursday, July 5.…

Get Out of the Heat and Stay Cool at the Free Library!

The City of Philadelphia has declared a Heat Health Emergency . These Free Library locations will serve as cooling centers on Tuesday, July 3 where residents can get out of the heat and into an air-conditioned space. Haddington Library…

Art, Gardens, and Stories: Making Philadelphia Home

[ Editor's note: We librarians offer literally thousands of programs every year. It's a special thrill to get formal feedback from our audiences. We can't publish every review we get, but we're overjoyed to have gotten…

National and Local Trends Inform Development of Upcoming Community-Centered Libraries Trainings

As communities’ needs and desires change, libraries and staff are adapting and evolving with them. Long gone are the days when librarians mostly sat behind desks fielding reference questions. Libraries now define and develop their…

The Library’s Impact: A New Report

We know the Free Library is one of the most heavily used cultural and educational institutions in our city. We’ve got the numbers: In fiscal year 2017, 640,000 people in Philadelphia held a library card, and the Library welcomed…

Spotlight on Michael Rabb for National Social Work Month

Did you know the Free Library has trained mental health professionals on site at Parkway Central Library to help patrons who are in need of social services and other referrals? Because of all the great work being done, and in honor of…

#OneBookWednesday: Gentrification in Philadelphia

Like the enormous condo building that is being erected on your block right now, the word "gentrification" has loomed large recently. Its definition is tough to pin down and experts have even disagreed on what exactly it is.…

I Visited Every Free Library Location and Here’s What I Learned...

When I came aboard at the Free Library of Philadelphia in March of this year as Chief of Staff, I set a goal to make it to all 54 neighborhood library locations . It was important to me to do so for a number of reasons. My hope was to…

Welcoming Week 2017: Connecting Neighbors, Serving Communities

This year the Free Library of Philadelphia is participating in Welcoming Week: Connecting Neighbors, Serving Communities , taking place September 15 through 24, with a variety of cultural events embracing the civic dialog among the…