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Philadelphia's libraries scheduled to close starting Oct. 2 due to budget deadlock

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Phillyfreelibrary

In a dramatic move, the Philadelphia Free Library System announced today that it will close all branch, regional and central libraries as of Oct. 2. There will be no book loans, no classes, no programs for seniors or children, no outreach to the community, no more community meetings at library locations. Starting today, the library began truncating its loan period.

The library system of one the nation's oldest cities -- which authors Ben Franklin, R. Crumb, Edgar Allen Poe, Louisa May Alcott and Ezra Pound all called home -- stands on the brink of complete closure.

Pennsylvania has yet to pass a budget for this year, and the Philadelphia Free Library is just one of the institutions and services caught in the deadlock. If the state Legislature were to pass a budget, the closure would not, in all likelihood, come to pass.

"Even as we remain hopeful that the State Legislature will act and pass the enabling funding legislation," reads the announcement from Siobhan Reardon, the library's president and director, "we wanted to notify all of our customers of this very possible outcome."

Our hopes to a speedy budget resolution, and maintenance of library services for the people of Philadelphia.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: the Philadelphia Free Library branch in the Northern Liberties neighborhood. Credit: pwbaker via Flickr

 
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I think the Mayor Nut-ter, should look for other work, resign , or get fired, he will screw up the city even further than it is now, if that's possible, and it is. Thnaks to his agenda. he's ridiculous.

How tremendously sad that so many will be denied access to so much information and vital services. Prayerful that Pennsylvania legislature will find a work-around to resolve this budgeting issue and be able to keep their libraries open.

Not to mention the fact that Philadelphia was the city to have the very first library in the nation.. Poor Ben Franklin, if he only knew! I am very embarrased for our mayor, even though he himself doesn't seem to care...

Interesting that people are blaming the mayor and saying that he "doesn't care," when this is Harrisburg's doing, not his. Pennsylvania has traditionally left Philadelphia out to hang, and despite the city's constant entreaties, the state STILL has not signed the budget. Nutter is using the libraries as a flagship; he's trying to force people to understand just how the dire the situation is. But of course we've become such lazy apathetic ignorants that it's much easier to sit back, blame him and do nothing. Go buy another cheesesteak; you'll feel better. But make sure you order in English!

Yah, I don't see how any of this is Nutter's fault. The city doesn't have money due to decisions made before he arrived and decisions currently being made in Harrisburg. What do you want the guy to do? Hold a bake sale? And honestly, his agenda is not unreasonable. He's found a solution that can work without impacting the larger state budget- a small sales tax raise.

I'm living here in Philly and will be subject to it, but I doubt it will add up to more than a buck or two a week for me. I'd rather give the money to the city and let them keep the libraries open and the cops on the street, than keep that dough and my pocket and get mugged because the cop that works my neighborhood got laid off.


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