For more info see the Library Blog.
It looks like the Free Library of Philadelphia might actually be closing on October 2nd. All 50+ branches of it.
The library can't stay open without the approval of a temporary (probably not, but still) tax hike in the city which can't be approved until the 2010 fiscal year budget is finalized and approved. That budget should have been approved a long time ago and should have been put into effect in July, but that is a whole other mess of problems.
If you're in the Philly area and have a state representative that you can contact about this, please do so. The Free Library, being an information sharing type place, tells you how.
And in case you're conflicted about this issue, just look at all the things the City of Philadelphia will lose if it doesn't have a library:
- Library visits to schools, day care centers, senior centers, etc.
- Space (for free) for community meetings
- Space (for free) for ESL and GED classes
- LEAP, the afterschool tutoring program that runs out of every Free Library branch
- All the other programs that are run by or in the Free Library, including the author series
- Oh, and the free books.
I guess, depending on how you look at it, being known for closing libraries is just as good as being known for high murder rates or making the shortlist for the fattest cities in America.
Pennsylvanians, especially of the Philly variety, please contact your state representatives and ask them to get their asses in gear. It's September and we still don't have a budget. Philly can pull itself out of its own budget woes, we just need their permission to do so.