I posted a few days ago about how libraries have held a prominent place in my heart. They have always been for me a place to relax, to gather, to learn, to share with friends and family. I learn there. They are a sanctuary. A few days after that post, the Philadelphia city library website posted the following:
All Free Library of Philadelphia Branch, Regional and Central Libraries Closed Effective Close of Business October 2, 2009
All Free Library of Philadelphia Customers, We deeply regret to inform you that without the necessary budgetary legislation by the State Legislature in Harrisburg, the City of Philadelphia will not have the funds to operate our neighborhood branch libraries, regional libraries, or the Parkway Central Library after October 2, 2009.
* All branch and regional library programs, including programs for children and teens, after school programs, computer classes, and programs for adults, will be cancelled
* All Parkway Central Library programs, including children programs, programs to support small businesses and job seekers, computer classes and after school programs, will be cancelled. We are exploring the possibility of relocating the Philadelphia Author Series programs to other non-library facilities.
* All library visits to schools, day care centers, senior centers and other community centers will cease.
* All community meetings at our branch and regional libraries, and the Parkway Central Library, will be cancelled.
* All General Educational Development, Adult Basic Education and English as a Second Language programs held at Free Library branches will be discontinued, students should contact their teacher to see if other arrangements are being made.”
Benjamin Franklin established the first library through open subscription, in Philadelphia, in 1732 before we were even a nation. And now, due to debt, poverty, and inability to pay the bills, Philly will close their libraries. Sort of ironic that the first place to close them was the first place they opened?