In the News: Philly Struggles to Keep Library Doors Open.

By: Tiffani Haynes

Philadelphia officials have made headlines recently in an attempt to avoid closing the city’s library. The unprecedented move would make Philadelphia the first major city to close its public library.

The Free Library of Philadelphia was slated to close its 53 locations as apart of the “Plan C” Budget on October 2. The closing would also bring several other activities to an end. In addition to book and DVD rentals ending, the free Internet, community programs and English as a Second Language and GED classes would have to be held somewhere else.

With hopes of saving the Free Library, the Pennsylvania Senate voted to raise sales taxes and defer pension payments. The 32-17 vote will ensure the city can still occupy almost 3,000 workers affected by the plan. According to, “More than $700 million is expected to be garnered from the two measures–an increase to the sales tax alone could add $340 million to the city’s coffers over two years, according to officials.”

Under the “Plan C” Budget not only would the Free Library have closed, but so would have the Department of Recreation, Department of Commerce and Fairmount Park System. Other city employees such as some 700 police officers, firefighters and EMS workers would have been given pink slips.

It seems the economic crisis has affected even the most fundamental of institutions, the public library, as it has been compromised. The two-year plan will allow for Pennsylvania’s largest city to keep its library doors open.



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