In activism, labor, library funding, public libraries on September 21, 2009 at 7:55 am
Update on my previous post about Philadelphia library closures:
On September 17th legislators in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania voted to save the Philadelphia Free Library system along with jobs for 3,000 city workers. Thousands of letters and phone calls poured in from PA voters, library users and advocates across the nation after it was announced all 54 library branches would close October 2nd.
The Senate vote was 32 to 17 in favor of House Bill 1828, which temporarily increases local sales tax and defers city pension contributions to remedy a $700-million budget shortfall. If the bill hadn’t passed other critical city services would have been reduced including trash collection, court operations and the fire department. According to the Senate roll call, all democrats supported the bill. Fifty-eight percent of Republicans opposed and 41% supported.
In information access, library funding, public libraries on September 14, 2009 at 8:43 am
Repost from About.com: Cities & Towns:
When Mayor Michael Nutter suggested slashing funds from the city budget late last year by closing 11 of Philadelphia’s 54 libraries, waves of shock and outrage rippled through the city. Now, as state budget negotiations continue to drag on in Harrisburg, the entire Philadelphia library system is threatened. The Free Library has posted an announcement on its website stating that “without the necessary budgetary legislation by the State Legislature in Harrisburg,” Philadelphia will be forced to close all of its libraries – including the main branch – on October 2nd. Earlier today the Inquirer further reported that “layoff notices could go out on Friday if the Legislature does not approve the city’s request for a temporary sales-tax hike and a two-year deferral of payments into the pension fund.”
The Free Library is encouraging Philadelphians to contact their elected officials and ask them to help keep the libraries open.