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File #: 200526    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 10/1/2020 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action: 10/1/2020
Title: Authorizing the Committee on Parks, Recreation & Cultural Affairs to hold hearings regarding the governance of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
Sponsors: Councilmember Green, Councilmember Bass, Councilmember Gilmore Richardson, Councilmember Henon, Councilmember Parker, Councilmember Brooks, Councilmember Thomas, Councilmember Domb
Attachments: 1. Signature20052600
Title
Authorizing the Committee on Parks, Recreation & Cultural Affairs to hold hearings regarding the governance of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Body
WHEREAS, The Free Library of Philadelphia is the 13th-largest public library system in the United States and is uniquely governed by both an independent City agency managed by its own board of trustees and a separate nonprofit organization, The Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation, which has a board of directors; and

WHEREAS, Composed of the Parkway Central Library, three large regional libraries, 49 neighborhood libraries, community Hot Spots, the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, the Regional Research and Operations Center, and the Rosenbach, the Free Library of Philadelphia system's mission is to advance literacy, guide learning, and inspire curiosity with a vision to build an enlightened community devoted to lifelong learning, which it achieves through its millions of digital and physical materials; 28,000 yearly programs and events; free public computers and Wi-Fi; and with more than 6 million in-person visits and millions more online annually, it is among the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia, conferring a worldwide impact; and

WHEREAS, A beloved institution borne amidst contested claims, the Free Library of Philadelphia was chartered in 1891 as "a general library which shall be free to all" through efforts led by Dr. William Pepper, who secured initial funding through a $225,000 bequest from his wealthy uncle, George S. Pepper, but was delayed when several existing libraries claimed the bequest until courts decided the money was intended to found a new public library, but finally opened in March 1894; and

WHEREAS, To enable the Library to receive appropriations from the City, the Board of Trustees of the Free Library of Philadelphia was established by an ordinance of December 31, 1894, succeeding a group privately incorporated in 1891 under a ...

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