EmilyDowdall's blog

The Library in the City: a Panel Discussion

In conjunction with the release of a new report, Pew’s Philadelphia Research Initiative (of which I am a part) is hosting a panel discussion this Wednesday night on the role of the Free Library of Philadelphia and other big-city libraries in the 21st century. YPP favorite Irv Ackelsberg is among the featured guests.

In the face of increasing and changing demands brought on by the recession and the Internet, public libraries across the country are facing the same questions about their future: where should they focus energy and funds? How will they handle their evolving role as a key provider of social services and government resources? Will this changing role alter the way local officials, who provide a majority of library funding, view the library?

The panel discussion will explore these and other issues discussed in the report. Mayor Michael A. Nutter will give remarks, and WHYY’s Dave Davies will moderate. Panelists include the Honorable James R. Roebuck, Jr., member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives; Michael DiBerardinis, deputy mayor for Environmental and Community Resources and special advisor to the mayor on the Free Library of Philadelphia; Irv Ackelsberg, president of the Friends of the Free Library of Philadelphia; Siobhan Reardon, president and director of the Free Library of Philadelphia; and Thomas Galante, president and CEO of the Queens Borough Public Library.

The event is Wednesday, March 14 at 6 p.m. at Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine Street. It is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is recommended.
Visit www.pewtrusts.org/libraryevent to register.
Read the report here.

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