Philly Libraries to Close

Another Jesuit from Philadelphia (I'm a proud one) tipped me off to this frankly alarming news story about the closing (temporary, they hope) of all public libraries in the vast Philadelphia Library system, including the massive Free Library of Philadelphia, in Center City, which has been in operation since the 1890s.  Their has been lots of spilled ink in the past two years over the future of libraries and even books.  Much of it has been prognostication.  But the closing of the major metropolitan public library system--which is of inestimable use to the poor, as well as others on a limited budget, to say nothing of scholars and simple lovers of books--is a significant milestone.  The story above, ironically, comes from the great Philadelphia Inquirer, which has also been battling for its life of late.  A future without libraries and newspapers seems a sad one indeed.

James Martin, SJ

Advertisement
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
8 years 10 months ago
The Seattle Public Library recently closed all its branches for one week due to budget cuts. I'm disturbed to hear of something similar happening - and with no re-opening date given - in another city. Very sad.

Advertisement

The latest from america

So what does it matter what a celibate woman thinks about contraception?
Helena BurnsJuly 20, 2018
Former US President Barack Obama gestures to the crowd, during an event in Kogelo, Kisumu, Kenya, Monday, July 16, 2018. (AP Photo Brian Inganga)
In Johannesburg, Obama gave what some commentators consider his most important speech since he vacated the Oval Office.
Anthony EganJuly 20, 2018
With his "Mass," Leonard Bernstein uses liturgy to give voice to political unease.
Kevin McCabeJuly 20, 2018
Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, arrives for the Jan. 6 installation Mass of Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
Women often “bring up the voice of those who are the most vulnerable in our society,” says Hans Zollner, S.J., who heads the Centre for Child Protection in Rome.