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 8 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

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

 Pope Francis arrives in procession to celebrate Mass marking the feast of Pentecost in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican May 20. The pope at his "Regina Coeli" announced that he will create 14 new cardinals June 29. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Eleven of the new cardinals are under the age of 80 and so have the right to vote in the next conclave.
Gerard O’ConnellMay 20, 2018
Images: AP, Wikimedia Commons
Bishop Curry described Teilhard as “one of the great minds, great spirits of the 20th century.”
Angelo Jesus CantaMay 19, 2018
Both men were close to each other in life, and both are much revered by Pope Francis.
Gerard O’ConnellMay 19, 2018
The Gaza Nakba demonstrations this week have done nothing to advance the situation of Palestinian refugees, nor did they provide relief to the people of Gaza, who dwell in an open-air prison, hemmed in and oppressed at every turn.