The Free Library of Philadelphia has posted notices at its branches and on its web site advising users that all libraries will close at the end of business on Oct. 2 if the state Legislature does not act on the city’s budget request.
The notices also say that all material will now be due Oct. 1 and that nothing can be borrowed after Sept. 30.
Besides closing libraries, the Nutter administration’s so-called Plan C doomsday budget includes eliminating court-system funding, shutting down all recreation centers and laying off up to 3,000 workers, including police and firefighters.
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.
In its online notice, the Library urges its customers to contact their elected officials and provides links on how to do that.
The following is the text of the notice posted by the Free Library:
All Free Library of Philadelphia Branch, Regional and Central Libraries Closed Effective Close of Business October 2, 2009
All Free Library of Philadelphia Customers,
We deeply regret to inform you that without the necessary budgetary legislation by the State Legislature in Harrisburg, the City of Philadelphia will not have the funds to operate our neighborhood branch libraries, regional libraries, or the Parkway Central Library after October 2, 2009.
Specifically, the following will take effect after the close of business, October 2, 2009:
All branch and regional library programs, including programs for children and teens, after school programs, computer classes, and programs for adults, will be cancelled
All Parkway Central Library programs, including children programs, programs to support small businesses and job seekers, computer classes and after school programs, will be cancelled. We are exploring the possibility of relocating the Philadelphia Author Series programs to other non-library facilities.
All library visits to schools, day care centers, senior centers and other community centers will cease.
All community meetings at our branch and regional libraries, and the Parkway Central Library, will be cancelled.
All GED, ABE and ESL programs held at Free Library branches will be discontinued, students should contact their teacher to see if other arrangements are being made.
In addition, all library materials will be due on October 1, 2009. This will result in a diminishing borrowing period for books and other library materials, beginning September 11, 2009. No library materials will be able to be borrowed after September 30, 2009.
Even as we remain hopeful that the State Legislature will act and pass the enabling funding legislation, we wanted to notify all of our customers of this very possible outcome. If you have any questions about impacts to Free Library services, call 215-686-5322, or visit the Free Library of Philadelphia website at www.freelibrary.org. If you have questions about changes to City services, or if you want to be kept informed about this situation, we encourage you to contact Philly 311 by calling 3-1-1 between the hours of 8am and 8 pm Monday-Friday, and 9am-5pm Saturdays, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the City of Philadelphia website at http://www.phila.gov.
We thank you for your understanding, patience, and continued support of the Free Library of Philadelphia during these difficult times.
Siobhan Reardon, President and Director, Free Library of Philadelphia