Free Library of Philadelphia Workers “Call for Longer Hours, More Staff to Prevent Summer Gun Violence Surge”
From WHYY (Philadelphia):
Philadelphia’s libraries and recreational centers have been short-staffed for years, but workers say the problem worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, they want the city to allocate funding to keep facilities open in the evenings and on the weekends.
At a Thursday City Hall press conference organized by Council member Helen Gym, library and recreation center workers and their supporters emphasized safe spaces for teens as a way to prevent gun violence. A total of 44 people were shot over Memorial Day weekend, 15 of them fatally, raising concerns that this year’s tally will rival the record-breaking 562 homicides of 2021.
Yvette Robinson, co-chair of Friends of the Free Library, called for a $30 million dollar investment from the 2023 budget to extend library hours and put a child, teen and adult librarian — as well as a digital resource specialist — in every facility.
“A strong library system is essential to providing a safe haven, a valuable neighborhood resource in the fight against gun violence,” she said. “Let’s just get it done.”
Mayor Jim Kenney’s current budget allocates $9.7 million to establish “stable, consistent 5‐day service,” but employees and community activists say that isn’t enough.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.