Fishtown Library supporters rally tomorrow

Check out this release from supporters of the Fishtown Library -- slated to be shut down as part of Mayor Nutter's budget cuts. Rallies are also planned in the coming weeks at Holmesburg, Kingsessing and Central, according to this Inquirer report yesterday.

Here's the Fishtown release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2008

For information contact: A.J. Thomson p: 215-287-3492 e: ajthomson175@hotmail.com

FISHTOWN STANDS UP FOR ITS LIBRARY
Taxpayers Question Sad Choice

Fishtown, Philadelphia, PA, Monday, Nov. 10, 2008 Tonight, hundreds of Fishtown-area residents will visit the neighborhood library to demonstrate against a decision by the Nutter administration to shutter the community treasure in January. One of eleven libraries slated to close city-wide, the Fishtown library has been used by generations of middle-class residents to better themselves. All residents are at a loss when asked to understand why any city, let alone one led by a mayor who widely credited his own public-library for his own personal success, would close libraries. The area has been targeted by the three-headed monster of closures, as it is seeing the removal of Engine 6 from the firehouse at Belgrade and Huntingdon and the closure of the Lederer pool next to the library.

Many in the community have wondered what will be next on the chopping block for a neighborhood that the state has selected to play host to a casino. Its a slap in the face to all of us, said one resident. This sentiment was echoed by those who point out the libraries proximity to two public and one Catholic school. For many, the library provides internet access that is not available at home. Along with reading initiatives, the library provides programs from toddlers to seniors. It operates in an old firehouse barn at 1217 E. Montgomery and hosts hundreds of kids each week.

Citing the fact that many in the administration are from outside of the city and may not have had a chance to familiarize themselves with it, some wondered how decisions were made. Did they make these decisions by throwing darts at a dart-board? said John Hewson, a local resident. Residents vowed to fight the closure and move the mayor from his decision to close libraries for what they see as false cost-savings. They feel closing libraries will result in less for kids to do and decreased quality of education. In reviewing the budget savings that the closure of these 11 branches and reduction in Sunday hours saves $8 million a year, Fishtowners feel that their city tax dollars are likely wasted in other places and this savings could be made up elsewhere.

Fishtowners have pledged to work to staff the library, they seek to open-up public-private partnerships to keep the library open. Join them on Monday, November 10, 2008 at 6:30pm. Flier Attached

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