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How can Philadelphia be closing its libraries while spending 69.5 million on the libraries?

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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:01 AM
Original message
How can Philadelphia be closing its libraries while spending 69.5 million on the libraries?
After reading this thread about the City of Philadelphia closing libraries in October, I did a quick google search to find out how much federal stimulus money was awarded to the State of Pennsylvania.

I found the Stimulus Watch website and discovered that of the $787 billion federal stimulus money appropriated by congress to the states, $4,448,759,130 was awarded to Pennsylvania. Of that money, $69.5 million was allocated to Philadelphia to build new libraries and to renovate and expand existing libraries or library services.


Library system expansion: Construction of two new regional libraries in north and south sections of the city Philadelphia PA 352 $30,000,000


Free Library: Renovation and expansion of regional branches Philadelphia PA 278 $25,000,000


Branch Library Improvements: Upgrade of Facilities including Structural and mechanical Systems Philadelphia PA 58 $5,000,000


Bookmobiles: Purchase and deployment of bookmobiles in underserved communities in the city. Philadelphia PA 14 $500,000


Exterior modernization of libraries: Windows and roof replacements at all libraries Philadelphia PA 0 $9,000,000


http://www.stimuluswatch.org/project/by_state/PA&per_pa...


It appears that the City of Philadelphia will be spending stimulus money to renovate buildings and facilities that won't be operating.

OR - the Philadelphia press is lazy and didn't look deeper into this matter.

:shrug:
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:04 AM
Response to Original message
1. Note that the letter I posted was from the library director.
They close Oct. 2.

That's a good question, though. Why?
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. It would appear to be poor management
The stimulus money is there, one would think the director gave the list of projects to the city of leaders who in turn provided it to the state officials.

The libraries won't close, this is pure bullshit on the part of the director.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:11 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Library directors seldom sent out pure bullshit. Here is post from the website.
I disagree with you on that part.

I hope the libraries don't close, but that is what the letter says.

The following is a quote from the Free Library's web site at http://libwww.freelibrary.org/closing /:

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 philly311@phila.gov, 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


Perhaps you should call Mr Reardon and tell him he is posting bullshit.



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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:18 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. I should call him to advise him to get a lawyer.
If he defrauds the federal government, he will need one.

69.5 million has been allocated to the Philadelphia Library System. The feds won't be very pleased to know that the system shut down and that the money will be used to build new buildings that will not operate and to renovate existing buildings that do not operate.

Better yet, I think I will just send a letter to the US Attorney in Philadelphia and ask him to investigate this.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Accuse them, not me as you did in the post above.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:22 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. I haven't accused you of a thing.
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 12:23 AM by merh

I merely researched the issue, something you did not do before you posted your thread.

Put me on ignore and please stop posting the same stuff over and over again. You have unrec'd the thread and spammed it enough. Time to move on.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:26 AM
Response to Reply #12
14.  "pathetic thing is, no one in the other thread (to include the OP) vetted the information"
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 12:35 AM by madfloridian
Your words about me.

Don't worry, I will be the one deleted or in trouble. I always am.

Here is the permalink to the comment involving me in being deceptive...which I much resent.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Lance_Boyle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #5
63. you might also want to call "him" HER - Siobhan is a woman's name. n/t

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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:06 AM
Response to Original message
2. Disaster capitalism. Just like WaMu REO'd one of my mom's
properties WHILE another department approved a loan mod and was/is processing it. :crazy:
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:09 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. It is just a political game.
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 12:10 AM by merh
The libraries won't close. If they do, the feds will be able to go after the library director and the city and state officials for defrauding the federal government. You don't renovate city buildings that you do not intend to operate.

The pathetic thing is, no one in the other thread (to include the OP) vetted the information or looked deeper into the threat.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:13 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. That is an attack on the library director. That is straight from the library website.
Do NOT accuse me of posting bad sources. You have done that often.


The following is a quote from the Free Library's web site at http://libwww.freelibrary.org/closing /:

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 philly311@phila.gov, 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
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:20 AM
Response to Reply #6
11. Stop repeating yourself.
You have made your point. It doesn't fly in the face of logic unless the library director wishes to do time for defrauding the federal government.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. No, you accused me of not vetting the material. That is not true.
But don't worry, you will prevail. I fear to say anything as I get accused of stuff.

Take it up with them, and not the messenger.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:29 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. You didn't vet the information.
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 01:16 AM by merh
Your OP contained a comment that was posted on the website:

..."Federal money is available to bail out greedy corporations but not to keep open institutions that provide services to educate citizens and others?


That comment alone should have piqued your curiosity. Of course, you would have to be aware that Congress did appropriate federal stimulus money to the states to have that comment make you wonder if any money was appropriated to the city of Philadelphia.

You weren't alone. Most everyone else shared your "outrage" and didn't bother to look at the issue a little closer.



edited to correct my misspelled word.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:30 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. That was in the comments.... I made that clear. NOT from the library website.
So please stop this before it gets me in trouble for posting a good source.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:37 AM
Response to Reply #17
22. You are free to stop posting in this thread whenever you like.
You are the one that has gone wild in this thread.

Seriously, put me on ignore and move on.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:39 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. No, because you accused me of posting faulty material....
and I did not.

I am at a disadvantage. If I try to defend...I am the one who gets in trouble.

It is not fair for you to link to my post and say that.

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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:42 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. You posted from a legitimate source, you just didn't go further and
question the information.

That is all I am doing.

It makes no sense that the libraries will be closed. No city allows that to happen and the federal stimulus monies have been awarded to the states to prevent just such an extreme measure.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:45 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. I don't care if you question. Just don't accuse me of not vetting.
It is right there on the library website.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:47 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. You didn't vet the information.
Go away and stop taking challenges to your posts so personally.

This is a political discussion board, debate is to be expected. You just want slaps on the back. You got them in your thread so be happy. Now please, hide this thread, put me on ignore and move along.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:52 AM
Response to Reply #26
27. You will win this....but I am right. I say the library website is right.
But this should not be going on.

I don't care if you start an investigation....go ahead, more power to you.

You say the library director needs a lawyer? Will I need one also??????
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:00 AM
Response to Reply #27
31. No, you won't need a lawyer.
The point is, if the library system accepts federal money to improve existing library facilities and to build new facilities that they do not intend to operate, they will be defrauding the federal government. They libraries will not close.

The director is playing politics so that the legislature approves the budget.

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LiberalAndProud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:02 AM
Response to Reply #24
32. Mayor Nutter in a letter to state senator.


http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/heardinthehall/59365...

We have to balance a five-year financial plan because our finances are subject to review by
PICA, a state agency that ensures that we dont use any gimmicks to keep our fiscal house in
order. Under the legislation that created PICA, we are required each year to get approval for
a Plan that shows that we have a balanced budget not just for one year, but for each of five
years. In a vote last Friday, PICA made clear that unless HB1828 is passed by September
18th, we will have to demonstrate how we will maintain a balanced five-year Plan without
the sales tax and pension changes. Unfortunately, the only way to keep the Plan balanced
would be to make devastating cuts to our budget.

...

If HB 1828 does not pass, we will need to find another $700 million to insure a
balanced budget and plan. This means the elimination of 1000 police and 200 fire positions,
reducing trash collection from weekly to twice a month, ceasing operations at two City health
centers, and shuttering entire service departments, including Parks, Recreation, Libraries,
Planning and Commerce. In total, more than 3000 positions will be cut.



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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:08 AM
Response to Reply #32
34. Then the mayor better not put in for the stimulus money to
construct new library buildings and to renovate the existing buildings. The money is to help keep the cities operating, not to improve systems that have been shut down.

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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:53 AM
Response to Reply #16
28. it's piqued, not peeked (although they are houyhnhnms)
IPs are rarely vetted by OPs (in general). That's kind of what a thread is for.

Although I am not really seeing a contradiction here. The stimulus money is for renovations or new buildings. It does not include money for keeping them operating. It does, however, seem like the library director is pushing the city/legislature/governor to act on their budget. The question is how short of money those other entities are.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:54 AM
Response to Reply #28
30. Official websites should NOT have to be vetted. Library director and me accused.
Much resent it.

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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:13 AM
Response to Reply #28
35. I suppose you have never done the paperwork for CDBG
monies. Part of the paperwork involves the assurance that the services will continue to be provided.

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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #16
42. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #42
61. And your post violates the rules of the forum.
Neither one of us appears to be perfect.
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hileeopnyn8d Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #11
45. What the hell are you talking about?
The REPUBLICAN state legislature has stripped that money from the budget. The library, among many other City of Philadelphia departments have been holding their breath waiting for that money.

The budget passed without those funds allocated to the libraries, they have also stated that they would vote against emergency budget relief.

The mayor already expects to have to raise taxes and cut police and fire department and pension payments. The library isn't defrauding anyone, good grief!

Oh, and my sister has worked for Free Library of Philadelphia for almost 30 years and was one of those people holding their breath and now looking for a job.

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Hawkeye-X Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:00 AM
Response to Reply #45
53. Then the Pennsylvania citizenry's job is to vote out those scumbags
that cut the money for socialized service.

Hawkeye-X
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:18 AM
Response to Reply #4
9. The OP of the other thread resents the accusation very much.
It is right there on the website in big big letters.

The following is a quote from the Free Library's web site at http://libwww.freelibrary.org/closing /:

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 philly311@phila.gov, 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
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:14 AM
Response to Original message
7. I am posting the letter from the library website.
I don't like being told I don't vet stuff when I post from an official website.

The following is a quote from the Free Library's web site at http://libwww.freelibrary.org/closing /:

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 philly311@phila.gov, 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
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Subdivisions Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #7
56. Here's the reason I did not post about this the day before you did:
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 11:13 AM by Subdivisions
"without the necessary budgetary legislation by the State Legislature in Harrisburg"

Which meant that the budget you referred to (Budget Plan C) was not yet determined. I opted to wait to see if these programs did get funded before posting it, which became unnecessary once you posted it.
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:28 AM
Response to Original message
15.  merh, who do we write to about this?
Thanks.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:31 AM
Response to Reply #15
18. merh says the library director should get a lawyer.
http://libwww.freelibrary.org/closing /

Me....I hope he doesn't expect me to get one also. :shrug:

I would think I would blame the legislators.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:36 AM
Response to Reply #15
20. I think writing the Mayor of Philadelphia would be a start.
According to the website, the list of projects to be funded by the federal government through the different grant processes were supplied by the Mayors.

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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 07:05 AM
Response to Reply #20
41. If you get the info, I'll send an email
:kick:
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orleans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #15
54. i would suggest making phone calls first. n/t
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #54
68. To Harrisburg? the Public Library system?
Just point me in the right direction.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:33 AM
Response to Original message
19. Reposting the library website letter, so I DON"T get the blame.
http://libwww.freelibrary.org/closing /

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 philly311@phila.gov, 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
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:37 AM
Response to Original message
21. From my post....the referred to statement was in the comments..
and I said so clearly.

"Here are several of the comments from the website:

I am sitting here sadly shaking my head. I wonder how in the world the powers that be in Philadelphia justify taking the tools of education away from their constituents. How are our children to learn about their heritage, both genealogical and historical? What will happen to all the special collections?

..."Federal money is available to bail out greedy corporations but not to keep open institutions that provide services to educate citizens and others?"
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:33 AM
Response to Reply #21
37. Our public libraries are always packed, and Orlando is hardly known
for being a city of well educated and thoughtful people. I suspect that any library closings in PA will cause a considerable outcry--at least I hope that they do!
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LiberalAndProud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:54 AM
Response to Original message
29. From your link:

Projects in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Below are the "shovel-ready" projects for which this city submitted in the 2008 U.S. Conference of Mayors report. You can click on a project to read (and add to) its description. You can also discuss the project and vote on whether you believe it is critical or not.

The total cost of all the projects submitted by Philadelphia is $2,777,076,450


Was every request submitted also awarded? I think maybe not.

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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:04 AM
Response to Reply #29
33. The monies are available to be awarded.
They are part of the stimulus money. The lists were provided by the City, a "wish list" as it were. I am sure the library system provided their list of needs to the mayor.

That legislation won't list the projects to be funded. Instead, it will appropriate money for federal grant programs, such as the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) or Surface Transportation Program, which will then use the appropriated stimulus money to make grants to cities. In the case of CDBG, for example, the Department of Housing and Urban Development will be the agency that will decide (using a formula) which of the projects requested by the mayors will be funded.


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LiberalAndProud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:28 AM
Response to Reply #33
36. A wish list ...
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 01:30 AM by LiberalAndProud
http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=171397

Philadelphia Parkway Central Library needs $70M to start renovation

Philadelphia Business Journal - by Athena D. Merritt Staff Writer

The Philadelphia Parkway Central Library must raise another $70 million to break ground on its $175 million renovation project.

Officials hope to close nearly half of that funding gap by securing $30 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Appeals for federal stimulus funding have been taken to local, state and federal officials. The library is also preparing to launch a marketing and branding effort, which would emphasize the importance of their resources, William Sasso, chairman of the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation, said.

Theres not any base weve left untouched, weve had a lot of meetings, Sasso said.

With funding in place, construction could begin in as little as 60 days on the project which would add 180,0000 square feet of new space. The project would add a new teen center, 550-seat auditorium, double the space in the childrens library and increase the number of public access computers from 80 to 300. Reading lounges and a glass-enclosed pavilion with a cafe and shops would also be added under the expansion.





How do you use Stimulus Watch? Watch the video tour!

StimulusWatch.org was built to help the new administration keep its pledge to invest stimulus money smartly, and to hold public officials to account for the taxpayer money they spend. We do this by allowing you, citizens around the country with local knowledge about the proposed "shovel-ready" projects in your city, to find, discuss and rate those projects. These projects are not part of the stimulus bill. They are candidates for funding by federal grant programs once the bill passes. Learn more by reading the FAQs.


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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:34 AM
Response to Reply #36
38. The bill passed, the money has been set aside to be awarded.
Bottom line is, if they apply for the money knowing the services will not be offered, they will be defrauding the government. HUD doesn't take too kindly to such things.

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LiberalAndProud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:44 AM
Response to Original message
39. You've used pretty strong lanuage.
"pure bullshit on the part of the director", "defrauding the government"


I guess we'll have to wait to see how this all plays out.
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 01:53 AM
Response to Original message
40. Maybe the money is going for deconstruction of the Libraries.
They will renovate and then destroy them, only to rebuild and renovate to destroy sometimes later when more money needs to be generated by future debt. I personally thought it crazy we couldn't pay hired help to keep military bases maintained, but we all remember how Dick and Bush treated us? Real people of the champions. :sarcasm:
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
43. Perhaps they haven't received the money yet and the bank won't extend a line of credit to
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 10:18 AM by glitch
fulfill their operating expenses due to the credit crunch? Maybe this is a way the Director can spur the disbursement of the stimulus?

Maybe not everyone knows the full story yet, that it is still developing?

:shrug:

edit: available to be awarded does not mean received.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #43
51. Of course "available to be awarded" does not mean received.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out. Your edit was a waste of effort as I have never claimed the money has been awarded, let alone received.

The city won't be able to apply for the federal stimulus money that has been appropriated for the library capital improvement projects if the libraries are closed.

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PRETZEL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
44. There is a difference between capital improvements funds and operating funds
they are separate and distinct.

If I had the capability of using earmarked money for general operations, my job would be a whole lot easier.

But I can't and that's the reality of working under governmental subsidies and grants.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #44
47. True, but should the city go forward and apply for the capital
improvement funds (grants that are available), they would be defrauding the federal government. The services have to be operating, you can't build a new library that will not provide the services, that will not be operated. You cannot use the funds to renovate a building that will no longer be providing public services.

So the city will close the libraries and as a result, will not be able to apply for the federal monies set aside, doesn't seem like a very wise management decision.

To reference the stimulus money is to provide a negotiation tool. This is a political fight between the city and the legislature regarding the budget. How many other items on the "wish list" will be affected if the city is not provided the budget it seeks?

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PRETZEL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:51 AM
Response to Reply #47
49. I would still say yes,
these are long term projects being applied for.

Until the state passes the budget, funding is coming from HR850 in which Gov. Rendell line itemed many programs, especially educational based programs.

Services will be suspended, not eliminated until such time that the final budget resolution is passed, hopefully very soon.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #49
52. It would be defrauding the federal government.
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 10:58 AM by merh
The money is set aside to improve the system so that it can provide services to the public. Part of the grant paperwork will contain language that states the money will be used to assist the city in providing the services. If the services are being stopped (the libraries closed) then the award of money would be wasteful.

You cannot say "we expect to operate again", there has to be more than that.

Edited to add: The director's letter does not refer to a "suspension" or short term closings. He simply states the libraries will close.



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PRETZEL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #52
55. I'm not saying that,
the funding for the Philadelphia Library System would have to fall under a particular Pennsylvania Statute that outlines the funding guidlines for them and any other library (or other publicly funded system)in which the statute holds.

Unless those laws have not been renewed or repealed there will be funding. It may not necessarily be at the level the city expects nor wishes, but this is not an unfunded mandate that the legislature likes to put out.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #55
57. I agree that the library will be funded.
The purpose of my post is to make people realize that the "threat to close" letter is just that, a threat. It is a political tactic being used to try to force the legislature to get off it ass and fund the budget.

If you read the comments in the other GD thread on the issue that is linked to in my OP, you will see that the vast majority of the DUers that commented believe that the library will be closed. They did not think beyond the obvious and did not realize that the director wants folks to be outraged so that the budget will be funded.

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PRETZEL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #57
65. Thanks, I did go back and read the other thread
and I think that lacking reserves that Philadelphia has (or what's left since the state's fiscal year started July 1) the possibility of closures (or servere cut backs in operations) on a short term basis is very real. There isn't a county in the state not facing the same issues. Mayor Nutters statements didn't seem out of the ordinary either. Cut backs due to reduced tax revenues (i.e. direct correlation to rise in foreclosures, increased unemployment) as well as increased costs both as a result of higher pension costs and insurance premiums really has necessated local/county governments to take serious looks at either reducing services or increasing tax rates. As a politician, neither scenario is politically helpful.

It is, unfortunately, both political and real.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #65
66. I well understand the situation all cities find themselves in.
It is political and real.

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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #52
58. In her letter, the director doesn't mention that it will be temporary probably because that presumes
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 11:17 AM by Gormy Cuss
action on the part of the state. It's a typical way to phrase such a letter. I'd bet that she was coached on what to include and what to leave out because it is a delicate political game. It's up to the mayor to petition the state for action, not each of his department heads affected.


eta: I doubt that they're allowed to spend stimulus money when they are officially closed without plans to reopen.

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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #58
60. I agree that the stimulus money won't be available if the public
services are not offered.

That is one of the points I am trying to make.

The director is using scare tactics to get public support so that the budget will be approved.

If I were the director, I would go to my congress persons and ask them to seek some direction from the administration about the use of the set aside stimulus money. Could legislation be written that allows for the stimulus money to be used for operating expenses instead of capital improvement?



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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #60
62. I suspect that Reardon is playing a chess game here.
One of the first things she did last year when she became director was suggest closing a number of branches in order to meet the budget. The public protest was loud. Imagine what it's like with the threat of closing ALL the libraries in the city.

http://www.wittkieffer.com/cmfiles/reports/Siobhan%20Re...

We don't know that Reardon hasn't approached the relevant MOCs about available funds for operating expenses outside of the stimulus package. She may already have approached the relevant state level pols too.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #62
64. I'd go to the US congress folks
to see if the money appropriated as "stimulus money" for the library system can be used for the immediate needs of the library - that is as operating monies. That may take legislation but that legislation would be a way to by pass the state thugs that are not adequately budgeting as it is.

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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #44
50. +1
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:33 AM
Response to Original message
46. If they couldn't afford existing operations, who pushed
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 10:44 AM by supernova
for all the stimulus money for expansion?

Seems really silly and suspicious. I would think in a logical universe (haha!) you would use the stimulus money to cover existing expenses, and not look to expand, even if that meant patrons and librarians were cramped for space.
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hileeopnyn8d Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #46
48. The Central Library
is full of asbestos. Expansion and renovation of the central library was 'approved' in 2002 but without funding.

Last year many of the branch libraries were closed, but only the older buildings because the cost of operating in those old buildings was substantially more than the newer ones. But truth be told most of the libraries are old with inefficient electrical and HVAC systems.
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #48
59. Wow, what a shame
thanks for the info.

I had forgotten about all the asbestos in those old buildings.

I feel sorry for Philadelphia.
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trusty elf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
67. "What will happen to all the special collections?"
The question was asked in a comment posted in madfloridian's OP "Philadelphia to close all free public libraries."

I don't know whether the following anecdote in any way pertains to the deplorable situation in which the public library seems to find itself, but I thought I would share it with you.

Last year, while snooping around doing some research online, I came across a magnificent 17th century book being sold by a rare book dealer in Philadelphia, on the history of Sicily, illustrated with hundreds of wonderful engravings of coins and medals from antiquity (mostly Sicilian Greek, but some Carthaginian and Roman, too), as well as with coins from later epochs up until the 16th century.

As it was a book that interested me greatly, I bought it. I knew something about the provenance beforehand-it had once belonged to a man named Clarence B. Moore, a Philadelphia socialite and heir to a paper company fortune. He was a member of the Philadelphia Numismatic Society, and beginning in the late 1870's, had made significant contributions to the archaeology of the U.S. Southeast.

Moore, immediately after graduating from Harvard, came to Europe, and purchased this book in Paris on October 18, 1873. At some point he donated it to the Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of Philadelphia. This much I knew before I acquired it.

Curious as to how the book dealer had come to have it, I asked about it. i was told that the Numismatic and Antiquarian Society had eventually donated it to the Philadelphia Public Library, which in turn (when, I don't know) had sold it to the book dealer ! ! ! Needless to say, I was very surprised to learn that the library would let go of such a precious book.

Here are some photos of a few of the hundreds of beautiful illustrations in this folio edition of 1697:





















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