The Chestnut Hill Library Friends: committed to making our library, one of the best community libraries, even better.
The Friends of the Chestnut Hill Library is a voluntary, nonprofit organization.
The Friends of the Chestnut Hill library is a neighborhood organization, but in addition to raising funds for repairs, improvements, and programs at our local branch, we advocate for full funding for all 54 branches of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
The health of the Chestnut Hill branch depends on the vitality of the larger system to which it belongs. All library staff, whether branch librarians, after-school staff, or building security, are City of Philadelphia employees and serve a larger library system. Additionally, all library buildings are City-owned buildings, public spaces open to people from every neighborhood. These buildings, and the staff who work in them, all deserve to be fully supported by our City. No branch should rely on the generosity of community members to keep its doors open.
One of the core philosophies of any library is to freely share resources to benefit the community at large. This principle also undergirds our work and advocacy.
Unfortunately, the City of Philadelphia continues to limit its investment in our libraries.
In 2008, Philadelphia spent $68 million (number adjusted for inflation) on its library system. It has not matched that investment since. Even in 2008, the system was barely able to provide six day service during the school year. In 2022, the City is well below five days of service each week, with no weekend hours. The Chestnut Hill branch, with only one librarian on staff, is routinely forced to close to due understaffing.
Adjusting for inflation, the library system is at just 63 percent of its 2008 budget and staffing levels. The collections budget has seen an even more dramatic decline - it has been cut from twelve million to 3.9 million - one third of its 2008 level.
We are united with Friends groups across Philadelphia in calling for the budget for libraries to be restored and expanded.
How can you help?
1. Write or call Mayor Kenney and your City Council member. Urge them to restore funding and staff.
2. Join our mailing list to learn about opportunities to join forces and advocate collectively.
* Permanent $30 million budget increase for the Philadelphia Free Library system over FY2021 for real full funding. This is a restoration of the FY2008 budget.
* Neighborhood branches are funded to stay open 6 days/week, year round.
* Every library has a Children's, Adult & Teen Librarian, & a Digital Resource Specialist.
* The City funds paid education for staff career development.
* The City funds the capital budget so all building infrastructure is safe and in good working condition (elevators, HVAC, roofs).
* The City provides $10,000 per library branch for programs.
* The City ensure staff has full access to PPE and safety measures are in place through the Covid-19 pandemic.
Founded in the 1970s, the Chestnut Hill Library Friends is dedicated to promoting the needs and values of our library. The Friends raise funds to support the library.
Our activities have included book sales, a speaker series, author events, kids storytime, and much more. In 2021, The Friends opened Hilltop Books.
Copyright © 2020 Chestnut Hill Library Friends - All Rights Reserved.
84 Bethlehem Pike, Philadelphia PA 19118
Store Phone: 215-315-8588