Free Library of Philadelphia
Astronaut Scott Carpenter, a lecturer in the Field Family Teen Author Series, speaks at the Northeast Regional Library. Astronaut Scott Carpenter, a lecturer in the Field Family Teen Author Series, speaks at the Northeast Regional Library.
  • One Book, One Philadelphia was the biggest event of this fiscal year (July 1, 2002 – June 30, 2003). According to Mayor John F. Street, the Free Library’s partner in presenting the event, “One Book, One Philadelphia showed us how responsive Philadelphians are to the chance to come together in a meaningful and powerful way. We are a stronger city because of this experience.” More on One Book appears on the following pages.

  • Philadelphians used the Free Library more than ever before. Once again we hit new all-time highs: in the totals of books and other items borrowed, visits to libraries, hits to our web site, and volunteer hours.

  • In June through August of 2002, the Library’s Summer Reading Program for children and teens also set a new record of nearly 54,000 participants. The program – which provides games, prizes, and events that engage children in reading – was presented by the First Union Foundation, with further support from the AMETEK Foundation, Inc.; the Berwind Foundation; the Franklin Institute Science Museum; Herr’s Foods, Inc.; the Philadelphia Coca-Cola Bottling Co.; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Phillies; and the PKG Foundation. Additional sponsors included McDonald’s; CRW Graphics; PECO Energy; Sunoco, Inc.; the Kimmel Center; the Academy of Natural Sciences; the Please Touch Museum; UGI (Amerigas); the Keswick Theatre Summer 2002 Family Show Series; Larry W. Farmbry CFP-CHFC Retirement Coach; Lockheed Martin Management & Data Systems; Prudential Financial; QVC, Inc.; Rittenhouse Financial Services, Inc.; Rita’s Water Ice; Giovanni’s Room; Legg Mason Real Estate Services, Inc.; Saint-Gobain Corporation (Certainteed Corporation); Goldenberg’s Candy Co.; AAA Mid-Atlantic, Inc.; Francis Cauffman Foley Hoffman – Architects; Springfield Historical Society; Art Museum Pizza; and Dollar Tree.

  • In its tenth season, the Free Library of Philadelphia Lectures series brought George Will, Salman Rushdie, A.S. Byatt, Derek Walcott, Jane Smiley, and many other authors to speak to eager audiences. Of the first twelve lectures, five sold out within the first hour that tickets were available.

  • A new program, the Field Family Teen Author Series, put a total of twelve free books into the hands of 1,635 high school students across the City, and then enabled those students to discuss each book with its author. One teacher reported that students who “never read at all” were reading one such book – and that faculty members had to prohibit reading it during classes!

  • To help promote financial literacy, the Library joined the Campaign for Working Families - a City-wide effort providing free tax assistance to low-income families that qualified for the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) as well as other public benefits. At eight libraries, IRS-trained volunteers helped more than 2,000 people file forms entitling them to nearly $3,600,000 in refunds, including Earned Income Tax Credits. The Campaign was funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.