Free Library of Philadelphia
 
Left to right: Peter A. Benoliel, Elliot L. Shelkrot, <br>
    W. Wilson Goode, Sr.
Left to right: Peter A. Benoliel, Elliot L. Shelkrot,
W. Wilson Goode, Sr.

This was a wonderful year for the Library, as new service records were set and great adventures of outreach were pursued. Now we approach the final task in the dramatically successful renovation of the entire library system - the renovation and expansion of the severely overcrowded and outdated Central Library.

As we do so, we are profoundly grateful for the public/private partnership that keeps the Free Library strong:

  • The City, with an important supplement from the State, supplies most of our essential funding. This year, as a splendid addition, Mayor John Street announced his support for a $30-million appropriation for the renovation and expansion of Central.
  • Special Federal Library Services and Technology Act grants, administered by the State, help meet special technological needs.
  • Through the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation, foundations, corporations, and individual donors provide immeasurably important gifts that extend our reach to people who most need our services.
The Major Gifts and Grants for 2003 illustrate this partnership:
The Free Library received $364,500 from the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA, administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Office of Commonwealth Libraries) to enhance library services and programming for low-income children, teens, and adults and for other special services.

Generous support from individuals included a two-year gift from Marie and Joseph Field to launch the Field Family Teen Author Series, a bequest from the estate of Alice M. Wiemann, and $100,000 from an anonymous donor toward the expansion and renovation of the Central Library.

The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation continued its support of the Free Library of Philadelphia Lectures with a grant of $100,000 for lecture endowment. Independence Blue Cross was the lead corporate sponsor for the inaugural season of One Book, One Philadelphia.

We also salute the Philadelphia City Institute’s Board of Managers, which since 1998 has contributed more than $550,000, including support for the Philadelphia City Institute’s Sundays on Stage series of free family cultural programs, new teen collections at 12 libraries, and the new LEAP Online homework-help service.

The trust and generosity of all our supporters both challenge and inspire us to give superb service to all the people of the Philadelphia area.


W. Wilson Goode, Sr.
Chair, Board of Trustees
The Free Library of Philadelphia


Peter A. Benoliel
Chair, Board of Directors
The Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation


Elliot L. Shelkrot
President and Director
The Free Library of Philadelphia