Tuesday, December 30, 2008

An update from Philly: A Judge is (temporarily) stopping the closure of 11 library branches

We reported two weeks ago on the fight to leave 11 branch libraries in Philadelphia open following the decision of Mayor Nutter to close them as part of a massive cost cutting effort of the city. Today we have an important update on this fight.

I firstly heard it on NPR and later on found it on the website of Friends of the Free Library Philadelphia (http://www.libraryfriends.info):

This just in from Chris Brennan from the Daily News at 1:15 p.m.: Court of Common Pleas Judge Idee Fox just ordered Mayor Nutter and the Free Library of Philadelphia to halt their plans to shutter 11 branch libraries after 5 p.m. tomorrow. A group of seven library patrons, along with the union that represents librarians, sued Nutter and the Free Library, saying that a 20-year-old ordinance prohibits the mayor from closing city buildings without approval by City Council. Three Council members — Bill Green, Jannie Blackwell and Jack Kelly — filed a similar lawsuit. In November, Nutter announced plans to shut 11 of the city’s 54 library branches as part of a massive cost cutting effort to shore up a $1 billion budget gap in the city budget over the next five years.

I also heard that Mayor Nutter wants to appeal on this ruling, so it looks likes we'll hear more updates from the court. In any case, it will be interesting to see if the Judge's ruling will make any difference or it's just going to delay the closing for some time and that's it. I definitely hope the time out given by the Judge will be used to find creative ways to keep these branches open!


Raz @ Eco-Libris

Plant a tree for every book you read!