Magazine article Library Administrator's Digest

Speaking of Philadelphia

Magazine article Library Administrator's Digest

Speaking of Philadelphia

Article excerpt

Elliot Shelkrot has done a remarkable job in the years he has been director of the Free Library of Philadelphia, putting $60 million into the massive project of renovation of the branches. He, unlike other library directors, I think, recognized that the branch libraries were where the service action was, and I guess the politicians recognized that the votes were there too. According to the news article in this issue, the job isn't quite done, but it will be in a couple of years.

And then comes the turn of the central library. Well, that'll be a bigger problem, methinks. First, total renovation and expansion will take, I'll bet, more than $60 million. Second, this will be done, if at all, just as the whole business of storage of books may be radically altered by the advent of the e-book. Third, there just isn't that much public pressure for another monument in Philadelphia, which has plenty of spectacular buildings already, old and new. …

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