AJThomson's picture

Below is a quick letter I drafted to Mayor Nutter on my own behalf, but more on behalf of my daughter Julia. We will be rallying on this issue, just as we are on the Engine 6 situation.

Dear Mayor Nutter,

Tough times call for tough answers to tough problems. I am not envious of the position you find yourself in with respect to our budget shortfall. I realize that it will require sacrifices on all of our parts. Today’s budget address listed the closure of the Fishtown Library Branch along with the removal of Engine 6 from our local fire station. Many in our community find both decisions troubling.

Today, I write to specifically address the closure of the Fishtown Branch of the Free Library, a place where I grew up, where I learned how to use a computer and where I now take my daughter to experience the wonders of learning. The staff there are top-notch and do a fabulous job and they are a credit to the city workforce. Though small, the building is a landmark to all that is right with our community and all of Philadelphia. Each day, students who use this library become more productive members of our society. They grow to love learning. Adults come to expand their minds and take a break from the day to engage themselves in the hallmark of a free society – a free library.

Though I wear many hats in my community as a community-organization leader and a Democratic committeeman, I write to you today as a parent. I write to you to allow those of us in Fishtown who love and need our library to explore ways in which it can be saved. Many of us have already spoken about community-staffing programs to allow the library to remain in its rightful place in our neighborhood.

Please include me and others in our community in the ongoing dialogue about the budget cuts. We recognize the need for belt-tightening and sacrifice. Fishtown families have been able to stretch dollars for centuries. We believe that a creative approach with government-community participation will enable us to keep this treasure open for all of us to enjoy.

Very truly yours,

A.J. Thomson
CC: Councilman Frank DiCicco (via email)
Councilman Darrell Clarke (via email)
Bob Heim, Esquire

lauraska's picture

I think this letter is

I think this letter is fantastic. Well done, AJ. I also love the idea of a cooperative staffing program for the library, and if there is some way I can help, I'd be happy to give a few hours to the cause.

nhb's picture

The cooperative staffing

The cooperative staffing program is an excellent idea. You can reach out to the High schools, most public high schools require students to participate in programs to generate community service hours. My son Frank has volunteered at the Fishtown Library for the the last 2 summers. He loves that library and the staff, so i am sure he would want to help out.

teener's picture

I too would happily

I too would happily volunteer a few hours a week for this cause.

citidove's picture

Hi, AJ! We had alot of

Hi, AJ!
We had alot of discussion about this at playgroup today. My crew is ready, willing and able to do what it takes to keep our Library open!
Just let me know what we can do.

kdubs215's picture

AJ you know ill help in

AJ you know ill help in anyway as i have the time until iam able to get back to work and thanks for that number they called and i have to call back to set up a meeting ..... thanks again bud

Matt Brannon's picture

Count me in as a volunteer-

Count me in as a volunteer- I don't care if I'm stacking books or scrubbing toilets, we cannot let them close the library..

jimp13's picture

When and were is the rally?

When and were is the rally? I think that fliers should be printed and posted around, so that people who don't use this site know about it. By the way this is my first time on here. I would be willing to print out 100 fliers. My wife and children use that library weekly and my daughter is currently crying her eyes out right now.

Matt Brannon's picture

As far as I know date/time

As far as I know date/time for a rally hasn't been planned yet.

hairartiste's picture

I will also volunteer at the

I will also volunteer at the library. I use that library a lot.

5kngys's picture

AJ...the letter is GREAT!

AJ...the letter is GREAT!

As for community service, I would love it if I could get my daughter some hours. She needs them for Confirmation for St. Laurentius which will benefit her as well as the Library.

Trixie's picture

That's a great letter. I

That's a great letter. I have been going to the library in Fishtown since the first week I moved in this June and I don't want it to close! I have really been impressed by how hard fishtowners/ kenzingers come together to make improvements, take care of what is already here and to just enjoy the community as a whole. I am really disappointed by the proposed cuts and shut downs Mayor Nutter has announced. I think he is a good mayor, and is trying to do the right thing, but maybe the fat could be cut somewhere other than safety programs (closing firehouses?) children's programs (pools) and libraries (just plain nuts!!). I am for doing whatever we can to keep these programs open for the community as a whole.

catphilly's picture

I would definitely help ...

I would definitely help ... how can I found out how?

boomer's picture

I think its a great idea. I

I think its a great idea. I would totally volunteer. Even if its open fewer hours each week. Every neighborhood should have a library.

mandygerth's picture

Save our Library! Everyone

Save our Library!
Everyone wants to help save the library. It seems that so many issues in fishtown tend to polarize neighbors but this is something that can pull us all together. I've made a blog to list what we can do:
Please let me know if I can add anything to it or add any links to it.

caroldenker's picture

A.J., I'm doing the story

A.J., I'm doing the story for The Spirit this week on the budget cuts and library's closing--and before I read your letter, I wrote to some friends, 'Why doesn't FISHTOWN KEEP IT OPEN? A small sum from many households, volunteers, even if it's open a few days a week...

So I loved reading your letter.

It's great publicity also for the neighborhood, the City, etc. We would be responding positively to Obama's "tough times, we gotta do it together" message.

I totally volunteer. There are librarians I"m sure who will volunteer to teach us some basics.

Carol Denker