ANNOUNCING BUILDING INSPIRATION: 21ST CENTURY LIBRARIES INITIATIVE: REIMAGINING THE CITY’S GATEWAY Last year, the Free Library of Philadelphia welcomed more than six million visitors. Thirty percent of those visitors stopped in monthly. In a single year, those visitors generated more than 3 million reference questions, which equates to two questions for every man, woman and child who lives in the city today. What are all of these people seeking? Information and services, access and opportunities. Historically, libraries were a hub for learning, reading, and research. Today, they are so much more, offering resources and assistance in everything from technology training, social services, job coaching, and, yes, literacy and education. To support this massive growth of the Free Library’s role in the fabric of the city, the Free Library of Philadelphia is partnering with the William Penn Foundation and the City of Philadelphia to announce the transformational Building Inspiration: 21st Century Libraries Initiative, reestablishing the Library as a central resource in every neighborhood in Philadelphia, serving as a portal to learning, public services, economic opportunity, recreation, and community engagement.
William Penn Foundation bestows $25 million on Free Library for innovations, renovations
The Free Library of Philadelphia has received the largest gift in its
120-year history: $25 million from the William Penn Foundation.
The donation is meant to transform the library into a vibrant, 21st-century
WILLIAM PENN FOUNDATION NAMES LAURA SPARKS AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR The
William Penn Foundation today announced it has named Laura Sparks as Executive
Director, succeeding Managing Director Peter Degnan. Mr. Degnan recently tendered his resignation effective
August 31 for personal reasons, and the Foundation’s Board has accepted his
decision to step down.
Philadelphia Academies, Inc. Expands Home-Grown Nationally Proven College And Career Academy Program
A program that prepares Philadelphia high school students for college and careers will expand to serve an estimated 5,000 more students across Philadelphia. The William Penn Foundation, which has partnered with Philadelphia Academies, Inc. for more than 15 years, invests in high quality educational opportunities for low-income students in Philadelphia. The Foundation granted Philadelphia Academies, Inc., a nonprofit youth development organization, $1,425,000 over the next two years to grow its successful career academy model.