Monday, April 25, 2016
an open letter to the free library of philadelphia april 25th, 2016 monday
An Open Letter: Dear Ms. Siobhan Reardon -- President of the Free Library of Philadelphia:
I am a constant and mostly satisfied patron of the Free Library System in Philadelphia. Most people seem to have a hard time realizing the real value of a library card for the Free Library of Philadelphia. I have a severely limited income at the present time -- as far as I know. Because of this I take out movies and books for entertainment, not just knowledge. Sometimes I get into a situation where I think I have returned a book of video and it gets lost or is returned and not found to be returned properly. I think one Way of repairing this problem is to make sure people like me, who do a great deal of research, writing, referencing and so forth and use the library sources quite frequently, maybe we need to have a receipt for every return. Because I have such a severely limited income, losing a book or video can actually take food right out of my mouth or mean a utility bill or rent is late. This can be a real problem. Is there anything you can do? also: I think the ``homeless'' [I prefer the word ``home-challenged'' because this includes people like me who have been unjustly foreclosed on and other people who are in a housing crisis such as being a victim of gentrification], such people congregating at the library -- the main library in particular have become a real problem and one I would like to help the City of Philadelphia find solutions for. My close friend and business partner and personal assistant actually doesn't like to go to the main library because of the smells of some of the people there and the extraordinary bad smells and unclean conditions in the men's room in the basement. One can use the bathrooms on the fourth floor, but many people of greater ilk don't know they are available. I think it would be wise to close the men's room in the basement and totally refurbish it as soon as possible. I am disgusted when I use it and plan to go to the fourth floor from now on in hopes that it will be open there. I know there are monitory constraints on any city agency in Philadelphia including the Free Library. I have work on this by getting some friends of mine who have large incomes and are philanthropist to give large donations. I have asked for a $Billion dollars especially for the Free Library of Philadelphia. For all the nice things like the fabulous kitchen on the fourth floor equipped with cameras and state-of-the-art stoves and so forth. There are also some great meeting spaces on the fourth floor. I think the library is run pretty well, even though I have these gripes. I do also think you need to hire some more Black men. I know this is hard because there are not so many Black men, like myself, majoring in Library Science in college -- -- it is becoming a lost art.
**However, the Free Library of Philadelphia needs to talk with administration officials at the Board of Education and Community College and other area schools and universities and make sure there are some Black men majoring in library science who want jobs in the Free Library of Philadelphia. I am sure something can be worked out. Not all Black men want to be basketball players; rap stars; or engineers. Library Science is a more than adequate field for a young Black man and one that includes promise and generates respect from responsible people in our Black community. I look forward to hearing from you about that bathroom. I have complained about it more than once right there to the gentleman named Paul I think who works outside the hallway leading to the senior section.
**I do not mean to be mean or cruel in my message here. As I said, I LOVe the Free Library of Philadelphia and sped too much time there according to my mate. I am putting this letter on my personal blog and sending it to my city council members in hopes that something will be done. I hope this is not inappropriate, but I want to see some action. I do get frustrated.
**The general staff and librarians at the branches and at the main branch are really professional and helpful. I have almost never had a problem.
**By the Way I find the guards very nice, well-groomed and pleasant in the Way in which they treat people. Even those who fall asleep when they are not supposed to. There are some people who use the Free Library of Philadelphia who just got up on the wrong side of the bed and would have done better to have stayed home that day. It is not to make an example of you or any of your policies, which I think are good, but could use some improvements. It would also be nice if you could put a Black benefactor's picture or two and some Latin or Native American benefactors on the wall as well as some more women in these ethnic groups on the wall with all those White men and that lone White women on the second floor near the Social Science Library. Surely you get large donations or have had Black men and Black women who are benefactors. If not, I hope to be one, one day very, very soon.
Peace & Blessings,
Brother Tracy Gibson,
President, Chief Executive Officer, & Founder of
Bro. Tracy Gibson & Assoc., Inc.
Building Better tomorrows for Black youth & Black Families through good ethics & the building of bridges of hope & good behavior.
Post Script: I plan on reading the article on you in the August 2015 edition of Grid Philly as soon as I get time (as you can tell, I'm behind on my reading). A big thanks to you and the entire staff at the Library from a published author.