Sen. Vincent J. Fumo

District Office

1208 Tasker Street
Phila, PA 19148

Harrisburg Office

545 Main Capitol
Hbg, PA 17120



_____________________NEWS RELEASE

State Senator

1st Senatorial District
Room 545 Main Capitol, Harrisburg PA 17120
Internet Website:


PHONE: 717-787-5662 


     PHILADELPHIA, June 15, 2007 – The Free Library of Philadelphia took a major step toward renovation of its Central Library facility today when State Senator Vince Fumo (D-Philadelphia) presented a $2 million state grant for the project.

     Fumo joined Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins for the announcement at Citizens Bank Park. The Free Library revealed yesterday that Rollins will be the spokesman for its Central Library Project.

     The Library has upgraded each of its 54 buildings throughout the city in recent years, except the main branch on the Ben Franklin Parkway. It is currently raising funds for that renovation. An anonymous donor has pledged $15 million in a challenge grant, if the Library can raise $15 million in matching funds.

     “I’m excited about the plans to renovate the existing building and add a 180,000 foot addition designed by the world famous architect Moshe Safdie,” Fumo said. “I have 13 libraries in my district and I am well aware of the many programs for pre-school children, school age children, small business owners and new immigrants to our city, which the library provides for free to everyone.”

     Fumo, whose senatorial district includes the Central Library on the Parkway, arranged for the state budget grant, with the money to be drawn from the Department of Community and Economic Development fund for Cultural Exhibitions and Expositions.

     Fumo presented a check to Library Board members Jerry Clothier, CFO of the Phillies, Ron Wilson, president of Philly Coke, and Linda Johnson, CEO of the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation.

     “The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia have been enormously generous; and with our anonymous $15 million challenge gift and the support of the Senator, we will be ready to break ground next year,” Johnson said.

     Fumo and Rollins both pointed out that libraries can be an effective anti-violence tool. Libraries provide a safe place where children can be productively occupied and receive positive influence. Plus, studies have shown a correlation between how well children read and how likely they are to avoid involvement in violent crime later in life.

     “I was especially pleased to hear that the Central Library on the Parkway will have a new children’s library, double in size, and a first-time-ever space for teens. Keeping our children safe and off the streets is crucial, and libraries provide a safe haven in every community in our city,” Fumo said.

     Rollins, who for six years has supported a program called JRoll’s Readers Club to improve the reading skills of Philadelphia’s youth, presented Fumo with a replica of his number 11 uniform jersey in appreciation of the Senator’s efforts.

     “Libraries play a most important role in our communities, now more than ever,” Rollins said.

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