Most Philadelphia public libraries to close on Saturdays

The Falls of Schuylkill branch of the Philadelphia Free Library (Corinne Warnshuis/WHYY, file)

The Falls of Schuylkill branch of the Philadelphia Free Library (Corinne Warnshuis/WHYY, file)

Fewer than half of the branches of Philadelphia’s public libraries will be open on Saturdays this fall because of a lack of funding.

The library system says only 23 of its 54 branches will be open on those days because the system can’t hire sufficient staff for the facilities. But Philly.com reports a grassroots effort called #FundOurLibraries is calling on city officials to provide more funding.

The library system’s $48 million budget is supported each year by city and state funding, along with private donations. But the system faced massive cuts in city funding about 10 years ago and has since struggled to open and staff libraries.

Michael DiBerardinis, the city’s managing director, says officials expect the library system will make its case for more funding during budget hearings.

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