The Roxborough branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia will soon have a stronger presence in the neighborhood, thanks to a revamped sign in front of its property on Ridge Avenue.
The new $11,000 sign replaces a dated and deteriorating sign with weather-resistant paint, a message board listing upcoming events and new lighting.
The sign is part of a beautification project that began in 2011 when Roxborough branch manager Bruce Siebers teamed up with the Friends of Roxborough Library.
“It was difficult to get this off-the-ground,” said Siebers, “but with the help of our patrons, the Friends of Roxborough Library and Wells Fargo, we were able to make this happen.”
Jose Casalina, vice president of the Friends of Roxborough Library, said he initially gained interest in this project when he started taking his two-year-old son to story time events at the library.
“I’m proactive,” said Casalina. “I started volunteering my time to landscape. We’re trying to liven up the entire exterior, clean up the sidewalks and plant new trees.”
While fundraising efforts included small-scale events organized by the library, it was two $5,000 grants from Wells Fargo that really helped the project take off.
Casalina says that through meetings with Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr., the project will soon receive a $30,000 grant from the City of Philadelphia.
Additional funding will go toward bike rack installations, patio furniture and a pergola at the site. The money will also cover expenses for power washing the building and landscaping efforts.
“We’re looking to revitalize the library,” said Casalina. “We’d like to see an outdoor seating area where patrons can read or use the library’s WiFi on their laptops.”
The sign is expected to be installed in March, as long as the ground is not frozen.
For more information, visit the Friends of Roxborough Library page on Facebook.