PHILADELPHIA, November 15, 2018 —Today, Senator Art Haywood (D-Montgomery/Philadelphia) joined Mayor Jim Kenney, State Representative Isabella Fitzgerald, State Representative Chris Rabb, Director of the Governor’s Southeast Regional Office Nedia Ralston, District Representative for Congressman Dwight Evans, Numa St.Louis, and Free Library President Siobhan A. Reardon for a check presentation of $1 million at the West Oak Lane Library in Philadelphia.

The funds come from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to benefit educational and cultural initiatives. The allotted funds will help with revitalization efforts of the West Oak Lane branch in Sen. Haywood’s district, as well as Frankford and Parkway Central Libraries.

“I am pleased to support important projects that help spur educational growth and enhance our communities,” Haywood said.  “Drawing down state dollars helps create opportunities for all who visit the Free Library of Philadelphia.”

“This funding will help us improve our neighborhood libraries, so they continue to be welcoming and safe spaces for all Philadelphians,” said Siobhan A. Reardon, President and Director of the Free Library of Philadelphia. “With more than 5 million virtual visits and 5 million in-person visits each year to our 54 locations throughout the city, the Library is one of the most important public institutions in Philadelphia, and this support helps our infrastructure keep pace with that high level of demand. Thank you to Gov. Wolf, Sen. Haywood, and Reps. Rabb and Fitzgerald for making this a reality.”

“West Oak Lane Library provides more than just books on a shelf, but an educational experience that satisfies our children’s thirst for knowledge, offers a hub for jobseekers, and opens the door to opportunity,” State Rep. Chris Rabb said. “The money granted is critical to ensuring West Oak Lane continues offering these services that not only enhances our minds but strengthens our neighborhoods by bringing generations, both young and old, together as one.”

“Libraries are fundamental to revitalize our neighborhoods. People go to the library looking for resources and information, but they find much more. They connect, they get to know each other, share concerns and look for solutions – and that’s how you build community,” State Rep. Isabella Fitzgerald said. “This funding will help strengthen those connections while keeping West Oak Lane Library a destination for everyone to visit in the years to come.”

“There is no question that these state grants will provide benefits for the community for years to come, and I am pleased to see improvements come to the district.”

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