This study was conducted by The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Philadelphia Research Institute in 2012.
Big-city public libraries have rarely been as popular as they are today and rarely as besieged. The hard economic times of recent years have generated increased demand for the free and varied services libraries provide, even as revenue-challenged local governments have cut back on contributions to library budgets. All of this comes at a time when libraries are being asked to perform a new and changing range of functions.
“The Library in the City: Changing Demands and a Challenging Future” looks at how Philadelphia is faring and the challenges facing urban libraries across America. It examines The Free Library of Philadelphia’s operations and compares them to those of 14 other library systems.