by Sue Ann Rybak
David T. Moore, president of Friends of Lovett Library, announced at the Friends meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 11, that the library would soon be open six days a week.
“The Friends of Lovett Memorial Library are, of course, appreciative of and excited about the return of six-day service to Lovett, starting Oct. 5,” said Moore, a Mt. Airy native. “We are inviting the neighborhood community to a brief ceremony at 9:45 that morning to welcome Saturday service back, to be followed by a Friends book sale.
“We hope for the time when such six-day service can return to every neighborhood library in the system. To that end, we encourage full utilization of Lovett’s Saturday service, to demonstrate how important those hours are to library users.”
Teresa Glover, Children’s Librarian at Lovett, said the library, along with West Oak Lane and Andorra libraries, will begin extended hours the week of Sept. 30.
“This change allows the library’s resources to be utilized by more of the community and has already garnered a lot of positive feedback from the library’s patrons,” said Glover, who lives in Mt. Airy.
Germantown resident Catherine Collins, a parent of children at C.W. Henry Elementary School, said she is thrilled the library will be open on Saturdays starting in October.
“My family is at Lovett Library a couple of times every week, year-round,” said Collins, a reference librarian at Saint Joseph’s University whose children both attend Philadelphia public schools. “My kids participate in Wednesday night chess club. During the school year, they do their homework in the library because of all of the great resources. My husband’s a professor and grades papers in Lovett because it’s so comfortable. Lovett’s new book collection is outstanding, and all of us regularly checkout books there.
“In the summer, we attend the Moonlight Movies in Mt. Airy film series that’s held on the library grounds. With so many school libraries being shuttered due to district budget cuts, the demand on neighborhood libraries is even greater. Lovett really is the heart of this neighborhood, and Saturday hours are very much needed if the library is going to serve everyone.”
Maggie Wollman, of Mt. Airy, agreed with Collins.
“Now that Lovett Library will be open on Saturdays, events like meetings, presentations, talks, shows and movies will be available to families that can’t visit Mondays through Fridays,” Wollman said. “When it’s wintery outside, it will be eventful indoors.”
Chestnut Hill resident Julia Reeb said the new hours will allow her family to spend more time together at the library.
“As regular and enthusiastic users of our nearby library branches, we are so excited that Lovett will be available to us and others in the area on Saturdays – a day when we are all more likely to find some leisure time to enjoy all the library has to offer,” Reeb said.
Jamie Grooms, of Mt. Airy, said the change was long overdue.
“I love it,” Grooms said. “We need it.”
She said the services provided by the community are critical – especially to students and senior citizens.
Mt. Airy resident Anuj Gupta, executive director of Mt. Airy USA, said the expanded hours will allow the library to grow into a multidimensional community hub.
“We are incredibly excited that the library has been able to provide the resources to provide Saturday hours at Lovett,” he said. “We think that coupled with the transformation we are planning with the adjacent park, Lovett’s stature as a community hub will only grow.
“Hopefully, this also provides a resource to area school children that are struggling with the closure of their respective school libraries – it is by no means a sufficient replacement though. We must find a way to get public school libraries back open.”
Mt. Airy resident Cuihua Crews, a full-time student at Community College of Philadelphia, was elated when she heard the news. As the mother of two young children, she finds it extremely difficult balancing school, work and trying to develop a love of reading and learning in her children. The children love to listen to stories on the computer and sit on her lap and read a book, but finding the time to visit the library on her tight schedule is a struggle.
“I have to study,” Crews said. “It’s so convenient to come here and my kids love the library.”
Mt. Airy resident Rosa Clemens-Hines said the library is a community hub.
“I think its great,” Clemens-Hines said. “It will benefit everybody in the community.”
Deja Kennedy, a sixth grader at J.S. Jenks Elementary School, enjoys coming to the library after school. After learning the library would be open on Saturdays, starting Oct. 5, she said “that’s cool – I can come get my own library card.”
Kennedy said she loves to read and use the computer.
“I will have somewhere to go on Saturdays,” Kennedy said. “I can come her and read a new book.”
Glover added that the library is a safe place where kids can hang out and develop a love of learning and reading.
For more information or to volunteer to assist in the community celebration, email David Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Lovett Memorial Library at 215-685-2095.