Even under ordinary circumstances, Philadelphia’s library system is fragile.Recession-era budget cuts and ping-ponging funding levels mean the number of workers getting books to Philadelphians has steadily declined from about 1,100 people a decade ago.ADVERTISEMENTAnd then came 2020. With the city staring down a massive budget hole, it slashed the library’s funding and laid off more than 200 people. The director resigned amid a staff revolt and complaints of racial discrimination. People quit in droves and hiring was frozen. Skeleton crews reopened branches without enough help.It has resulted in a staffing shortage that means the Free Library of Philadelphia, more than two years after the pandemic cuts, has about 600 employees and needs to hire about 350 more.Free Library of Philadelphia hours still lacking amid staff shortage
I knew it was struggling, but I had no idea how bad it was. I use the Library all the time, and I love it.