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Save Greenwich Library

South Philadelphia, 1993

In the complicated diverse interactions in the South Seventh Street neighborhood, few places were seen as safe and welcoming for Asian American children as the former Greenwich Library. The library, which served mainly African American and Asian American kids, had the largest after school program of any library in the city.

When the Mayor Ed Rendell announced major cuts to the public libraries budget, only one library in the city was chosen for closing- Greenwich Library. In a neighborhood that endured relentless disinvestment from the city, the closing of this important neighborhood resource mobilized the community to action.

People of all races came together with door-to-door organizing, multi-lingual community meetings, petition drives, a lawsuit, lobbying, coalition building with other library advocates, street demonstrations and actions. After protests and debates, City Council restored the entire public library budget. However, Mayor Rendell still shut down Greenwich Library.