This week is National Library Week, a time to celebrate the positive impact library workers have in our communities. It’s no secret that Philly’s libraries are an important resource in our neighborhoods.

In fact, did you know that there are 54 Free Library of Philadelphia neighborhood library locations across the city?

From 2016-2017, 640,000 people in Philadelphia held a library card, and the Library welcomed approximately 5 million in-person visits!

To study the Library’s impact on its visitors, the Free Library of Philadelphia worked with ImpactED at the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania to create an impact report.

What did they learn?

Library users love the library

In fact, 96% of Library users say the institution is a valuable asset to their community. 97% of visitors say they feel safe at their local library. Visitors also described the Library as “one of the best things about the city.”

Library literacy programs can help improve student performance

95% of caregivers whose children take part in one of the Library’s free literacy programs report that these programs helped their children learn to read and do better in school. Also, 90% of parents whose children are in the Library’s Literacy Enrichment After-School Program (LEAP) said their child is more likely to turn in his or her homework.

Job seekers are visiting the Library and finding new and better jobs

Besides being a critical resource for early literacy in the city, the Free Library also helps fuel Philadelphia’s economic engine. Almost 30% of people visit the Library to look for a new job or learn new skills. 32% of job seekers at the Library got a new job with the help of Library programs and resources.

Philadelphia’s small-business community relies on the Free Library

15% of visitors who use the Library’s small business resources reported that the resources helped them start a small business. 17% reported that these resources helped them grow their small business.

So what are you waiting for?

Join the city in celebrating our libraries and library workers and visit your local library today!

If you’re not a cardholderyou can sign up online for free, and the library will mail your card to you.  You can also visit your local library to sign up for a card on the spot!

Check out the full evaluation impact report, including findings, details on methodology, and recommendations.