Friends of the Falls of Schuylkill Library Winter Newsletter
Get caught up on the latest news and learn about winter events at the Falls of Schuylkill Library.
❄️ Winter News and Events ❄️
“Books constitute capital. A library book lasts as long as a house, for hundreds of years. It is not, then, an article of mere consumption but fairly of capital, and often in the case of professional men, setting out in life, it is their only capital.”
Ten library branches started Saturday hours on November 18! Falls of Schuylkill is not YET one, but Saturday hours are coming to all libraries and we will spread the news as soon as we get it!
Falls of Schuylkill Library was voted the best public library in Philly on Metro Philly’s Best 2023 Winners Guide!! Check it out on page 22 of the guide!
Holiday Tree Sale
🎄Holiday Caroling in McMichael Park🎄
East Falls will be holding its annual Christmas Caroling in McMichael Park on Wednesday, Dec.13th at 7:00 pm. The long standing tradition (35+ years) brings neighbors of all ages out to the park to celebrate the holidays. If you have never attended, there’s no time like the present to join in on the fun for the entire family! There will be the singing of Christmas carols by candlelight, Santa arriving on a fire truck for the kids, and afterwards hot cider and homemade baked goods to warm you up. Please come, join us, and take part in this lovely East Falls holiday tradition!
PS: VOLUNTEER BAKERS NEEDED! Anyone wishing to volunteer to bake their favorite cookies or pastry for this event please contact: Marie Filipponi at firstname.lastname@example.org OR Mary Jean Cunningham at email@example.com
🎉Photos from the 110th Birthday Celebration🎉
Signing the Historical Ledger
Branch Librarian, Drew Birden, Welcomes Attendees
19 Songs in 15 Minutes
Story time with Children’s Librarian, Grace Foster
Perusing Historical Maps and Photographs of East Falls
Historical Citations for Falls of Schuylkill, 110 Years (Left to right: Josh Cohen, Chief of Staff Curtis Jones Office; State Representative Tarik Khan; Sandy Thompson Free Library of Philadelphia; and Martha Fuller, President of the Friends of Falls of Schuylkill Library)
Looking for ‘your street’ on the Historical Maps of East Falls
Having Fun at the JigSaw Puzzle Table
THANK YOU to all who made the 110th Birthday Celebration a memorable occasion and a huge success!
110th Birthday Celebration Committee
Volunteer Singers: “19 Songs in 15 Minutes”
Patty Cheek, Ted Cheek, Linda Duttera, John Gillespie, Phil Hineline, Joe Leube, Eileen Lynn, Bob McClenahan, Winston Moody, Kathy Regele
Mary Jean Cunningham, Caroline Davidson, Kathi DiMenna, Marie Filipponi, Mary Flournoy, Connie Gillespie, Katy Hineline, Frankie Jueds, Ron Kanter, Rich Lampert, Naomi Leach, Joan Logan, Roger Marsh, Mimi Mather, Rich Matkowski, Nancy Pontone, Penny Scott, “La” Sripanawongsa, Joe Terry
Drew Birden (Branch Librarian), Grace Foster (Children’s Librarian), Steve Rivers, Roslyn Thomas, Lisa Myers, Nancy Harris, Charles Martin, Matthew Guy, Lil Durrance
Message from the President
by Martha Fuller, President of the Friends of Falls of Schuylkill Library
Our Friends 2023 Annual Meeting was held in October and is an event we do every fall as our Bylaws require.
We like to think of this once-a-year meeting as an hour well spent: two of our four board officers are elected. We address and vote on amendments, modifications or additions to the bylaws. There are reports about the past year from Library Staff and from Board members, and we always have a guest speaker. Our guest speaker this year was Judith Everitt, President of the Friends group of the Philadelphia City Institute, a branch of the Free Library at 19th and Locust. As a former School Librarian, she spoke to both the history of and the current state of book bans, and her presentation was informative and enlightening.
Drew’s report shared some of the events of the past year at the Falls Library which included successful programs and the new Staff people including Grace Foster, the Children’s Librarian. He also honored Mr. Rivers who is celebrating 18 years at the Falls Branch. Drew also announced Ms. Nancy Harris joining as the LEAP After School Leader! LEAP is the Literacy Enrichment Afterschool Program (LEAP) that offers K-12 out-of-school programming that fosters an inclusive, informal learning environment for children, teens, and
families, with accessible learning activities that build on life skills, Maker philosophies, and wellness concepts. Drew also spoke to his hopes for 2024.
In the Q & A following his presentation, someone asked about the new hours that the Library initiated in October which hinder a member of her family having a child there for the after school programs. This challenge has been raised by other people too. This is a city-wide Free Library change and is not just our branch. It is projected that ALL library branches will open for additional Saturday hours (ten branches were added to the Saturday hours list this month-Falls of Schuylkill was not on the list…yet.) We will get the word out as soon as we hear anything.
In the meantime, if you are unhappy about the hours changes or challenged by them, as many of you have told us you are, you can email – Joseph Nevin, the Free Library North West Cluster Initiatives Specialist at NevinJ@freelibrary.org and he will convey thoughts, feelings, opinions,
criticisms to appropriate staff of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
In the President’s Report, I talked of the wonderful things that the Friends have done this past year and how we have utilized money from member dues and our fundraising events, for example, the development and implementation of a series of Author Events/ Book Talks this Fall. Other events and programs organized by our newest Committee, the Community Outreach and Engagement Committee included regularly scheduled Community Game Nights, Film Nights, and two Fiber Arts Groups. These programs are also impacted by the change in hours, and we look forward to announcing Saturday hours down the line so as to continue all
the new programs and activities developed this year.
At the meeting, we welcomed our new Membership Committee Chair, Jenn
Northington, and expressed our gratitude to Andrea Sunderland for her 3 years in
Membership. Andrea helped us streamline our Membership process with on-line applications and payments on line, thus saving time and resources. Her artistic talents were on display with the design for the FFSL tote bag and for the children’s T-shirt designs.
In early October, we held a successful Craft Fair. As a community give-back event, we kept the application fee very low: $25 for a full-size meeting table which we supplied and $15 for a half-size table. it was a wonderful event: 19 vendors, local artisans participated in exhibiting and selling pottery, jewelry, crocheted blankets, made-with-nature art works, home made honey and jams among other unique handicrafts.
Our 110th Birthday Celebration on 11/18 (the actual birthday!) for our wonderful
Library building was held and we estimated that close to 200 folks came. It was also a “Community GiveBack” event – there were activities for children and 3 story time
presentations. The FLP sent historic maps from the collections plus maps were lent for the day from the East Falls Historical Society. Wendy Moody played the keyboard to accompany a group of singers who sang parts of “19 songs in 15 minutes from 1912-1913.”
October was a busy month for our Board members. On October 23, six of our Falls Friends’ Board colleagues met with Joseph Nevins, the new Northwest Cluster Initiative Specialist for the Free Library of Philadelphia, representatives of the Friends of the Free Library of Philadelphia, and board members from other Friends’ groups of library branches in the Northwest Cluster (Wadsworth, Roxborough, Andorra, Chestnut Hill, and Lovett libraries). Neha Pancholi (our Vice President and Advocacy Committee Chair), Jenna Musket (Chair of Community Outreach and Engagement) and I worked with Joseph to set the agenda for the
meeting which will was held in the Library Meeting Room of Falls of Schuylkill.
Drew welcomed the representatives of the groups and said that “this might be the first meeting of its kind in the Free Library system.” it was an informative and useful gathering in terms of sharing experiences, challenges and resources, and we look forward to future meetings with this group.
Please know how much we appreciate your support of the Falls Branch, the Staff and the FFSL. Contact us with any questions, ideas and feedback.
Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season!
Good reading to you!
Cloud Cuckoo Land
by Anthony Doerr
Reviewed by Lisa Myers
I am always impressed and a bit intrigued by the process an author might use to map out their characters and how they relate to each other over vastly different time periods and circumstances. Doerr does this quite well and all the characters are believable and well-developed. The book becomes a study of the human condition. Connections between the characters unfold in an unusual way which I found distracting at times yet relevant in the end. Cloud Cuckoo Land is a well-crafted read that readily checked off several “What-I-Like” boxes, namely historical fiction, conflict, connections between characters, fast paced, different time periods, science fiction, all with a surprise at the end!
Released in 2021, Cloud Cuckoo Land was on the New York Times bestseller list for over 20 weeks * A New York Times Notable Book * A National Book Award Finalist * Named a Best Book of the Year by Fresh Air, Time, Entertainment Weekly, Associated Press, and many more.
The Friends of the Falls Schuylkill Library’s Annual Holiday Tree Sale
Dec. 1, 2, 3 and Dec. 8, 9, 10
Vault & Vine, 3507 Midvale Ave.
Featuring freshly cut, long-lasting Fraser and Douglas Firs in a variety of heights. Proceeds go to the Friends to support Library programs.
Check out Vault + Vine’s extensive Inventory of holiday greens and plants. Enjoy a 10% discount on all V + V purchases (except consignment items) with the purchase of a holiday tree. Credit cards accepted by the Friends.
Fiber Arts Group
Meets EVERY Tuesday
Upstairs Main Room of Falls of Schuylkill Library
Want to connect, socially, with other creatives working on portable crafts projects? Looking to share your crafts project or project ideas with other creatives? Stop by the Library – bring a portable craft project (knitting, crocheting, hand-sewing, embroidery, jewelry, etc) that you are working on. Don’t know how, but want to learn to hand-craft from others who are passionate about their projects? Stop in and watch and learn some basics.
🎶Caroling in McMichael Park🎶
Wednesday Dec. 13
Christmas carols by candlelight, Santa arriving on the fire truck for the kids, and afterwards hot cider and homemade baked goods. A warm, community-spirited winter event!
Falls Book Club
Monday, Dec. 18
The book selection for this month will be Profiles in Ignorance by Andy Borowitz. The Falls Book Group is one of the Free Library’s longest running programs and is open to all.
Noon Year’s Eve
Friday, Dec. 29
Join us for a Noon Year’s Eve celebration on the last Friday of 2023. We will gather at 11:00 a.m. for a craft, dance party, snacks, and a countdown to NOON! We will be celebrating in the downstairs meeting room; please use the Midvale entrance through the garden.
For the whole family! A FREE event of the Falls of Schuylkill Library.
Friends of the Falls of Schuylkill Library
Martha Fuller, President
Neha Pancholi, Vice President
Terry Cunningham, Treasurer
Mary Jean Cunningham, Recording Secretary
Drew Birden, Branch Librarian, ex-officio
Join the friends!
Ensure the library remains a vital center of lifelong learning for all the members of our East Falls community.