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More on Lawsuit to Keep Libraries Open

More on that lawsuit to keep the libraries open. Attorney Irv Ackelsberg is filing the suit and plaintiffs will includes students and parents who rely on the branches.

Here's the press release. Also, public relations guy Bob Bedard, who's organizing press for the event, is volunteering for this project, according to the Inquirer.

Class Action Lawsuit Planned by Attorney Irv Ackelsberg as Support for Coalition to Save Public Libraries Grows.

Clergy, Labor, Preservationists, Students join fight.

For Immediate Release

AM, Thursday, December 18, 2008

PRESS CONFERENCE Today, Thursday, December 18, 2008, 2:30 PM.


Attorney Irv Ackelsberg and others will hold a press conference today, Thursday, 12.19.08, to announce their intention to file a Class Action Law Suit to enjoin Mayor Nutter and the City of Philadelphia from closing eleven library branches.

The Press Conference will be held at 2:30 PM at the Logan Branch of the Free Library which is located at 1333 Wagner Avenue. (Wagner Ave. & Old York Rd.)

President of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia, Pastor Ellis Washington, will announce plans the Clergy are implementing to aid the Coalition’s efforts to keep the Public Libraries Open.

Members of organized labor, including AFSCME District Council 47 President Cathy Scott, will announce labor’s activities in support of the Coalition.

Officers of the Preservation Alliance For Greater Philadelphia will speak at the press conference and announce their plans to further support the Coalition.

The basis of Ackelsberg’s legal challenge is that the Mayor’s action is violating Philadelphia Code 16-203, which expressly prohibits the closure and abandonment of City buildings without the approval of City Council. The lawsuit would allege that the Mayor is without proper legal authority to unilaterally close and abandon the eleven libraries.

The site for the press conference is the Logan Branch, one of the four branches designated for closure, that was built with funds donated by Andrew Carnegie for the purpose of building Free Library of Philadelphia branches. The building itself was erected (1917–1918) on land donated by another philanthropist, Mrs. Philip Garrett.

Many of the plaintiffs to the lawsuit will be in attendance including ninth grade student Tiara Fuller. Tiara’s prepared remarks will be distributed at the press conference. Two other plaintiffs, home-schooling parents, who are uniquely reliant on their community library branches, will express their concern and fear of a mid-year interference with their children’s education.

Ackelsberg is a member of the law firm of Langer Grogan & Diver P.C.