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Nutter: Judge's Library Ruling Could Hurt "Knowledge Center" Plans

Mayor Nutter said today that the court ruling to keep 11 libraries open could damage his plans to lease the buildings to private or non-profit operators.

"This really runs the risk of significantly hampering our efforts to get the reuse plans in order," Nutter said, noting that the ruling has "caused confusion with potential funders."

On Monday Nutter announced plans to lease the 11 libraries -- which are slated for closure due to budget cuts -- to private foundations, non-profits or community groups, who would run them as "knowledge centers." But yesterday Court of Common Pleas Judge Idee Fox ruled that Nutter could not close the branches without first getting City Council approval.

Nutter said he has already "received a number of very concerned calls," from people interested in leasing the branches. The city had identified organizations to run five of the branches.

The city plans to appeal the ruling.