Philadelphia, Pa. March 17, 1997 The Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP) announced today that it was the beneficiary of a $650,000 donation of software from the Microsoft Corporation as part of the companys national program called "Libraries Online!" The software will be used to outfit computers in branch libraries throughout the city.
Mayor Edward G. Rendell joined Free Library President Elliot L. Shelkrot in accepting the donation from Microsoft executive Jeff Raikes at the Ramonita G. deRodriguez branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, along with invited guests and students from nearby St. Peter the Apostle school.
"This is a terrific day for library users all over Philadelphia," stated Mayor Rendell. "And I want to thank Microsoft for believing in our vision for this city and for our neighborhoods. This donation will be a major step forward in securing needed software for all branch libraries."
The Free Library of Philadelphia presently offers public access computers with Internet connection in nine branch libraries. Forty-three additional libraries will be equipped with this technology over the next three years.
"This donation will provide a tremendous resource to our patrons and staff," said Shelkrot. "The Free Library of Philadelphia has been in the business of providing access to information for 106 years. These new tools will enable Philadelphians to have significantly expanded resources available to them in multimedia titles and other software programs from our libraries.
"Electronic materials enhance our existing resources and are critical to the library of the 21st century. Microsoft is helping us get there with resources we need and want," stated Shelkrot.
"Microsoft is really pleased we could partner with the Free Library of Philadelphia in this project," stated Jeff Raikes. "Over the last year, we have worked with libraries throughout the U.S., particularly ones serving people with limited access to computers. We have seen all sorts of people throughout the community benefit from access to a world of technology and information that simply was unavailable to them before. I know well see great things from the people of Philadelphia as they take advantage of these new resources."
Raikes serves as Group Vice President for Microsofts sales and marketing efforts in North America.
Libraries Online! is a project of the Microsoft Corporation in cooperation with the American Library Association and the Technology Resource Institute. The project, which was begun in 1995, provides financial grants and software from Microsoft to libraries in economically disadvantaged rural and urban communities. Presently, Libraries Online! works with 42 library systems in the U.S. and Canada, and has provided resources to over 215 branches.
Fifteen libraries will receive the software over the next six months: Cecil B. Moore, Logan, Paschalville, Queen Memorial, Rodriguez, Richmond, Wadsworth, Welch Road, Ogontz, Frankford, Lehigh, Kensington, Walnut Street West, Greater Olney and Cobbs Creek. The remaining libraries will receive the software as major renovations are completed. Microsofts software donation will be made over the three years of the project.
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