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===== Group dinner =====
===== Group dinner =====
White Dog Cafe, TBD. The private rooms might be down a flight of stairs, but I am currently working on this and will update with accessibility info.  
White Dog Cafe, 3420 Sansom Street. We have a private dining room on the first floor.  
====== Transit locally ======
====== Transit locally ======

Revision as of 18:26, 16 July 2021

2021 LFI cohorts 3 and 4 meeting


This is an in-person weekend meeting for members of Library Freedom Project who completed Library Freedom Institute cohort 3 or 4. We'll meet in Philadelphia, August 6-8 2021 to learn and build relationships with one another.

Please read and abide by our community documents
Code of Conduct
Community Agreements

Community agreements help create a space where everyone feels comfortable learning and teaching. We will decide on our community agreements together in person, but here are the community agreements we've used in past meetings.

  • One Mic - Don’t talk over folks.
  • Step up/step back - If you’re usually loud, consider listening. If you’re usually quiet, consider speaking more!
  • Oops/ouch - If you make a mistake or say something bad, it’s OK. Acknowledge the error, think about it, and move forward. We all make mistakes, but we only learn when we give feedback. As a corollary, if someone does something that hurts your feelings or is problematic/rude/etc., let them know immediately so they can apologize and learn. Don’t let something fester.
  • Try it on - You may think you have a strong reaction and fixed position, so try to push yourself to consider someone else’s perspective.
  • Make commitments - Don’t let something sit in the ether. If you propose to do something, bottom line it.
  • Land the plane - Have a point and make it.
Weekend details at a glance
Date Time What's happening
August 6 all day/everyone arrives possible group activities in the daytime; social stuff in the evening (ideas to come)
August 7 10-4 at Sheraton meeting room daytime meeting things;possible group dinner, details to come; social stuff in the evening
August 8 10-3:30 at Sheraton meeting room
Agenda and ideas of things to do together
Things to know before your arrival in Philly
Transit from airport
  • Getting from the Philly airport to West Philly is extremely easy! There is an airport train that runs frequently: https://www.septa.org/welcome/airport.html. Tickets are $8; buy your ticket on the platform before you get on the train and save the receipt! If the train is arriving when you're getting to the platform and you need to run to catch it, be aware that it's cash only on the train! You'll want to take the train to 30th Street Station. It's a 15 minute walk from the station to the hotel.
  • If you're arriving via Amtrak, you're getting into 30th Street Station too. It's a 15 minute walk from the station to the hotel.
  • If you need to take a taxi or rideshare from the airport, that is okay, just let Alison know first so that we can budget. Also, it would be great to coordinate with other people who are arriving at the same time.

Sheraton University City meeting room: I had to switch our venue from Calvary Church to this because Calvary doesn't have air conditioning and it's gonna be super hot.


Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel 3549 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (room assignments to come). Elevator accessible, no stairs to climb at all as far as I know.

Group dinner

White Dog Cafe, 3420 Sansom Street. We have a private dining room on the first floor.

Transit locally
  • All of our "official" locations - hotel, venue, and dinner - are accessible by multiple forms of public transit.
  • Public transit: SEPTA is our transit system here and you can get pretty good info about scheduling via whatever your preferred transit app is (also there's a SEPTA app if you want to download that). SEPTA rides are $2.50 each way; you can pay with cash or you can get daily passes in stations where there are ticket machines. You can also buy a SEPTA keycard for $5 and add money to it; with a keycard, fares are $2 and transfers are $1, so if you're planning to stick around in Philly and take transit a lot, it might be worth it.
  • The best way to take SEPTA from the hotel to the venue is via the 34 trolley. Get on at the station at 36th and Market (I think there is an elevator at this station, which is underground) and take it to 48th and Baltimore (it will leave you off above ground). Trolleys are unfortunately not accessible; you have to walk up a couple of steps to get on and down a couple of steps to get off (buses are abundant and accessible). When you are exiting the trolley from the back door, you have to step down onto the steps for the trolley doors to open.
  • Parking: Street parking is all metered or permits. The Sheraton has a parking garage for people staying in the hotel and I believe it's $35 for 24 hours. This is probably the best price you'll get if staying at the hotel; there are parking garages in the neighborhood if you are driving but not staying at the hotel. Save your receipts!
  • Bikes: You can rent bikes from Indego: https://www.rideindego.com/ and there are docking stations all over the place. The closest to the hotel is at 36th and Sansom; the closest to the venue is at 45th and Baltimore. Stay safe people!! It's safer to bike here than for example NYC, but it's still a big city with cars that go too fast. Especially watch out for trolley tracks while biking; they will fuck your shit up. If you plan to bike I'll share more tips about where is safest!
  • West Philly: There is lots of amazing food in West Philly, and Baltimore Ave (where our venue is) has many different options. My personal favorites around the neighborhood include Vientiene Cafe, Vietnamese hoagies from Fu Wah, Chili Garden, Abyssinia, and Saad's Halal. The hotel is basically on Penn's campus, and there are tons of "fast casual" type places and chain restaurants, plus lots of amazing food carts (cash only). There are many Ethiopian restaurants in West Philly (my favorite is Abyssinia but they are all pretty good). There is vegan food at all of these places (I personally recommend the falafel at Saad's).
  • Coffee and breakfast places: My two favorite West Philly coffee places are Knockbox Cafe and Satellite Cafe. If you like light roast fancypants coffee, people here like Reanimator for that. Most of our coffee places have bagels and pastries and other small food things. If you want for real breakfast, go to Sabrina's Cafe (give yourself time here), Renata's, or Gold Standard Cafe.
  • Vegan food outside of West Philly: TBD but just so yall know we have TONS OF IT
  • Cheesesteaks outside of West Philly: TBD but I know you want one. There are vegan cheesesteaks too of course!
  • Some of Alison's fave food places outside of West Philly: TBD
About West Philly

West Philly is a really special place. For decades, it's been the home of artists, hippies, radicals, families, communes, anarchists, immigrants, punks, musicians, and more -- the heart of the counterculture of Philadelphia. Once upon a time, it was the fancy streetcar suburb for the urban gentry, which is why we have so many enormous and beautiful Victoria houses. We have a strong sense of community here, along with frequent community events and block parties and such (closer to the date, I'll add some of these events). Lots of these activities happen in one of our two big parks: Clark Park (the bigger of two) and Malcolm X Park; there's also a lot of tinier ones scattered here and there.

It's not all utopia here of course; the forces of gentrification have been changing the landscape of the neighborhood for a long time, and more radically in the last 10-15 years. The University of Pennsylvania is one of the biggest drivers of this, but there are numerous forces at work including real estate speculation and local political corruption. What this looks like is the Black and Brown community members (the majority of West Philly) have been pushed further west, southwest, and north, while the tree-lined streets closer to Penn have become whiter and richer.

One of the most notorious and horrifying things to ever happen in Philadelphia happened here in West Philly in 1985; when the city of Philadelphia dropped a bomb on the home of the Black radical group MOVE, killing 11 people (including 5 children) and destroying dozens of homes in the neighborhood https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOVE. Sadly there has never been any accountability or repair to the MOVE family or any of the hundreds of people who lost their homes in the fire, and the city and the University of Pennsylvania continue to cause harm, most recently with the revelation that both have kept MOVE victim remains without the family's knowledge: https://whyy.org/articles/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-desecration-of-move-bombing-victims-remains/. For more on the MOVE bombing, I highly recommend the film "Let the Fire Burn".

It means so much to me that we get to have this meeting in West Philly, my home. I'll add more here later about our local culture and things to do. I can't wait to welcome you all!

Things to do in West Philly
Name Type of activity Website Things to know
Spruce Hill Bird Sanctuary Nature https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/spruce-hill-bird-sanctuary
Clark Park Nature/Park
Malcolm X Park Park
Bartram's Gardens Nature
Woodlands Cemetery Nature/Park
Mt. Moriah Cemetery Nature/Park overgrown and somewhat abandoned cemetery which is also really cool
Fairmount Park Nature/Park huge forest park with trails
Paul Robeson House History/Cultural activities
Dahlak Bar drinks and Ethiopian food, great outdoor space for hanging
Pentridge Station Bar very large outdoor beer garden; would be nice for a large group hang
Institute of Contemporary Art Art
Making Worlds bookstore Bookstore
Espo murals Art
Walk around and look at the pretty houses idk
Things to do in the rest of Philly
  • Alison note to add cool neighborhoods where theres lots of stuff to walk around and do
Name Type of activity Website Things to know
Rittenhouse Square Park
Mutter Museum
Rosenbach Museum
Philadelphia Museum of Art (and the Rocky statue)
The Barnes
"The Dream Garden"
The Wagner Institute
Eastern State Penitentiary
Colonial Philadelphia historic things ranked by a local
Walk around center city and look at the old houses and teeny side streets
City Hall
Reading Terminal Market
Race and Cherry Street Piers
Giovanni's Room Bookstore
Oscar's Bar
Wooden Shoe Books Bookstore
Tattooed Mom's Bar
Uncle Bobbie's Bookstore
Harriet's Bookstore Bookstore
Avenue of the Roots
Shane Confectionery Candy Store https://shanecandies.com/ America's Oldest Candy Shop

August is hot and sticky here! It will be HUMID. Stay hydrated! Wear sunscreen! All of our stuff will be in air conditioning. Hottest part of the day is around 3-5 pm.


It's a big city and crime is definitely a thing. If you're out late I recommend having a buddy or two; walking down Baltimore Ave is usually a good bet because there are more people around and it's well-lit. I can recommend places to go out late that are in highly populated areas that are easily to get to from public transit. All that said, I have personally never had any issues in all my years here; however friends of mine have certainly gotten robbed in the park or on the street. Exercise the amount of caution you would in any big city!

Other local resources

Add yourself to this table if you want folks to know you're coming!

Name Pronouns Location Cohort Library When do you arrive/leave (if you want to get specific so people can make plans with you) Group dinner on Saturday night?

Alison she/her Philly never yes
Shelley They/them -or- She/her Philly 4 Free Library of Philadelphia I live here Yes
Mack he/him Atlanta 3 Georgia Institute of Technology Friday/Sunday absolutely
Kimberly she/her/y'all NYC 4 Columbia University Libraries Friday/Sunday Yes
Holly she/her Oregon 3 Jackson County Library Services Thurs or Fri (would carpool with anyone coming thru the Hudson Valley!)/Monday Yes
Michelle she/her DC Metro Area Cohort 4 Alexandria Library Fri 1pm / Sun 4:30pm Yes
Megan She/Her Bay Area, CA 4 Burlingame Public Library Fri 5:30 / Sun 5:50 Yes, if my flight arrives in time.
Sam L. she/her NE Connecticut 4 Enfield Public Library Fri/Sun yes
Frans he/him Brooklyn, NY 3 Brooklyn College, CUNY Friday - Sunday Yes
Abby she/her Bismarck, ND 4 North Dakota State Library Friday 2:30pm; Sunday 3:40pm Yes!!
Sam they/them Iowa City, IA 3 Iowa City Public Library Thursday 1:00pm; Monday 2:30pm Yes please!
Frank he/him Stamford, CT 4 Ferguson Library (Not the one in MO) Friday Morning/Early afternoon; Sunday Late afternoon/Early evening Absolutely and enthusiastically yes!
Marisa she/her Springfield MA Cohort 3 Springfield City Library Friday 11:00am-Sunday 2:00pm Heck yes!
Sam B. they/them Vancouver, WA Cohort 4 Washington State University Vancouver Fri 10pm - Sun 6pm Yesssss!
Chris he/him Boston, MA Cohort 4 Boston Public Library Wed 5-6 pm and leaving the following Thursday yes!
Kim B she/her Boston, MA Cohort 4 Simmons University Fri morning thru Sunday afternoon yes
Heather Meyer-Boothby She/Her Cedar Rapids, IA Cohort 3 Cedar Rapids Public Library Friday 9PM leaving Monday 6 AM Yes
Athanasia (Athy) Fitos she/her Miami, FL Cohort 3 Miami-Dade Public Library System Friday 9am to Sunday 5pm yes, please!
Maria Rios She/her or they/them Western MA Cohort 4 UMass Amherst Friday morning to Sunday afternoon YES, please!
Howard Besser he/him Berkeley, CA adminiistration New York University Thurs late night to Monday noon YES, please!
Jodi J she/her or they/them Anchorage, AK 4 Alaska Library Network Friday afternoon - Sunday early evening Yes!
Jenn She/her CT 4 Northborough MA Friday afternoon- Sunday evening Yes
Eliza she Ithaca NY 3 Cornell University Library Fri afternoon - Sun afternoon YES
ariel she/her or they/them los angeles 4 cal poly pomona fri 5:30PM ~ sun 6:40PM yes
Marisol She/her/hers/ella Vancouver, WA Cohort 4 Clark College Friday afternoon/Sunday late afternoon yes
Chloe She/her/hers Sacramento, CA Cohort 4 Sacramento Public Library Late Friday night - Sunday late afternoon yes
Camille She/her Oakland, CA Cohort 4 Oakland Public Library Friday evening - Sunday early evening yes
Eva she/her Los Angeles, CA Cohort 4 Mt. San Antonio College Friday afternoon - Sunday afternoon yes
Danielle She/her/hers Raleigh, NC Cohort 4 North Carolina Central University Friday/Sunday Yes
Alex she/her Boston 3 State Library of Massachusetts 1:15pm Friday / leave 2PM Sunday yes
Deborah she/her Greensboro, NC 4 UNC Greensboro 1PM Fri / 7PM Sun yes!