- 1 2021 LFI cohorts 3 and 4 meeting
- 1.1 Intro
- 1.2 Please read and abide by our community documents
- 1.3 Weekend details at a glance
- 1.4 Agenda and ideas of things to do together
- 1.5 Notes
- 1.6 Things to know before your arrival in Philly
- 1.7 Venue
- 1.8 Hotel
- 1.9 Group dinner
- 1.10 Who
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
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
|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|
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.
White Dog Cafe, 3420 Sansom Street. We have a private dining room on the first floor.
- 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
- Local site with event info: https://www.westphillylocal.com/
|Name||Type of activity||Website/location||Things to know|
|Spruce Hill Bird Sanctuary||Nature||https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/spruce-hill-bird-sanctuary||Really special place!!!|
|Clark Park||Park||43rd and Baltimore||Big park with lots of things happening|
|Malcolm X Park||Park||51st and Pine||Big park a little further west, a bit smaller than Clark Park|
|Bartram's Gardens||Nature/park||https://www.bartramsgarden.org/||Big nature space in West Philly!!|
|Mt. Moriah Cemetery||Park||overgrown and somewhat abandoned cemetery which is also really cool|
|Fairmount Park||Nature/Park||https://www.visitphilly.com/things-to-do/attractions/fairmount-park/||huge forest park with trails|
|Paul Robeson House||History/Cultural activities||https://www.paulrobesonhouse.org/|
|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|
|Making Worlds bookstore||Bookstore||nice independent/radical bookstore in the neighborhood|
|Espo "Love Letter" murals||Art||https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/love-letter-murals||Ride the el westbound and you can see a bunch of them :)|
|Walk around and look at the pretty houses and gardens||idk||West Philly is a beautiful neighborhood!|
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||Park||very social park, even though it's in one of the richest neighborhoods, park life is chill and diverse and there's lots of food around|
|Mutter Museum||Culture||http://muttermuseum.org/||very worth seeing this museum of medical weirdness|
|The Rosenbach||Culture||https://rosenbach.org/||small museum/library in a pretty neighborhood with literary collections including James Joyce and Maurice Sendak|
|Philadelphia Museum of Art (and the Rocky statue)||Art||https://philamuseum.org/|
|The Barnes||Art||https://www.barnesfoundation.org/||huge collection of modern European paintings eg Cezanne, Renoir, Picasso, Modigliani|
|"The Dream Garden"||Art||https://www.associationforpublicart.org/artwork/the-dream-garden/||Maxfield Parrish mosaic of Tiffany glass. it's gorgeous. definitely go see it if you find yourself in Old City.|
|Eastern State Penitentiary|
|Colonial Philadelphia historic things||Culture||there's a bunch of stuff all over Old City|
|Walk around center city and look at the old houses and teeny side streets||idk|
|City Hall||https://www.easternstate.org/||it's the world's largest masonry building if you're into that sorta thing! it's pretty|
|Reading Terminal Market||Food||https://readingterminalmarket.org/||has the distinction of being one of the only touristy places that locals also frequent. I love the Reading Terminal, I've been going there since I was a baby.|
|Giovanni's Room||Bookstore||legendary LGBTQ book store right in the Gayborhood|
|Oscar's||Bar||just a great dive bar|
|Wooden Shoe Books||Bookstore||radical book store on South Street|
|Tattooed Mom's||Bar||great bar on South Street to go to after you go to Wooden Shoe|
|Uncle Bobbie's||Bookstore||Black-owned bookstore in Germantown with lots of events|
|Harriet's Bookstore||Bookstore||Black-owned bookstore in Fishtown|
|Italian Market||https://www.italianmarketphilly.org/||also just a special weird place in Philly|
|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?
|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!|
|Nicole||They/them/she/her||Chalfont, PA||4||Friday/Sunday||Yes :)|