I am thrilled to be participating in a conversation with citizens from across our city as part of the incredible On the Table Philly initiative. This program connecting individuals and communities is a great opportunity to open hearts and minds. The Free Library prides itself on being a place for open conversations and civic dialogue, and I’m pleased to represent the Library in this event that so clearly meshes with our mission and values. Our 54 libraries are safe havens and welcoming and inclusive public spaces, and we strongly believe in promoting understanding and community engagement. Individuals of all ages and backgrounds can find homework help, ESL classes, supportive job search assistance, and much more at our libraries. We encourage and host conversations about differences and complex social issues. A truly democratic organization that touches every corner of Philadelphia, the Free Library always provides a “seat at the table” for people of all backgrounds, and we’re pleased to continue that tradition with this bold and interesting new initiative. And as we are no stranger to bringing people together over food—as we have been doing since 2014 in our Culinary Literacy Center—we are thrilled to welcome Philadelphians to share a meal inside our doors.

Siobhan A. Reardon
President and Director
Free Library of Philadelphia