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Hands reaching out for support

The Free Library of Philadelphia Free Library of Philadelphia is one of the larger TechSoup for Libraries members. It is located in the city where the first lending library in the U.S. was started in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin. It is now the 13th-largest public library system in the United States, hosting nearly 6 million patrons in person and 10 million more online each year. The library has an astonishing roster of programs and services.

The Free Library of Philadelphia has gotten many Adobe product donations for applications like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Acrobat, which the library uses to create outreach materials. They also use them in their Maker Jawn STEM Program. These are media labs in multiple locations to encourage kids, teens, and adults to use tech tools and everyday materials creatively for self-directed projects.

The McPherson Square branch recently became one of the library's most talked-about locations thanks to stories about its employees' lifesaving work in the heart of a drug-infested part of the city. They have been featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer, NPR, CNN, and American Libraries, among many others.

The Worst Drug Crisis in American History

This year, the New York Times declared the opioid epidemic to be the worst drug crisis in American history. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (PDF), the opioid crisis has been mounting since the late 1990s. Overdose deaths from prescription drugs like OxyContin, fentanyl, and heroin have now reached epidemic levels. Deaths from opioid overdoses nationally now exceed deaths from auto accidents or guns. The opioid epidemic killed more than 33,000 people in 2015 alone. Philadelphia is one of many cities hard hit by the epidemic, especially the neighborhoods in north Philly.

Judi Moore