Monday, March 28, 2016

Remembering Elliot L. Shelkrot, Philadelphia Visionary

From the Free Library of Philadelphia:

"The team at The Free Library of Philadelphia was deeply saddened to hear of the passing (on March 21) of the library's former president and director Elliot L. Shelkrot. Elliot was a wonderful and dynamic individual who we were all lucky to call both a leader and a friend.

"Elliot served as the Pennsylvania State Librarian from 1980–1987. He took over the helm of the Free Library from 1987–2007, and under his guidance the institution took great strides forward. He will long be remembered for launching our renowned Author Events Series program; greatly enhancing our programs and services for children; undertaking the massive Changing Lives campaign, during which all neighborhood libraries were renovated and modernized; and overseeing the installation of computers and Wi-Fi at every library location in the city.

"Elliot then embarked on a major transformational plan to renovate and expand the Parkway Central Library—the hub of the Free Library system—into a dynamic center of urban life. Always interested in the latest technology and how it could guide customers to information, he oversaw the creation of a new website, which today, as, is our largest “branch,” receiving more 145 million visits monthly.

"Elliot’s legacy of hard work, innovation, and compassion will never be forgotten. His former staff and colleagues, as well as our very supportive boards, remain grateful for his passion and commitment. He will be sorely missed, and our thoughts and prayers go out to all of his friends, family, and loved ones."

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