Tag Archives: Greater Olney Branch

If you live in/around/about Olney

It took me a while to notice that the little boy was following me around. It was a Saturday morning. I was tutoring a fourth grader at Olney Library. We were reading a book in the Arthur series. She was struggling. In the middle of a page, she stopped at a word. A little voice piped in behind our heads. “Realize,” he said. “It’s ‘realize.’”

We were polite. We thanked him. He never left. Even after I explained to him that I was working and that it would be better if the girl learned to read on her own. He sat at the table next to us, pulled out his backpack and began some schoolwork, all the while never taking his eyes off us.

I grew irritated. Other students came. And went. He remained seated.

Finally, after the last student left, thirty minutes before the library was to close, he came over. “Can you help me with my homework?” I sighed. I was tired. It was a Saturday. Outside the sun was shining. I had done my share of teaching. “Why don’t you ask your parents for help?” I asked him. “They don’t speak English, ” he said. Continue reading


Community Meeting at the Olney Library

If you support Olney, come to this meeting.  Thanks to Barbara Bishop from the Korean Community Development Services Center’s 5th Street Revitalization Project.



6:30 – 7:45pm



On March 27, 2009 Jan Kalaminsky, the head librarian at the Greater Olney Branch of the Free Library, died suddenly. In addition to the loss of a wonderful helpful person our branch is also placed in a precarious position. Because of the city’s budget shortfall there is a hiring freeze currently in place so this position will not be filled during the current budget year. When the new budget is approved and takes effect July 1, 2009, we do not know what will be funded for the libraries. Continue reading



Okay, so you all know a couple of weeks ago the librarian at my local library passed away unexpectedly.

Yesterday I received an email from a friend of hers who said the following:

“The four indoor cats pictured are in need of homes singly or in pairs or as a bunch. Two are long haired, one is predominantly white with patches, the other a tabby. Then there’s Charlie, he is a ginger colored striped cat with short hair. I have not actually seen the fourth, yesterday the third came out of hiding briefly.The youngest is Hermione and I think she showed up as a stray in 2001. All have claws I think. They are sweet and loving and right now they are lonely buckaroos.”

For more information, email me at phillygrrls@gmail.com.

Death Be Not Proud


It’s always a little strange when someone dies and you knew them well enough to be upset enough to want to cry, but not well enough to physically let the tears cleanse the hurt. You mourn them, quietly. Your heart hurts a little, but you’re not sure why. Then you remember. There’s one less great person in the world.

The head librarian at the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Greater Olney branch – Ms. Jan Kalaminsky died this past Friday. Sixty three days shy of retirement. She’d been a librarian for 38 years.

I feel awful. Awful because she was a great librarian and a great person and she will be missed. But also awful in a selfish way. You see, she was a librarian that I never got to know. Continue reading

Mayor Nutter Visits Phillygrrl


I wish. But no, really, I did get to finally meet him today. Turns out the Mayor was visiting businesses on Olney‘s Fifth Street and decided to visit the Greater Olney Library. Sigh, had to be the one day I looked a hot mess. Oh well, I did get a couple of photographs, but let’s face it, I really need to work at my paparazzi skills. Here’s a quick vid of our lovely and talented children’s librarian explaining the importance of this library to the Mayor, especially the more than sixty ethnicities it caters to. Continue reading