From Philly and the Pa. suburbs to South Jersey and Delaware, what would you like WHYY News to cover? Let us know!
After being awarded a three-year, $1 million strategic planning grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Free Library of Philadelphia has recently announced two key changes to the Free Library Foundation leadership and scheduling hours at its branches.
New leadership position
In August 2023, the Free Library Foundation hired Monique Moore Pryor, Esq. as its first executive director.
Pryor, who served for five years at St. Francis College as chief engagement & external affairs officer, is a native of Philadelphia. She began the position in August, and works with Free Library Director Kelly Richards to bring new vision to the city’s libraries.
“We’re excited to continue to increase our numbers through the more hours we have and the programming that has been in existence, that will continue to really impact us in a positive way,” Richards said.
President Richards spoke of the necessity of this new role and said hiring someone of Pryor’s experience level was a good investment.
“It just became apparent to me and speaking with the board, that it was necessary to bring on an executive director, a very skilled executive director, for the financial and endowment and donor concerns to support the free library’s mission,” he said.
Pryor holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and marketing from the University of Maryland, and a Juris Doctor from Hofstra University School of Law.
Pryor is a member of community service organizations and champions causes related to education, diversity, and social justice. Pryor looks to tackle one of the many social issues that isn’t talked about often.
“We’re in partnership with the community and with leaders to heal loneliness because loneliness leads to so many other health issues,” she said. “That’s why it’s an epidemic and on the list of top killers. Whether it is a crocheting class or an after school meal program that we have at some of the libraries or providing ‘reading time’ for the parents who need an outlet, the library is there for the entire community.”