Philly judge: Libraries to stay open

January 5, 2009 12:20:09 PM PST
A Philadelphia judge has refused to rescind her decision ordering the city to keep 11 library branches open. The libraries had been slated for closure on Dec. 31 due to budget cuts. But Common Pleas Court Judge Idee Fox ruled last week that the branches must remain open.

She issued a written decision codifying the ruling on Monday, despite last-minute arguments from City Solicitor Shelley Smith.

Fox cited a 1988 ordinance requiring City Council approval to close any city-owned building. She also noted that land under two branch sites would revert to its original owners if libraries stopped operating there.

Mayor Michael Nutter plans to appeal. He says all 54 libraries will now operate on reduced schedules.

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