Donor gives $205,000 to Philadelphia school library

PHILADELPHIA - October 15, 2013

Now, students at Philadelphia's Central High School are celebrating the return of the Barnwell Library.

That also includes the return of beloved librarian Loretta Burton.

"I am just elated to be back. The kids are just wonderful here and I missed them terribly," she said.

Until now, the library had been closed most days of the school week after the Philadelphia School District made budget cuts.

That was until a $205,000 donation was made to fund the opening of libraries at both Central and Masterman High School.

The donor's identity remains unknown.

"I'm curious, just like everyone else is. They did not tell me, I don't have any inside information. But I did ask the question, I'll be honest," said Central High School President Tim McKenna.

The library has been keeping track of how many students use the facility during the school year and they're only up to 10,900. Now that it's open full-time, they estimate that at least 1/3 of the student body will use the library on any given day.

Senior Courtney Billig hopes to go to UCLA and plans to be in the library a lot.

"It was just kind of defeating that we couldn't use our library. Our alumni put so much money into it. We had all these computers and people came to school like 'How do I print, how do I get this essay?" she said.

The alumni of Central donated $4.5 million to renovate Barnwell Library just eight years ago. They say they are glad to see the library be put to good use.

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