Protesters gather outside home of library chairwoman, demand change

PHOTO: Terrance Tazwell / @trippletshots 

On Monday morning, demonstrators gathered at the home of Pamela Dembe, Chair of the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Board of Trustees, to demand she step down from her role within the city’s library system. Claiming that Dembe has portrayed racist language and behavior, protest organizers are calling on Mayor Jim Kenney to remove her from her current position. 

The demonstration is the latest in an ongoing fight against institutional racism that many workers say have plagued the library system for years. Former President and Director of the Free Library of Philadelphia Siobhan Reardon, who led the library for more than a decade, resigned on July 23. Many workers are now calling on Dembe to do the same. 

“As my fellow workers pointed out, we don’t want a Siobhan 2.0,” said library worker Perry Genovesi during Monday’s protest. “We’re trying to build an anti-racist library.” 

Demonstrators chanted “What do we want? Dembe gone. When do we want it? Now.” 

Dembe said she has no plans to resign.  


ALL IMAGES: Terrance Tazwell / @trippletshots