Parkwood promotes library perks

Members of the Parkwood Civic Association learned how to clean up eyesores in their community and where to go for some learning and fun last week.

Ann Hornbach, of the Torresdale Branch Library, and Lt. Joseph Waters of the Philadelphia police Neighborhood Services Unit were two of the guest speakers during the civic group’s monthly meeting on May 18.

Hornbach, the library’s manager, said that Parkwood residents are always welcome to visit the Torresdale Branch at 3079 Holme Ave., although they may prefer to use the Katharine Drexel Branch at 11099 Knights Road for convenience. Either way, the libraries have a lot to offer.

Membership is free. Those who sign up get a scanner card or key tag. Cardholders gain access to the full array of books, movies and audio recordings in the library’s holdings. They also gain access to digital media including ebooks, streaming music, streaming movies and databases full of news publications and journals. Unlike with conventional books, videos and recordings, users don’t physically carry digital media from the library. Rather, they access data via their electronic devices for a prescribed period of time. At the end of the period, access expires. That way, there’s nothing to return and no late fee.

Digital media are available at all Free Library branches, Hornbach said. At Torresdale specifically, the library is embarking on its Summer of Wonder reading program for youths, as well as a new adult summer reading program. The adult program will kick off on June 13 at 2 p.m. with a tea party and giveaways. Participants will accrue tickets for a season-end raffle.

On July 8, from noon to 3 p.m., the registered participants of the children’s reading program will be eligible for a free bowling party at Thunderbird Lanes.

Throughout the year, Torresdale Branch offers other parties including a Santa Claus visit, Easter Bunny visit, haunted house and Irish dancing. About a year ago, the branch launched an innovative reading program for children with autism called Sensory Story Time.

For adults, particularly older folks, who want to learn more about modern technology devices, the library has a digital resource specialist available Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and sometimes Saturdays, although the library will be closed on Saturdays during the summer. Call 215–685–0494 for information.

Volunteer opportunities are always available at libraries though their friends groups. Linda Colwell-Smith is the president of friends groups at both Torresdale and Katharine Drexel. She can be reached through the phone number at Torresdale or 215–685–9383 at Drexel.

Waters, the Neighborhood Services supervisor, said he was assigned to the unit about two months ago and has been working on complaints ranging from abandoned cars to illegal dumping. A car is considered “abandoned” if it is parked in a street, driveway or property with an expired registration, expired inspection, flat tire, body damage with sharp edges, broken glass or missing body parts. Or the vehicle may be inoperable. A car isn’t necessarily “abandoned” even if it is stationary for a long period of time or is parked illegally.

Generally, police handle complaints of abandoned cars on public property or streets, while the Community Life Improvement Program (CLIP) takes complaints about abandoned cars on private property. All abandoned cars should be reported by calling 311 and responding to the operator’s questions.

Illegal dumping can also be reported via 311. Witnesses may call 911 if the dumping is in progress. Witnesses can help bring the dumpers to justice by writing down or photographing the license tag and, if applicable, the business placard on the offender’s vehicle. Witnesses should never confront or engage a suspected dumper, Waters said.

In other community news:

• Parkwood Civic President Marge Philippi said that the Delaware Valley Veterans Home, at 2701 Southampton Road, will host an American flag retirement ceremony on June 11 at 10 a.m. Residents with damaged or worn flags may bring them to the event for proper burning.

• Those wishing to help out Monday morning community clean-ups at Academy and Torrey roads should call 215–632–3090. The Friends of Poquessing Watershed will organize their monthly cleanup at the same location on June 11.

• Will Patterson, an aide to state Rep. Martina White, said that her office has been in touch with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation about mowing overgrown grass on traffic islands along Academy Road, Knights Road, Woodhaven Road and Roosevelt Boulevard. PennDOT has been trying to catch up with mowing despite recent rain, Patterson said. ••