Dear Friends,

We are all daily inundated with news of the spread of coronavirus and efforts by our local, state, and national authorities to contain it as quickly as possible. At The Athenaeum of Philadelphia, we are thinking about each and every one of you and wishing each of you safety, health, and a good measure of sanity, hope, and humor to navigate these days. 

The Athenaeum remains closed until cultural institutions and businesses are given the thumbs up to reopen. We imagine that this will be a longer period than any of us initially envisioned. But the health and well-being of our local and global community is so very precious. 

While we are closed, our staff continues to work on your behalf. We are seeking ways to remain connected and engaged with you. As part of that effort, we will be sending you weekly email “brain treats” beginning on Monday, March 23. These emails will include stories about special items in our collections, suggested podcasts, readings, and recipes, and other items we hope you will find of interest. If you know someone who would appreciate receiving these emails (or a member who is not currently on our email list), send them this link [] so they can sign up on our mailing list.

All due dates have been extended through the middle of May. Do not be concerned about your books being returned based on the due date you were originally given.

Furthermore, our librarian, Jill LeMin Lee, continues to add to our e-Book collection , and Lois Reibach is happy to help you download e-Books to your device. Email for help! She can get you set up with a library card if you do not have one already.

New e-Books to consider:

A Delayed Life by Dita Kraus
Charlesgate Confidential by Scott Von Doviak
My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
Night Train to Murder by Simon R. Green
Pale Horse, Pale Rider by Katherine Anne Porter
The Absolution by Yrsa Sigurdardottir
The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante; translated by Ann Goldstein
The Eighth Girl by Maxine Mei-Fung Chung
The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson
The Lady of the Lake by Peter Guttridge
The Lost Family by Libby Copeland
Voyage of Mercy by Stephen Puleo
You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

The Athenaeum of Philadelphia is committed to caring for our staff as we care for each of our members and friends. Staff continues to work from home as they are able, and will continue to receive their salary and benefits throughout this crisis. We are in regular conversation with each other to encourage and support one another. We are grateful for your care and concern as well.

We are also grateful to each of you who have paid your dues and/or made an extra contribution to the Athenaeum during this time, whether you are a Shareholder, a Subscriber, or a Young Friend. Your commitment to your membership and to the ongoing sustainability of the Athenaeum for the long-haul means so much to each of us who commit our days to serving you and the Athenaeum. 

As always, please don’t hesitate to email me with thoughts, ideas, or concerns. I am still here for you even if from a distance and thankful for the opportunity to serve you as the executive director of The Athenaeum of Philadelphia – a home of wonder, discovery, engagement, and lifelong learning.

Wishing you health, safety, and sanity,

Beth Hessel