Camden's Public Library System to Shut its Doors

One of the nation's poorest cities is about to become the first major city in America to lose its public library owing to the states' financial crisis.
August 9, 2010, 10am PDT | Michael Dudley
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In the wake of Camden City Hall's decision to slash the public library's budget by 70%, the public library board has voted to shut the system's doors by the end of the year. But the library may be just the first of Camden's major public services to face major budget cuts. As reported on Salon.com:

"Budget cuts across the country have caused local officials to close library branches, reduce hours and spend less money on books, computers and other materials. But officials at the American Library Association believe Camden's library system would be the first in the U.S. with multiple branches to check out entirely.

The city consistently ranks as one of the nation's most impoverished. It's a place where most families don't own computers, where just one big bookstore serves the local colleges and where some of the public schools don't even have librarians...Camden Mayor Dana Redd has asked all departments in the city to cut costs by nearly one-fourth. Even police and firefighters are bracing for layoffs, though none has been announced yet'.

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Published on Friday, August 6, 2010 in Salon.com
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