From the AP, sad story of the closing of Camden NJ’s main library.
Jerome Szpila took the job as director of the Camden library less than a year ago, with plans to upgrade a system that has suffered from years of underfunding. Librarians say they haven’t been able to buy a new book in more than a year.
The check-out system still uses paper cards of the type that were retired in most big public libraries by the 1970s. There’s no computerized inventory of the collection and the old card catalog system hasn’t been updated for years.
“We don’t know what we have,” he said. But as he arrived, he realized the challenge was more elemental: He would just try to keep the libraries running.
“It’s a sad day to say the city cannot afford its own library,” he said.
Szpila was one of the 19 employees at the library as it closed. Along with eight others, he’s been hired to staff the new Camden branch of the county library. The others are preparing for unemployment.