Last week, it looked like the Camden Free Public Library (CFPL) would be forced to close its three branches, and sell off, donate, store, or discard all the libraries’ materials and equipment, due to a 70 percent budget cut. But the Philadelphia Inquirer reports today that a last-minute action by the city council could save the libraries from the chopping block—though it may only do so for the near term.
Camden officials, including Mayor Dana Redd, made an announcement at Camden City Hall yesterday that the city council was expected to approve a resolution allowing the larger and wealthier Camden County Library System to take over the three endangered CFPL branches.
The good news was tempered by the recognition that the action could simply delay branch closings instead of stopping them entirely. According to the Inquirer, Camden County Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr. “did not rule out closing one or more of the city branches and laying off all employees under the plan.”
The situation is clearly in flux. Camden County Library System spokesman Mark Amorosi, when contacted by LJ, said, “We have no additional details at this time.”
Time will tell if the CFPL branches will survive as the city’s tough economic times continue.