After City Closure, Camden NJ To Get a New Library Thanks to Rutgers University

Sometime this fall, Camden's youngest residents will be able to walk among Rutgers-Camden students and faculty on their way to the Camden County's newest branch library according to

Construction has begun on the basement of the Paul Robeson Library to make room for a 5,000-square-foot downtown Camden branch. County and city officials gathered Wednesday to announce details of the partnership with Rutgers-Camden.

Though a price has not been placed on the renovations, the county will pay for them. Camden City residents will join the rest of county library users in paying a library tax of 4 cents per $100 of assessed property valuation starting third quarter.

The previous, much larger downtown Camden branch on Federal Street was shut in February when Mayor Dana Redd decided the city could no longer afford its 100-year-old system while facing a $26.5 million budget deficit.

The county Library Commission voted to absorb Camden's system, making it the 27th municipal participant. However, the county kept open only the Ferry Avenue branch. A small Fairview branch, shut in September, also remained closed.

"This project is a manifestation that we are a state university," Pritchett said, adding that the library will help connect Camden residents to a higher-education campus. The county branch will have a separate entrance to the Robeson Library facing Fifth Street. A wall will be built to separate the county portion from the university library.

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