Hope for Camden's Libraries?

The public libraries in Camden, NJ may not be closing after all. Camden Mayor Dana Redd is announcing a rescue plan that will keep Camden’s public libraries open.

Plans were in the works last week to shut down the three branches of the city library system, because of a $28-million budget gap.

But Redd and freeholder director Louis Cappelli were unveiling a strategy today at a City Hall news conference to keep the libraries open. It’s possible that strategy may include the city becoming part of the Camden County library system.

And from NPR's two-way blog:

On Monday, Redd said a new plan called for the city's library system would join the county's, thereby maintaining library service in the hard-scrabble city across the Delaware River from Philadelphia.

So it seemed a lot more likely Monday than Friday that Camden's residents, many of whom fall below the federal poverty line, will still be able to get access to a library's computers and books.

Somewhere poet Walt Whitman, Camden's most famous man of letters, must be smiling. Ditto for Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin, the creator of one of the nation's earliest lending libraries."