eye-3-yellow-3d-2-new-logo philly_kyw_new philly_94wip_new 35h_cbssportsrad_philly philly_wpht_new

Local

Darby Free Library, Nation’s Oldest, Pleading For Funds To Avert Closure

View Comments
(The Darby Free Library's current building.  Photo provided)

(The Darby Free Library’s current building. Photo provided)

Brad Segall Brad Segall
Brad Segall is the award-winning Suburban Bureau chief at KYW...
Read More

Get Breaking News First

Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up

By Brad Segall

DARBY, Pa. (CBS) — The oldest continuously operating free library in the country is faced with another cash crunch, which could cause the facility to close its doors for good before the end of the year.

The Darby Free Library has been around for 271 years, but officials say they may have to radically change their operations if they can’t find money for their everyday expenses and some capital improvements.

The debt has topped $15,000, and the 19th-century building on Main Street needs at least $7,000 worth of electrical work.

“For instance, we can’t run the air conditioner and our copier at the same time,” says Jay McCalla, the president of the library’s board of directors.  “We have some safety violations.  We haven’t had a full-time director in three, maybe five, years.”

McCalla says they’ve already cut everywhere they can, and there’s been a strong decline in donations and state funding.  They are hoping some private donations will come in and they’re turning again to the borough for a cash infusion.

He notes that 1,500 people come through the library’s doors every month, adding that many to use the antiquated computer system to prepare résumés and search for jobs.   He says the long-range plan is to upgrade it to 21st-century technology.

View Comments
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 31,965 other followers