I can’t help thinking this is the right thing to do:

New Jersey’s most impoverished city will close all three branches of its public library at year’s end unless a rescue can be pulled off.

Camden’s library board says the libraries won’t be able to afford to stay open past Dec. 31 because of budget cuts from the city government. The city had its subsidy from the state cut.

I say that this is right as someone with fond memories of lazy afternoons in the public library in my hometown. But here’s the deal: if you can’t afford something, you can’t afford it.

The thing that disturbs me is this:

The library board president says the library system, which opened in 1904, is preparing to donate, sell or destroy its collections, including 187,000 books.

Don’t destroy the books. I hope that is an idle threat. Have a sale, give the books to people who can’t buy books. One other point to note: apparently, library use goes up with a bad economy, which makes the loss of the libraries even sadder. The story stresses this. But this doesn’t make the libraries any more affordable.