Free LibraryWith the local legislature’s decision to cut funds, citizens of Philadelphia will be unable to borrow a book from a city-run, public library after September 30, if the current plan stays the course.

A message explaining the situation to library customers, with some 1.4-mllion people living in the city’s core, explains, “We deeply regret to inform you that without the necessary budgetary legislation by the State Legislature in Harrisburg, the City of Philadelphia will not have the funds to operate our neighbourhood branch libraries, regional libraries, or the Parkway Central Library after October 2, 2009.”

The city’s public library system, currently referred to as The Free Library of Philadelphia, was started in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin and some of his colleagues. It was the first public circulating library in the United States.

According to the Free Library statement, closure of Philadelphia’s flagship Parkway Central Library, opened in 1926, will also result in the cancellation of all associated children programs, programs to support small businesses and job seekers, computer classes and after-school programs. In addition, the library system will no longer visit schools, daycare centres, and senior centres, among other community outreach programs.

The library system is asking for all books to be returned by October 1, 2009 – “Even as we remain hopeful that the State Legislature will act and pass the enabling funding legislation, we wanted to notify all of our customers of this very possible outcome.”

Sappi Fine Paper North America is to permanently cease operations at its coated-fine-paper mill in Muskegon, Michigan, affecting approximately 190 employees. The mill has suspended operations since March 2009. As a result of the closure, Sappi will record a charge of approximately US$30 million in its fourth financial quarter.

"The global economic downturn has resulted in very weak demand for coated fine paper worldwide. In North America, industry conditions remain very challenging, with current year-to-date shipments of coated wood free paper down 32 percent from 2007 levels and only modest recovery forecast for 2010," said Ralph Boettger, CEO of Sappi Ltd., based in South Africa.

Since March, products previously made at Muskegon have been and will continue to be manufactured at the company's other paper mills in Skowhegan, Maine and Cloquet, Minnesota.

A new 15,000-square-foot demonstration and training centre is a capstone to Standard Finishing Systems’ yearlong renovation of its corporate headquarters in Andover, Massachusetts. The centre includes a range of technologies distributed by Standard including Horizon perfect binders, 3-knife trimmers, floor-model folders, and saddlestitchers.  

The centre also includes Hunkeler unwinders, rewinders, rotary cutters, stackers, plow-folders, and fan folders for continuous-feed digital printers, as well as various KAS short-run mail inserting machines.

Seven classrooms have been set up for Standard dealers, third-party service partners and customers to receive technical and operator’s training on Standard products. The company also encourages customers to bring sample jobs for testing.
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