Whenever you pick up a paper handout from the New Orleans Public Library, there’s a good chance you’re holding Charles Delong’s work. Since 1989, Delong has been behind the Library scenes, printing every bookmark, every poster, every brochure, flyer, business card ––you name it, he printed it. Now, after 32 years of hard work, Delong is retiring, leaving behind him a time capsule to the days long before the inkjet printer.
“When I started doing printing, it was a very specialized profession, it required a lot of skill,” Delong said.
Delong started working for the New Orleans Police Department in 1979 and transferred to the Library 10 years later, where he met his mentor, Robert Baxter.
“Robert taught me how to do full color processing. We were really good. If we had the paper, we could have printed money, that’s how good we were,” Delong said, laughing. “Not that we would do that, but it really is an art. When I first started doing this, computers hardly existed, let alone high-capacity color printers. It wasn’t easy, you couldn’t just press a button.”
Charles starts his retirement this week and we’d like to take the time to commemorate his hard work, dedication, sense of humor, and unique personality.
“Charles is one of a kind. Professionally, his decades of experience, knowledge, and dedication to the Library will be impossible to replace, but it’s his personal connections and relationships with staff that will be missed the most. However, his retirement is very well-deserved," John Marc Sharpe, Delong's former supervisor, said.
Please join us in wishing Charles a happy retirement and a cheers to the future! Read more about Charles, his 3-decade career, and what he meant to the Library community here.