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Grit: July 24, 1960 – Cataloging Company to Open City Plant

By the end of this week Williamsport will be the home of the world’s only commercial book processing and cataloging operation, according to Leo Karpel, administrative librarian in charge of the Alanar Book Processing Corporation, now located in Montgomery.

Workmen are now bringing in new equipment to the new headquarters at 1610 Memorial Avenue, the former plant of the Williamsport Textile Corporation. The firm will probably complete the move Friday or Saturday, Mr. Karpel said.

The move is due to the expansion of the Delma Corporation, a subsidiary of Bro-Dart Industries of Newark, New Jersey. Alanar, a Bro-Dart subsidiary, presently occupies part of the Delmar plant at Montgomery. Delmar which makes furniture for libraries all over the world, will need the space in its Montgomery plant for its expanded operations.

Besides Alanar, two other firms related to Bro-Dart will occupy the Memorial Avenue plant. They will be Unidoc Services Inc. of Brooklyn and another subsidiary. McNaughton Inc. of Altoona, an affiliated company.

Unidoc distributes to libraries and institutions. McNaughton rents books to public and government libraries. The Unidoc and Alanar operations will combine.

Many of Alanar’s 42 employees are expected to work at the new plant but the company still plans to hire additional personnel. Mr. Karpel said he expects to hire about 20 typists and shipping employees.

Dick Greming, general manager of the Delmar firm said it will take over the Alanar area of the plant as soon as soon as that firm moves out. Delmar expects to hire more skilled cabinet makers and wood finishers he said.

“This is not expansion of our line,” Mr. Greming said. “As far as Delmar is concerned it is an expansion of production.” He estimated the firm would double the number of employees.

Bro-Dart industries was founded in 1939 by Arthur Brody of South Orange, N.J., the president of the firm. Besides furniture it produces book jackets and all types of library supplies.

The Williamsport-Montgomery area was chosen for the new plant because of the good postal, rail and air facilities that it offers, Mr. Karpel said.