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Press Releases

Why do you like the Monmouth County Library?

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stacks Is it the books, or the book clubs? The children's storytimes? All the databases at your fingertips? The free, fun programs and concerts?

Or have you found the best-ever quiet nook to study and read?

Whatever it is, the staff at the Monmouth County Library would like to hear about it: Come take our brief survey!

You can click on our website and enter your comments online (click on the "Please tell us..." slide at the top of the page.)

Or, the next time you're at the Library, ask at either the Circulation Desk or the Children's Desk for one of the survey forms, fill it out and turn it in.

We'd love to hear from you! Drop us a line!

Library Commission Chair Renee B. Swartz named Community Champion of the Arts

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Identity at Eastern Branch
Congratulations to Monmouth County Library Commission Chair Renee B. Swartz, who was just named Community Champion of the Arts by the Monmouth County Arts Council!

Ms. Swartz was named Community Champion of the Arts in recognition of her support of the teen artists of the Monmouth Teen Arts Festival. The award was given both for the acquisition of the Identity Art Installation at the Eastern Branch Library, and the ongoing efforts to promote teen education initiatives within the Monmouth County Library System.

The Monmouth County Library acquired Identity in January. The collage of 12 canvases individually painted and lettered was created at the 2012 Teen Arts Festival, sponsored by the Arts Council in collaboration with Brookdale Community College. The collage had been displayed throughout 2012 at the Eastern Branch Library and now will part of the Library's permanent collection.

The Monmouth County Arts Council established the Arts Education Awards to honor those individuals, schools, administrators and organizations that support great arts education and the Arts Council's mission of enriching the community by inspiring and fostering the arts.

Monmouth County Library receives funds to restore Oceanport branch

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The Monmouth County Library has received an insurance settlement of $283,704 to restore the collection of library materials to the Oceanport branch, which was heavily damaged during Superstorm Sandy.oceanport

The insurance settlement was secured through the Monmouth County Department of Insurance and Risk Management. The $283,704 settlement will be used to order new books, periodicals, DVDs, and CDs to replace those lost in the storm, according to Renee B. Swartz, Monmouth County Library Commission Chair.

"Our Oceanport branch suffered the loss of its entire collection and has been closed since Sandy struck at the end of October," Swartz said. "The Commission is committed to the re-opening of the library as soon as possible for Oceanport residents, who sorely miss their library and its services."

It is hoped the refurbished Library branch can re-open sometime in late April, Swartz said.

Monmouth County Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the Library System, said she is pleased with the insurance settlement for the Oceanport branch, and praised the Selective Insurance Group and The Dittmar Agency for their diligent work on the matter.

"The insurance settlement not only allows us to recoup the collection for Oceanport, it is vital to the re-opening of the library," Burry said. "In addition, Library staff at other branches have pulled together to find another 3,000 replacement items for Oceanport. We know how important the library is to the Oceanport community and we hope to have it back up and running very soon."


Come see a "home-grown Picasso" at the Eastern Branch Library!

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The Monmouth County Library Commission takes great pleasure in announcing the Library will acquire Identity, an art collage created by teen artists from the Monmouth County Arts Council, to add to the Library's permanent art collection.

"The Library as a community anchor, a gathering place to sharpen our educational experience and a platform for creativity, is acquiring Identity, an artwork created by Monmouth County teen artists that speaks of joy, of youth, of energy and of imagination," said Renee B. Swartz, Monmouth County Library Commission Chair. "Come enjoy this home-grown Picasso now on permanent display at Eastern Branch and feel enriched by its inspiration!"

"The Library has been a staunch supporter of the Monmouth Arts Council and its Teen Arts Festival, and we are pleased to give Identity a permanent home," said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the Monmouth County Library. "The core theme of Identity is 'Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.' And it's encouraging to see the creativity and imagination and the talent of our teen artists on display." 

Identity has been on display to the enjoyment and delight of patrons at the Eastern Branch Library in Shrewsbury for most of the past year, and the Eastern Branch will now have the artwork on permanent display.

Watch our video and read on for more:


Monmouth County Library awarded Circle of Excellence Public Service honor

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lillianburryThe Monmouth County Library is honored to be the recipient of the 2012 Circle of Excellence Award, given each year by the Greater Monmouth Chamber of Commerce. The Library received the award for the category "Public Service."

The Circle of Excellence Award represents the Chamber's annual search for outstanding contributions to the community.  The award is given in six categories and can be given to both individuals and organizations.

The Public Service award is designed to foster a public awareness of the wide range of services and programs offered to the community by the Monmouth County Library, according to the Chamber. The awards dinner will be held on Thursday, June 7 at the Battleground Country Club in Manalapan.

Accepting the award for the Library will be Renee B. Swartz, chair of the Monmouth County Library Commission, and Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the Library.reneephoto0408

Swartz has chaired the Library Commission since 1976, and also serves as chair of the New Jersey Center for the Book (an affiliate of the U.S. Library of Congress). She was recently named the 2012 New Jersey Library Champion by the New Jersey State Library.

"It is with great pride that the Monmouth County Library accepts the Circle of Excellence Award for Public Service from the Greater Monmouth Chamber of Commerce," Swartz said. "The Library, as the community and cultural center of the county, has as its mission to enrich the quality of life of the residents here in our great county and is the resource that touches us all for lifelong learning, for information access and for recreation. Its doors are always open wide to afford us all the opportunity to reach the 'American Dream.'" 

Freeholder Burry, a former Monmouth County Library Commissioner, has been the liaison to the Monmouth County Library System since she first began serving on the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders in 2006.

"I'd like to thank the Greater Monmouth Chamber of Commerce for recognizing the fine services that our Library and its staff members provide," Freeholder Burry said.  "In these challenging times, the Library has increasingly become a vital part of the lives of Monmouth County residents. At the library you can find computer classes, help with your income tax preparation, English language instruction, seminars for first-time homeowners, workshops for SAT preparation, and resources for jobseekers, to name but a few. As we say, the Library is more than just books."

Swartz noted that from its modest beginnings in 1923 in the basement of the Hall of Records with 8,500 books, through the years of reliance on a bookmobile to circulate items, the Monmouth County Library has grown to encompass 13 branches and

14 member libraries.

"I am honored and pleased that the Greater Monmouth Chamber of Commerce has selected the Library for this award.  We are proud of the work of our staff that has made the Headquarters building the busiest public library building in New Jersey," said Kenneth Sheinbaum, director of the Library.

"But even more, it is satisfying to see how the public has validated our venture in a new kind of library service, one that is apparent in both the design of the building and in our approach to service," Sheinbaum said. "Here we have an alliance between the circulation of materials, both print and non-print, and extensive reference in a successful relationship with large scale event programming.  The combination has become more than the sum of its parts, and the Library has become more than storehouse.  It is a place to realize potential, revitalize life, and restore balance in difficult times."

More than 230,000 residents currently hold Monmouth County Library cards, and in 2011, the Library logged approximately 3 million visits throughout its branches. In 2011, the Library circulated nearly 4 million items, and more than 155,000 people attended 6,829 programs held throughout the 13 Library branches.

"We can only guess what the new way to be a library will mean for us and our customers, but we will do our best to provide what they must have to prosper," Sheinbaum said.  "We will evolve with our community, and I believe our ability to recognize need and to change and grow is really why the award has been made to this institution."

For more information on the Monmouth County Library, please visit our webpage at

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