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Monmouth County Library Chair Renee B. Swartz named New Jersey Library Champion by the NJ State Library

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Renee B. SwartzRenee B. Swartz, Chair of the Monmouth County Library Commission and the New Jersey Center for the Book, a state affiliate of the Library of Congress, has been named the New Jersey Library Champion for 2012 by the New Jersey State Library.

Swartz, of Rumson, will receive the award during the New Jersey Library Association Conference in Atlantic City on June 6th.

"For over 46 years, Renee Becker Swartz has worked tirelessly to ensure that the importance of libraries, reading and literacy is fresh in the minds of elected officials and the general public," the award proclaims. The award goes on to commend Swartz for "her illustrious career, noteworthy accomplishments and meritorious service to her community, state and nation."

Swartz has been a member of the Monmouth County Library Commission since 1966 and the commission chair since 1976. She was the driving force in the construction of the Library's Eastern Branch in Shrewsbury and its Headquarters in Manalapan, which is the largest public library building in the state of New Jersey.

Under her guidance, the Monmouth County Library System has grown to encompass 13 branches and 14 member libraries, serving the information needs of almost 500,000 residents of Monmouth County.  She continues to champion innovative and educational programming throughout the Library System, spearheading a master plan review to move the Monmouth County Library System into 21st century initiatives and endorsing the expansion of its Teen and Young Adult Department.

On the state level, Swartz founded the New Jersey Center for the Book in 2000 (an affiliate of the U.S. Library of Congress) and continues to serve as its chair. She has served as the Governor's Appointment to the New Jersey State Library Advisory Council since 1976; and was its chair from 1986-1991, and again from 1994 to present. Swartz has been on the Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Literary Hall of Fame since 1994 and for 22 years has served as Chair of the Program Associates, the Trustee Board of the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University.

On the national level, Swartz was a Presidential Appointee to the Institute of Museum and Library Services Board from 2004-2009, and is a continuing national member of the Board Emerita.  IMLS is the independent federal grant-making agency that fosters leadership, innovation, and a lifetime of learning by supporting the nation's 18,500 museums and 125,000 libraries through grants of over $22 million annually.

Swartz has chaired the New Jersey delegations to the 1979 and 1991 White House Conferences on Library and Information Services, and has served as the permanent New Jersey member of the White House Conference Task Force since 1979. She served on the American Library Association's Office of Information Technology Policy Advisory Board from 1995 to 1999. In 1991, she was selected by the American Library Association as the National Trustee of the Year.  In 2000 she was selected by the American Library Association as one of the one hundred most influential library leaders of the twentieth century.

She most recently served on Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton's Women in Politics Public Service Project and Colloquium, representing her alma mater, Barnard College, where she is a Trustee Emerita.

Her wisdom, leadership and foresight as a member and Chair of the Monmouth County Library Commission earned her a Lifetime Service and Achievement Award in 2006; two Trustee of the Year Awards from the NJ Library Association (1980, 1999) – the only trustee to receive that honor twice.

Quote from Renee Swartz:

"Online information sources, electronic books, and the yet unimagined and exciting new ways that will be devised to access both print and non-print media present an extraordinary challenge and an unparalleled opportunity for the library of the future.  I will continue to devote my time enthusiastically to the creation of tomorrow's libraries and to the life altering experiment in information delivery that our institutions and the people of New Jersey will experience together in the years to come."

Meet the Library Logo winner!

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Library Logo contest winner Josh Schneider with the winning entry.

Meet the winner of the contest to design a new logo for  the Monmouth County Library! The colorful new symbol was designed by Josh Schneider of Ocean Township, who was 22 when he entered the contest.

The logo represents the bloom of knowledge fostered by libraries. Schneider said the four color panels at the bottom of the design form an "M" and the green panels represent an idea blossoming from the pages of a book.

"I wanted a fresh, abstract approach for the logo," said Schneider, who said he grew up reading books from both the Ocean Township and Eastern Branch libraries.

"My parents weren't big on television, so on a long holiday weekend we'd drive to the Eastern Branch (in Shrewsbury) and stock up on books and magazines," Schneider said. "I remember looking forward to hunkering down with a stack of books to read!"

Schneider was one of more than 100 entrants in the Library Logo Contest, which began on June 1, 2011 and ran until February 1, 2012. He will receive a $500 prize from the Friends of the Monmouth County Library.

The logo can be found on top of the Library's revamped webpage!

Monmouth County Library launches new e-Book and audiobook site

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Looking for titles for your Nook, Kindle or smart phone? Your Monmouth County library card can get you titles for free!
This January, the Monmouth County Library launched Library on the Go, your source for e-Books and audiobooks. All it takes is a valid resident Monmouth County Library card to check out and download digital media anytime, anywhere, by visiting http://monmouth.lib.overdrive.comebookforjoomla
Card holders are invited to browse the Library's collection of e-Books and audiobooks, check out titles with your library card, and download them to PC, Mac®, e-book readers, and many portable mobile devices.

"The Monmouth County Library is pleased to offer our patrons improved access to the latest technology of e-Books and audio books with our new service, Library on the Go," said Renee B. Swartz, chair of the Monmouth County Library Commission.  "The Library remains open online 24/7 for our patrons, your community center and corner store for the mind." 

Just one cautionary note for patrons interested in e-books: some patience is required. There may be a waiting list for popular titles, as the Library must purchase copies of e-Books, just as it does print editions. Check out more on this hot topic in this New York Times article.

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