Library closed Good Friday and Easter Sunday

March 7, 2013

TOMS RIVER –   All branches of the Ocean County Library will be closed Good Friday, March 29 and Easter Sunday, March 31.

With the exception of the Upper Shores branch in Lavallette and the Bay Head Reading Center, both undergoing repairs because of Superstorm Sandy, all branches will be open Saturday.

With the exception of the Upper Shores branch and the Bay Head Reading Center, all branches will resume normal business hours Monday, April 1.

Visit the library’s Web site for 24/7 access to the library’s databases.

OCL presents Osteoporosis 101 at 4 branches

February 26, 2013

TOMS RIVER –  Four branches of the Ocean County Library will host Osteoporosis 101 with a bone density screening in March and April.

The Center for Healthy Aging, in cooperation with the Pharmacy Department at Kimball Medical Center, an affiliate of the Barnabas Health System, will discuss the nature and risk factors of osteoporosis, its warning signs and its symptoms. They will also examine the dos and don’ts of osteoporosis medications.

 The workshop will be followed by free bone density screenings.

 Osteoporosis is the weakening of a person’s bones and it affects men and women of all ages and races.

 The programs begin at 2 p.m. and will be held at:

  • the Jackson branch, 2 Jackson Dr., Tues. Mar. 5, (732) 928-4400;
  • the Manchester branch, 21 Colonial Dr., Mon. Mar. 11, (732) 657-7600;
  • the Toms River branch, 101 Washington St., Wed. April 17, (732) 349-6200;
  • the Stafford branch, 129 N. Main St., Manahawkin, Tue April 30, (609) 597-3381.

Light refreshments will be provided.

The workshops and screenings are free and open to the public, but registration is required. You can register on the library’s Web site or by telephoning the branch.

‘Tween Craft @ Stafford

November 14, 2012

The Stafford branch of the Ocean County Library will hold a craft for tweens on Monday, December 3rd, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.  Participants will learn to cut, fold, and glue paper boxes.  These small, colorful containers are easy to personalize and make great gift boxes.  Dress appropriately for a potentially messy craft.


This program is free and open to tweens ages 9 to 14.  The Stafford branch is located at 129 N. Main St. in Manahawkin.  Space is limited, so please register online at or by phone at 609-597-3381

LBI library branch hosts John Sebastian at Jug Band Music documentary

July 9, 2012

TOMS RIVER – The Long Beach Island branch of the Ocean County Library (217 S. Central Ave, Surf City) invites music enthusiasts to examine the origins and trace the journey of a unique American musical genre as they present a free screening of “Chasing Gus’ Ghost,” a documentary film about the history of jug band music, on Saturday, July 14, at 7 p.m.

The film screening will be followed by a Q&A session with the film’s director, Todd Kwait, and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer John Sebastian (from The Lovin’ Spoonful), who appears in the film and was involved in its planning.

“Chasin’ Gus’ Ghost” grew out of director Kwait’s chance introduction to jug band music when he attended a performance of Sebastian’s J Band in 2005. Sebastian is best known as the chief songwriter for ‘60s band the Lovin’ Spoonful but before that, he was a founding member of the seminal Even Dozen Jug Band.

Along with his cohorts Maria and Geoff Muldaur, the late Fritz Richmond, Paul Rishell, Annie Raines and Jimmy Vivino, Sebastian saw his J Band as an opportunity to reintroduce the genre to audiences who might have forgotten its whimsical charms amid the raucous beats and screaming guitars of the rock and roll years.

Kwait’s film traces the origins of jug band music, while also offering a poignant glimpse of the last days of jug player extraordinaire Richmond (the foremost jug/washtub player in the world) who convinced the filmmaker to end the film with the band’s journey to the Yokohama Jug Band Festival in Japan.

Photographs by Catherine Sebastian, including touching portraits of her husband John and the late Fritz Richmond, documented the making of the film. They will be displayed at the branch during the screening.

For more information, go to the library Website or .

Food for Fines begins Monday

July 6, 2012

Swap your Food for Fines at the library

TOMS RIVER – The Ocean County Library will partner with the Ocean County Health Department to offer library customers a way to take care of their overdue library charges and help the community through the Food for Fines program.

The library will accept non-perishable, non-expired food during the week of July 9th through the 15th in exchange for 50 cents per item, up to a total of $20, towards removing the customer’s overdue fines.

Credit goes towards overdue items only and will not be applied towards collection replacement fees.

Customers who do not have fines may also make donations of non-perishable food items at any Ocean County Library location.

Food collected during the Food for Fines program will be donated to the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. Suggested food items include canned food, pasta, cereal and rice. Baby food and formula will not be accepted.

“Summer is the time when we see a significant drop in food donations,” said Linda Keenan, the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties Director of Development.

The library has conducted food drives in the past. In 2009 the library collected more than two tons of food.

“We hope to collect more than that this year,” said Ocean County Library Director Susan Quinn.

“The Food for Fines program is a great opportunity to help our less fortunate neighbors with our Ocean County Library turning a negative situation into a helping, positive experience,” said Ocean County Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari.

“This program also provides an opportunity to focus public attention on the need to support the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. I encourage those who return their books on time to make contributions as well,” he said. 

Vicari also serves as the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders liaison to the library.

“Food for Fines gives someone the opportunity to pay their fine,” said Ocean County Health Department Public Information Officer Leslie Terjesen, “but more importantly, helps to put food on someone’s table.”

Historical Hiawatha presentation at 2 library branches

June 26, 2012

People can be forgiven if they mistake the Hiawatha of poetic lore with the historic Native American who was credited with forming the Iroquois Confederation.


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “The Song of Hiawatha” presented Hiawatha as a Native American female whose sole connection to the historical figure is a common name.


The historic Hiawatha lived about 500 years ago in the area that later became New York. Along with the Prophet Daganawida, The Great Peacemaker, he created a constitution known as the Great Law of Peace that enabled the Iroquois peoples to become one of the strongest forces during America’s Colonial period.


Key to Hiawatha’s success in uniting the groups is the lesson of forgiveness.


Two branches of the Ocean County Library will present a children’s program (ages 5 to 12) based on the early life of the Iroquois hero.


Hiawatha is portrayed in the program as a curious youngster who decides to disobey his grandmother and seek a vision alone in the forest. There he finds a sacred cave and enters a magical world full of talking animals and fantastic spirits. There he also meets The Peacemaker, a wise Mohawk, who teaches him a wonderful lesson.


The Catskill Puppet Theatre uses full sets, exquisitely crafted puppets and Native American flute and drum recordings to tell how Hiawatha, with help from his friends Bear and Turtle, discovers the pathway he must follow to become a great leader.


“Hiawatha” will be presented at the Long Beach Island branch Friday July 20 at 11 a.m. and later at the Lakewood branch at 3 p.m.

The programs are sponsored in part with funding from an OceanFirst Foundation Arts and Cultural Grant and the Ocean County Library Foundation.


This program is free and open to the public.  Registration is required.  For more information or to register go to the Web site or telephone (732) 349-6200 or (609) 971-0514. Registration for the LBI program begins July 6 and for the Lakewood program July 7.


OCL Special: Who’s Who

December 3, 2010

Ocean County residents are used to retailers having specials throughout the month of December, but not from their library.

This December, Ocean County Library is offering free access for an unlimited number of users to the Marquis “Who’s Who” database, from their Website

The database has access to over 1.4 million biographies, with more added each week. The service searches several volumes, including “Who’s Who in America,” “Who’s Who in the World,” “Who’s Who of American Women,” “Who’s Who in American Art,” and many more.

“Who’s Who” profiles men and women of distinction in every significant field of endeavor, including business and finance, government, journalism, art, law, science, medicine, the arts, education and more—with personal and career details not available from any other source.

Published for over 110 years, “Who’s Who” is the premier biographical resource for academic, public and corporate libraries. The biographies give a more detailed look at the backgrounds of the subject, as well as putting them into the context of their achievements.

Library users can access the database from computers at the library or from home. They only need a valid Ocean County Library card to gain access. A link is provided from the “Reference” pull-down menu on the library Website’s main page.

After December, the library will still provide online access to “Who’s Who” but it will be limited to a maximum of five users at a time.

Discussion of Lakewood’s Orthodox Community to be held in Pt. Pleasant Boro

November 30, 2010

The Point Pleasant Borough branch of the Ocean County Library, 834 Beaver Dam Road, will present the program “Heart of the Stranger” Monday, December 13 at 7:00 p.m.

The program will be led by Ocean County College professor Ali Botein-Furrevig who will read excerpts from her new book and discuss the customs and laws that define the Orthodox Jewish community in Lakewood.

Lakewood is home to a large Orthodox Jewish population.  It hosts Beth Medrash Govoha, one of the largest rabbinical colleges in the world.

 This program is free and open to the public.  Please register online at or call (732) 295-1555.

Ocean County Library ranked “Four Stars” by Library Journal

October 20, 2010

Ocean County Library ranked “Four Stars” by Library Journal

TOMS RIVER—For 85 years, Ocean County residents have recognized the impact of the Ocean County Library on the community. Thanks to a recent library trade journal, libraries across the country can see the impact that Ocean County Library has on its community.

Ocean County Library has been named a four-star library by the library magazine Library Journal in their October 2010 issue.

The Library Journal Index of Public Service ranked 7,407 public libraries and systems throughout the United States. Ocean County Library is one of the 258 libraries nationwide that earned a star ranking.

The rankings are based on statistical data including circulation of materials, program attendance, Internet usage and annual customer traffic. The rankings are based on a study by the Institute of Museum and Library Services from 2008. The study shows the increase of usage and importance of public library service since the onset of the recession.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.

“Each and every day at the Library we work for the greater good of the public with no expectation of recognition beyond the hope that we served the people in our community to the best of our ability,” said Library Director Susan Quinn.

“Our staff is dedicated to providing the residents of Ocean County with excellence in library services and customer service at all times, and especially during very difficult economic times,” said Quinn.

This was the first time that Ocean County Library received a star ranking from Library Journal.

Ocean County Library was the seventh highest ranked library in the category for library systems its size. Ocean County Library was also the only library from the northeastern United States to receive a star ranking in its category.

The category is traditionally dominated by library systems from the Midwest and West. Ocean County Library is ranked with some of the country’s best libraries, including Cleveland Public Library, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Denver Public Library, Seattle Public Library, San Francisco Public Library, Salt Lake City Public Library and San Jose Public Library.

Five other New Jersey libraries received star rankings from Library Journal in their respective categories: Mercer County Library, Lawrenceville; Somerset County Library, Bridgewater; Avalon Free Public Library, Princeton Public Library and Bernardsville Public Library.

“I would like to thank the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Ocean County Library Commission, the Ocean County Library Foundation, our Friends of the Libraries groups, our customers and staff, and the many organizations and community groups whom we have partnered with,” said Quinn.

“They have helped us achieve the recognition that we are not only the best library system in the state of New Jersey—but one of the best library systems in the entire nation,” she said.

Check it out! OCL location videos online

October 13, 2010

Virtual tours of all 21 Ocean County Library locations are now available to view on the web site from the comfort of your home computer.

“It’s a great way for customers to check out a location before they visit or go on a “green” tour of all 21great locations,” said Scott Walker, Public Information Assistant, who prepared the tours. “They can view all the resources the system has to offer without ever leaving their home,”

 People can access the tours from the library’s web site Click on the “About us” link on the top left side of page, click on “Branches” from the pull down menu and select the location you want to tour.  Click on “take the virtual tour of this branch”