Ocean County Library Celebrates
Its 90th Anniversary!
TOMS RIVER – This year marks an important milestone in Ocean County Library’s history: the celebration of its ninetieth anniversary.
To celebrate that milestone the library has developed a series of special programs that highlight the nine decades that span its existence. Each month celebrates a different decade with anniversary programs and events. April showcases the 1940s, May the 1950s leading up to November and the 2010s. And the library invites you to participate in the fun.
Since 1925 the library has been at the heart of helping the communities thrive through reading and learning.
It started with a petition initiated by the Committee on the County Library of the County of Ocean, Council of Parents-Teachers Associations. The Board of Chosen Freeholders placed the question of establishing a county library on the November 4, 1924 ballot and the voters overwhelmingly approved it.
Ocean County Library opened its doors to the public September 19, 1925 in the Lonan Building, a small cottage on the County Courthouse grounds. The cottage was opened to the public one day a week, while a Model T paneled truck took library service to schools, local post offices, stores and even the enclosed porches of private homes. It also served a Coast Guard Station during World War II.
Since then, our library’s growth and success has mirrored the growth of Ocean County. It has thrived through each decade, growing in the number of branches and borrowers. Over the span of 90 years the library has continued to serve as a gateway of knowledge and support for residents’ desire for personal growth.
Library headquarters moved around as it grew, but it always remained anchored in the downtown Toms River area. Since 1981 it has settled in at 101 Washington Street. The new headquarters incorporated the former Presbyterian Church of Toms River.
Today, Ocean County Library has grown to 21 locations, serving 32 municipalities.
The library continues to serve as a central gathering place hosting community events, live performances and activities while increasingly providing reading content that is digital in nature.
The library looks ahead to a bright future and continues in its commitment to “Connecting People, Building Community, and Transforming Lives.”
Some of our many upcoming 90th anniversary programs include:
“George Burns Tonight” with Fran Docherty, reminiscing about Burns’ life as a child growing up on NYC’s Lower East Side, to his time in vaudeville, on radio and television till his transcendence over age when he played God in the movies. The show will be held at the Waretown branch 2 p.m. Thursday, April 23; and the Lacey branch 2 p.m. Monday, May 11. These performances are sponsored in part with funding from the Ocean County Library Foundation.
The cast of The Jersey Four will retrace the careers of the Four Seasons, singing the classics so many have grown up with. “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Ragdoll,” “Walk Like a Man” are just some of the hits you’ll hear as they are accompanied by a 13-piece band. Listen to the stories behind the band. Who will be the king of Four Season trivia? And The Party Dolls will sing between set changes. The show will be held at the Long Beach Island branch 7 p.m. Saturday, June 27 and the Manchester branch 2 p.m. Saturday, July 11.
The Blue Vipers of Brooklyn, the leading band for all celebrations, will present their eclectic mix of New Orleans swing, jazz, Dixieland, rockabilly, country and nostalgic R&Bs during two performances Tuesday, September 29. They will appear at the Pt. Pleasant Borough branch at 2 p.m. and the Barnegat branch at 7 p.m. These performances are sponsored in part with funding from the Ocean County Library Foundation.
More information and updates to our celebration can be found at our website www.theoceancountylibrary.org, on Facebook and Twitter, and in our monthly brochure.