Archive for August, 2008

Sparks cheers on the BlueClaws

Sparks & Buster working the crowd!

Sparks & Buster working the crowd!

Ocean County Library Mascot, Sparks, made a special guest appearance at Monday night’s game at First Energy Stadium in Lakewood during a BlueClaws game. Sparks signed autographs, handed out prizes and entertained fans young and old alike. He also helped library staff promote upcoming library programs and events at the information table on the concourse.



Buster promotes OCL thundersticks

Buster promotes OCL thundersticks




The library distributed 15 pairs of tickets to lucky customers who entered their name in a free drawing.  Ten pairs of tickets were distributed to library staff, too.

New library outreach program promotes literacy to foster children

Homebound & Volunteer Services of the Ocean County Library has launched Sparks’ B.F.F. Reading Club, a new County-wide outreach program.


B.F.F. stands for Best Friends Forever.  This program will encourage children and teens to visit the library and take advantage of the many services and materials Ocean County Library has to offer.  Sparks, the Library mascot, plans to visit the reading club participants at future State-sponsored Ocean County foster family events.


The program supports a partnership with two Ocean County regional offices of State of New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS).  Spark’s B.F.F. Reading Club provides children and teens placed in foster care the opportunity to select several new books, stationery supplies, and a backpack from a collection housed at each of the two County offices. Generous financial backing for this program is being provided by the Friends of the Toms River Library.


DYFS’ mission is to ensure the safety, permanency and well-being of children and to support New Jersey’s families.


“Because the Library is continually looking for ways to reach out to our community we are excited to venture into this new partnership with our local DYFS resource offices. The Sparks’ B.F.F. Reading Club objectives include promoting Ocean County children and teen literacy while enhancing their self-esteem. This program continues the library’s mission of ‘Connecting People…Building Community.’ If we can help children and teens enjoy reading by providing them with a few good books to keep permanently then this program is a success,” said Elaine McConnell, Ocean County Library director. 


Through the efforts and support of Toms River staff, the Homebound and Volunteer Services Department, and library volunteers, hundred of children’s and teens’ new or like-new books have recently been delivered to each of the two County sites.  The S.A.I.L. (Service and Achievement in the Library) teens helped sort, label and prepare the books for distribution. Adult volunteers oversee the age-appropriateness of each book, ensure the books are in excellent condition and assist in the delivery and continued supply of books to the two Ocean County facilities. Various OCL departments such as Public Relations (backpacks), and Youth Services (donated books), and Young Adults Department (donated books) have also offered support.  Initially, more than 350 books have been provided to the two local DYFS resource offices for children to select several to keep permanently. 


“We would like to thank the Friends of the Toms River Library and all the volunteers for partnering DYFS on this project.  The children and teens in foster care who will participate in the reading club will certainly benefit from its mission,” stated DYFS Director Christine L. Mozes, LSW.

Summer Sets SAIL in Style in Barnegat

On August 23rd, the Friends of the Barnegat Library sponsored a fabulous going away party for our teen volunteers from both the SAIL and Reading Buddies programs. More than half of our volunteers returned to have a true Ocean County style beach party complete with limbo, line dancing, and a flip-flop piñata. Some of our young buddies even came back to hang out with the teens! Barnegat would like to extend it’s thanks to all of our fabulous teen volunteers- we hope to see them again next summer!

War Lore: Livin History from Local Veterans Barnegat 11/11

War Lore: Living History from Local Veterans 


CONTACT: Lisa Taylor. 609-698-3331



On Veteran’s Day, November 11th at 6:30pm, the Barnegat Branch at 112 Burr Street, will present a family program, “War Lore: Living History from Local Veterans.”  The highlight of the program will be a Q&A session with veterans from WWII, Korea and Vietnam, including a woman who rose to the rank of Captain in the US Navy. The program will begin with a story and and introduction to Veteran’s Day history and customs by the Youth Services librarian.  Following the Q&A, attendees will have an opportunity to see and learn about the soldiers’ personal war memorabilia. Maps, globes, and other hands-on material will be available to help elementary children (ages 7 and up) gain a respect and understanding for Veteran’s Day and veterans.

Registration is available by phone 609 698-3331, in person, or online at


Self Defense for Women and Girls Jackson 8/30

DATE: 8/1/2008


CONTACT: Freda Lehman, 732-928-4400 X12

                        101 Washington St., Toms River, NJ 08753-7625



Self Defense for Women and Girls – Don’t Be a Target!



JacksonOn Saturday, September 13, 10:00am-12:00pm, Jackson Library is offering a program for girls 12 years and older who want to learn to protect themselves from street attacks and personal assaults using leverage techniques for self-defense. Daughter and mother pairs are welcome too. College-bound teen girls should take advantage of this opportunity to prepare for personal safety The two-hour class will be taught by renowned black belt instructor Walter Miller. Class size is limited.

This program is free and open to the public.  Registration for the program begins August 30.  Please register in-person, by phone 732-928-4400, or online at

Gospel Under the Lakewood stars

Nearly 60 people gathered outside the Lakewood branch Tuesday evening for Gospel Under the Stars.  The program featured three church gospel groups and four soloists accompanied by four local musicians.


Neighbors turned out and appreciated the praise music that lasted into the night.


Refreshments were served afterwards.

Back in the 50s again @ Manchester

On August 9th, our Manchester staff members dressed up in poodle skirts, sneakers and bobby socks, and sported historic “I Like Ike” buttons, as we hosted a day-long event “Lost in the ‘50’s.”


Karla Ivarson, from the Lacey branch, taught us how to hula hoop to music by Ricky Nelson and Bobby Darin. Patrons who came were treated to ice cream floats and a classic cars show by the Vintage Automobile Club, held in Manchester’s own parking lot!


At the center of the library was a dance floor where patrons, from 5 to 75 years old, danced to the music of the Roustabouts and participated in a dance contest. Everyone was given prizes.


Towards the end of the program, prizes were given out as over 150 audience members waited for their ticket numbers to be called. Winners were able to select from a variety of book prizes.

FAMAR delights Brick branch audience

An audience of 55 enjoyed an afternoon of music, dance and food on Saturday, August 9.  Members of the FAMAR Filipino-American Artists Society Chorale and Dance Troupe put on and engaging and entertaining performance.  Dressed in native costumes, the performers shared songs and dances from their Filipino heritage.  An extra special treat came after the performance, as many of the FAMAR members brought in traditional Filipino dishes for everyone to sample.  The audience left full with music in their hearts and yummy food in their stomachs!

Brick hosts “The Learned Ladies”

Next Stage Ensemble, a summer touring troupe that is part of the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, performed Molière’s comedy “The Learned Ladies” at the Brick branch on Saturday, July 26.  The 64 audience members thoroughly enjoyed this witty performance, which was sponsored by the Friends of the Brick Library.  “The Learned Ladies” tells the lively story of three young women who are all very interested in a poet quite lacking in poetic ability.  All the actors and actresses dove into their roles with passion, complete with full make-up and costumes.  Everyone was also impressed with all the hard work of the performers, as they are the ones putting up and tearing down the sets before and after the performance.  If you haven’t ever seen Next Stage Ensemble in action, try to catch them during the summers as they are highly recommended.

Lacey Day 2008 Another Successful Outreach Event!

Over 5,000 people attended the event on Saturday the 16th at Gille Park in Lacey.  The Lacey Branch is always part of the fun. Take a look at some of the pictures!


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