Archive for October, 2008

S.E.E. exhibit at Toms River

An Artists’ Reception was held at the Toms River Branch on October 29 for Special Eyes on the Environment (S.E.E.), an exhibit of photographs taken by adults with physical, emotional and multiple disabilities. It was a powerful and emotional event for all who attended.

Throughout the summer, S.E.E. participants toured locations throughout Ocean County capturing photographs that point out the beauty and blemishes of the environment. Empowered by their camera, they discovered they could make a statement about their world, influence the opinions of society on how they regard the environment, and convey a deeply personal message.

“Many people with disabilities find the notion of photography is out of their reach,” said Venus Majeski, New Jersey Institute for Disabilities‘ Director of Development and Community Relations. “Hands are not steady enough, focusing on a subject while navigating in a wheelchair is nearly impossible and most times they feel the results are just not worth the effort.”

Ross Lewis, a former international photographer for Fortune 500 corporations, national magazines and the National Football League recognized the need and started S.E.E., opening a new world of experience for persons with disabilities. Mr. Lewis began the S.E.E. program in 1993and it has grown to become one of the leading educational programs in New Jersey for special education schools and organizations. S.E.E. and the students have become vital part of the environmental and cultural fabric for promoting respect and care for our everyday world.”

The S. E. E. project is funded in part by the Ocean County Cultural and Heritage Commission, The Christopher and Dana Reeves Foundation and the Gannett Foundation.

The photography exhibit is on display at the Toms River branch of the Ocean County Library through the end of November.

Halloween @ Barnegat

A Happy Halloween at the Barnegat Library

More than 30 costumed preschoolers turned out for the Barnegat Library’s annual Halloween Parade. The children and their caretakers enjoyed a Halloween storytime and parade around the library. The event was capped off with refreshments served and provided by the Friends of the Barnegat Library.

Photo credit: Samantha Gordano

Lions & tigers & bears…oh my!

We had several costumed visitors in our branches today, including our staff. Photos can be viewed at Hit “slideshow” and enjoy!

Wii Bowling for Seniors at the Lacey Branch

Karla from the Lacey branch sent this over:

Senior citizens had an opportunity to try their hand at Nintendo’s Wii Bowling game at the Lacey branch today. Assisted by an encouraging Teen Advisory Board Member, participants were picking up spares and even throwing a few strikes!

Connecting People – Building Community, on a Global Ride!

by June Schneider

Libraries are known to many as a safe haven and friendly place.  Lalo Porto, Mobility Ambassador, walked through the doors of Upper Shores seeking a patch of grass on which to pitch his tent.  That sounds like an easy task, but after a number of calls to local parks and such, the fact was that a warm welcome was hard to find.  Not knowing what else to do and with the sun dipping lower on the horizon, I offered my home as respite.  I couldn’t imagine not offering shelter to someone on a round-trip bicycle journey from Toronto to Brazil! 

Just as the pebble in the pond, the ripple effect raised community awareness of the library and its staff as a trustworthy community resource. Customers overhearing the conversation have since commended the warm welcome provided to sole adventurer, Lalo, and have seen our library as a place that provides help to all who walk through our doors—Connections indeed!


This photo was taken of Lalo  @ morning departure.  Read more about his incredible journey on his blog!


He is also associated with the organization, Bikes Without Borders.

2008 Ocean County Day

The Barnegat branch hosted 2008 Ocean County Day festivities Monday, Oct. 27.  The day-long event brought dozens of county offices together under one roof and presented them to the residents of Ocean County.  Residents were able to learn about voting registration and polling locations, county maintained parks and walking trails, health issues, mosquito control, volunteer opportunities and county services.


Residents who were eligible were also able to get their flu and pneumonia vaccinations.


Photos from the event can be viewed at:   I suggest hitting “slideshow” and sitting back and just watch.

Scarey times in Toms River

Twenty children in Halloween costumes arrived at the Toms River branch Wednesday night. They first enjoyed a scary story time with books that included “When a Monster is Born”  (Sean Taylor), “Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich” (Adam Rex), ”Monster Museum” (Marilyn Singer), and “Goodnight Good: A Petrifying Parody” (Michael Rex).

Storytime was followed by a trick-or-treat parade through the library where the Darth Vaders and Harry Potters received an OCL pencil from Circ and a candy bag of goodies from Information Services. Then it was back to the Discovery Room for some creepy crawly snacks (spiders made from an Oreo cookie mounted on a sugar cookie with Twizzler legs and M&M eyes).

Two games rounded out the evening: Pin the Spider on the Web and Monster Memory Matching. Winners went home with pumpkin carving kits while two runner ups received a handmade, embroidered pillowcase just in time for Halloween.

County Agencies Partner To Prevent Youth Depression

Psychiatric/mental health nurse Bev Cobain has dealt with the effects of depression both personally and professionally. Three of her family members committed suicide; the youngest was her twenty-seven year old cousin Kurt Cobain, front man of popular band Nirvana.

Her family’s tragic losses have ignited a passion to educate professionals, lay people and youth about depression and the significant public health issue of suicide.

Cobain will present two special workshops for teens and adults based on her acclaimed book “When Nothing Matters Anymore: A Survival Guide for Depressed Teens” at the Ocean County Library Toms River branch, 101 Washington Street, Toms River, on Thurs., Nov. 13.

Her first workshop “The Power of Thoughts” starts at 6 pm, and is presented to teens (ages 12 and up). This workshop shows teens how they can find better ways to overcome and communicate their struggles with depression.

The second workshop “Listening With Your Heart” begins at 7 pm and is meant for parents, educators, clergy, youth workers and interested adults. It will provide them with information on how to detect teen depression and how to intervene. Continuing education certificates will be available for this workshop.

Cobain is a nationally recognized speaker on the issues of youth depression awareness and suicide prevention and intervention. She was presented the Youth Suicide Prevention Award for the State of Washington by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the National Mental Health Association’s Green Ribbon Award for her efforts on behalf of youth depression awareness.

In addition to being a practicing psychiatric nurse, she worked on media projects for Court TV, CNN and PBS.

The library’s program was created through a partnership of the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Ocean County Youth Service Commission, Ocean County Health Department, OCSC Juvenile Intake Unit, Ocean County Library and the Municipal Alliance Project.

This program is free and open to the public Registration is required by calling 732-349-6200 or online at

TR has full house twice over!

A Taste of Ocean County – NJCH Grant programs

Over 200 people enjoyed the NJCH grant programs on Wed. October 15, 2008 based on the theme “A Taste of Ocean County” which featured local beekeepers from Herbertsville Honey, a NJ Food Historian discussing the New Jersey Blueberry, and a tasting party including homemade baked goods, Häagen-Dazs ice cream, local honey, and Jersey Blues™ Iced Tea. View the photos


There was standing room only at the Oktoberfest celebration at Toms River branch on Saturday, October 25th. All ages sang along to classic German folk songs by the Lakewood Maennerchor, watched couples dance the waltz and enjoyed authentic food by the local restaurant D.A. Barsch German Butcher Shop. View the photos

LEH Halloween on parade

Little Egg Harbor Library celebrated its Annual Halloween Parade on October 28.  We had moms, dads, grandma’s and grandpa’s, and: a bunny, a skunk, Bob the Builder, a firefighter, a little fairy, a pumpkin, a couple of ducks, a scarecrow, a little vampire, a bumblebee, a couple of princesses, a cowboy, ladybug, Mickey & Minnie Mouse, and a Saint Bernard.  The parade was led by a Hula Girl (Children’s Librarian Donna Majchrzak) and a Baby (Library Assistant June Engel).  Crafts, games, and snacks followed the parade.

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