Archive for April, 2009

Creative Recycling at Waretown branch

recycle-11recycle-21recycle-31recycle-41Abbie Galie and Holly Doyle gave our Creative Recycling program attendees a real treat. Our meeting room was decked out with high quality, original, and unique handmade items that were also eco-friendly. Abbie and Holly are members of ETSY, a growing community of crafters and artisans developed to promote such products. Some of the more fascinating items were made from fishing lures, sea glass, beverage container caps/tabs, and everyday office supplies. Audience members went home with some very ingenious handouts. If you are interested in seeing more of their products, they will have them available at the Medford Village Art and Wine Festival on June 7.

Library collects more than 2 tons of food

small-elaine-leslie-joe-ellaOcean County Library would like to thank its customers who donated 4,165 pounds of food during the library’s “Foods for Fines” program to celebrate National Library Week.

Customers donated canned food items in exchange for lessened library fines. The food collected was given to the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, who will distribute it throughout the community.

The program was co-sponsored by the Ocean County Health Department.

Berkeley hosts “Get-a-Job Fair”


Mike Bobish from Berkeley sent this one in:

On April 13, 2008, the Berkeley Branch hosted its “Get-a-Job Fair” for teens and adults.  Over 60 people connected with area employers or applied for referrals from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.



Participating employers included ShopRite of Bayville, the New Jersey Department of Labor, McDonald’s, Blackbeard’s Cave, Wawa Markets, and Primerica.  Applicants were able to apply for positions on the spot using the Ocean County Library’s mobile computer lab, and they enjoyed complimentary refreshments courtesy of the Berkeley Branch’s Friends of the Library.

2009 FlowerFest at Toms River branch


Several hundred people attended FlowerFest Saturday (April 18) and everyone we spoke with said they enjoyed it a lot!
Members of the Toms River Garden Club demonstrated ways to create miniature floral arrangements and preserve flowers. Lisa Stubenrauch shared the tips that help her create stunning floral photographs. Tina Bulwin of Flowers by Addalia demonstrated how one can create centerpieces using Jersey Fresh fruit and flowers. Michael Mandracchia told how to draw birds into your yard by skillfully employing different flowers and plants. And Mike McGrath, our key speaker, gave two great seminars that were both entertaining and informative.

Thanks to Reynolds Garden Center, Calgo Gardens and Lowes of Toms River for beautifying our entry way.
Photos from Flowerfest can be viewed at


Nancy Marino’s novel to be released May 12

Local librarian to release her first book

TOMS RIVER – A book written by Ocean County librarian Nancy Marino, from Waretown, is scheduled to be released May 12.

“Neil Armstrong is My Uncle and Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty Told Me” is a novel about Tamara Ann Simpson growing up in Long Island’s Massapequa Park during the summer of 1969.

Simpson’s best friend, foster child Kebsie Grobser, suddenly moved away that summer and she was replaced by Douglas “Muscle Man” McGinty. Simpson’s quest that summer: expose McGinty, “a squirrelly runt, a lying snake and a pitiful excuse for a ten-year old,” for the fraud she knows him to be.

The book chronicles her attempts to unmask him but it also shows Simpson as a socially isolated girl who misses her best friend very much. Perhaps Tamara could stand to take one small step towards a bit of compassion and understanding for McGinty and at the same time redeem herself.

“Nan Marino may be a debut author,” Patricia Reilly Giff wrote on the book jacket, “but she’s obviously a born storyteller. You will immediately feel at home with her characters, you’ll ache right along with them, and you won’t be able to leave their stories behind.”

Marino will discuss her book at children’s programs June 12 and July 28 at the Toms River branch, 101 Washington St.

The publisher, Roaring Brook Press, said the book is appropriate for 8- to 12-year olds but Marino said the story has been well received by teen and adult readers, too.

An audio CD of the book read by actress Emily Bauer will also be released May 12.

FlowerFest 2009 details

Ocean County Library’s FlowerFest starts this Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Toms River branch, 101 Washington Street.
The annual festival features Mike McGrath, author and host of the weekly Public Radio program “You Bet Your Garden,” at noon and 2 p.m. The radio program reaches an average of 50,000 listeners in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware on WHYY-FM. He will sign copies of his book between his presentations.
Several local experts will present programs during the festival.
Demonstrations by the Garden Club of Toms River on arranging floral miniatures and preserving flowers will begin at 11 a.m.
Lisa Stubenrauch will offer tips on photographing plants and flowers at noon.
Tina Bulwin will demonstrate how to create fruit and flower centerpieces using Jersey Fresh produce at 1 p.m.
Michael Mandracchia will discuss how to attract birds to one’s garden at 3 p.m.
There will be crafts and demonstrations for children during the day.
Calgo Gardens and Reynold’s Garden Center will present displays in the library entrance.
Several groups, including the Barnegat Bay National Estuary Program, Master Gardener Association of Ocean County, Ocean County Department of Solid Waste Management, Jersey Shore Rose Association, and the Native Plant Society will host booths in the library’s Mancini Hall.
Door prizes will be distributed to many who attend the festival.
The festival is free and open to the public. For more information visit the library’s Web site or call (732) 349-6200.

John, Paul, George and……. Ben?



The Brick YS Dept. is currently touring the system with  “John, Paul, George, & Ben”, a puppet show based on Lane Smith’s book about the “Founding Fathers” as young lads growing up together.


Michelle Brzozowski, Judith Frana, Kristen Kirk, Linda Campbell and Lisa Borowski recently performed their show at the Brick branch where the play was enjoyed by customers and the puppeteers.


Flower photos on display

small-daisy11The FlowerFest committee has sifted through dozens of entries and came up with the best of floral-themed art pieces for its multimedia display.  They can be viewed at

Lee Schneller talks gardens

small-50071Author Lee Schneller had answers and the more than 20 flower-philes who attended her program Saturday had plenty of questions about their Jersey Shore gardens.


“Montauk daisies do extremely well at the shore,” she said.  She also told them of her success with using Tree Guard, in her opinion “the worst advertised product,” to prevent deer and other critters from devouring her gardens.


She also introduced and autographed copies of her first (and last, she said, because it took seven years to write) book “The Everblooming Flower Garden.”


It was a dedicated and knowledgeable group who attended her program.  As she flashed photos of her gardens you could hear people softly say to themselves the names of the different flowers on the screen.


Schneller explained her five-step technique to plan flower gardens.  Unlike the traditional method of laying a plan out on a grid she considers when a flower blossoms, its sun light needs, its height and its color.  She then makes a simple calculation on the available space.


She said she considers herself a lazy gardener, preferring to do the least amount of maintenance to obtain the maximum benefit.  That was the force that drove her to write the book, she said. Schneller recommended gardeners plant flowers very densely for three reasons:

  • You get the maximum number of blooms
  • There are fewer weeds to contend with
  • Plants need less dividing


“Keeping the Dream Alive”

small-0856The Point Pleasant Boro branch hosted “Keeping the Dream Alive” a documentary created by local high school seniors about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights movement. The documentary is based largely around King’s experiences and interspersed with historical footage, including speeches he gave, an address to the nation by President John F. Kennedy, and many photographs chronicling the Civil Rights Movement.

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