Archive for July, 2009

Love is in the Air at the Upper Shores Branch!

2009-07-28, Thomas Louttit1Staff of Upper Shores held a pre-wedding celebration for volunteer Thomas Louttit & fiancée Michelle. His impromptu piano playing has made Thomas somewhat of a celebrity in our community. He brings so much joy to staff & customers alike, we just wanted to give a little bit back. If you are lucky enough to stop in while Thomas is playing, it will definitely make your day! Thanks to Kelly for baking & decorating an awesome piano cake. Best wishes to the happy couple!

PP Boro gets creative

Creating fairy gardens

Children in grades 3 – 5 enjoyed making a Fairy Garden Craft with Point Pleasant Borough’s children’s librarian, Miss Robin.small-garden1small-garden2






Creating pottery

The Point Pleasant Borough Branch has been very busy hosting fun programs for children and young adults in the area. Miss Robin, children’s librarian hosted a Mexican Pottery Class  where children painted and decorated their own pottery.small-boysmall-girl1










Sewinig class

Megan Pehanick, Young Adult Librarian at Point Pleasant Borough Branch held another very sucessful sewing class for local teens. sewing1small-sewing2

Staff Development Day 2009 photos

small-0109Sorry about the delay.  We have posted the photos of the 2009 Staff Developoment Day program.  Here is the link to the slideshow:

Elaine’s farewell roast

small-8945After 25 years as Director of OCL Elaine McConnell is retiring.  She will be missed.  She also provided us a great opportunity to have a party!

Thanks to all who helped put the roast together (Heather Andolsen, Chris Barnes, Scott Walker, Gina Conti, Scott Rodas, Sharon Thompson, Carol Murray P&G and Georgette Breslin.)  And to Cheryl Somers for taking all but one of the photographs that can be found at  Great photos Cheryl.

To view the photographs  click on the link and then I’d suggest you hit the “slideshow” icon in the upper right hand corner.  Sit back and enjoy the 102 photos.

Hip hop is a tool to engage youth

small-013Author, lecturer and a voice of her generation, Felicia Pride spoke to OCL staff Wednesday July 22 in Mancini Hall at the Toms River branch.

 “My goal is to show you a fuller face of hip-hop,” she said as she began her program.  “There are a lot of powerful and rich elements in hip-hop.”

 Her talk and book (“The Message”) told of life lessons that can be drawn from the music, the art and the literature of hip hop culture.

 In discussing the background of hip hop, Felicia noted that it was started by teens from the South Bronx.

 “They started with nothing but they wanted to change their environment,” she said.  And she added that she finds motivation in their example of people having nothing and yet successfully dealing with their life circumstances.

 Hip hop has changed over the years and become commercialized as well as more sophisticated in its presentation.  It has migrated into other art forms, she said, such as theater, film, dance, art and literature.

 Hip hop also lends itself as a tool of engagement for libraries looking to include teens in its programs.  She pointed out that hip hop was started by young people for young people, it is global and crosses ethnic cultures, and it is one of the most dominant aspects of youth culture.

 small-012“Hip hop is a platform to examine and tackle a plethora of real world issues that are relevant to the lives of the young people,” she said.

 Using videos and music from “Why” by Jadakis, Felicia led the OCL staff through a mini-seminar she uses to engage teens to find their own answers to some of life’s problems.  She encouraged the group to ask their own “whys” to understand a problem and to enable them to form opinions.  She then encouraged the participants to act upon those opinions.

 “Hip hop is a tool of engagement,” she said.  “Find out what their interests are and address them.”

Kathy Devitt of Music and Me made music at the Little Egg Harbor Public Library

LEH17_22_09Kathy Devitt of Music and Me made music at the Little Egg Harbor Public Library on Wednesday, July 22nd. There were 2 sessions with an attendance of over 40 boys and girls with their caregivers. Music and Me is a parent/child music class for caregivers and their infants, toddlers and preschool age children.  During the session Kathy Devitt played musical games such as “Old MacDonald”.  Kathy Devitt also introduced the boys and girls to musical instruments. More information can be found at

Magic Workshop with “The Amazing V” in Island Heights!

small-magic 002Budding young magicians learned magic tricks in this fun-filled and entertaining magic workshop on Monday, July 20 at the Island Heights Branch. The magician, Brian Vernachio, believes “magic is a way to allow people to suspend their belief, even for just a moment, to allow them to wonder.” Parents and kids enjoyed magic tricks and lots of laughs. Here, a local first grader plays a trick on the magician!

SAIL vols @ LEH

The S.A.I.L volunteers, along with Donna Majchrzak, Children’s Librarian at the Little Egg Harbor Public Library, did a great job of making and helping kids play with salt dough.small-012


















Ocean County population grows.

The estimated population of Ocean County exceeded 569,000 in July 2008 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The latest numbers were published by the Ocean County Department of Planning. This number reflects a 0.8% increase for Ocean County outdistanced New Jersey’s state wide increase of just 0.3%.

Ocean County Library numbers have also increased “System-wide, we had an increase of 16% of materials borrowed from December 2007 to December 2008” said Susan Quinn Toms River Branch Manager. The number of Ocean County Library cards totaled over 371,000 (including reciprocal borrowers cards issued to Monmouth and Burlington county residents) for the year ending June 2008.

Barnegat township                    22,255
Barnegat Light borough                838
Bay Head borough                       1,265
Beach Haven borough               1,391
Beachwood borough               10,835
Berkeley township                   42,754
Brick township                           78,419
Eagleswood township                1,675
Harvey Cedars borough               393
Island Heights borough            1,871
Jackson township                      52,587
Lacey township                          26,381
Lakehurst borough                     2,707
Lakewood township                 70,983
Lavallette borough                      2,754
Little Egg Harbor township    20,699
Long Beach township                 3,546
Manchester township                41,629
Mantoloking borough                    452
Ocean township                             8,993
Ocean Gate borough                     2,136
Pine Beach borough                      2,078
Plumsted township                        8,215
Point Pleasant borough             20,139
Point Pleasant beach borough   5,418
Seaside Heights borough             3,342
Seaside Park borough                   2,311
Ship Bottom borough                    1,449
South Toms River borough        3,709
Stafford township                         26,520
Surf City borough                           1,558
Toms River township                  95,933
Tuckerton borough                        3,876

International singer Eddie Smith to appear @ Lakewood

Singer-pianist Eddie Smith will perform at the Lakewood branch of the Ocean Eddie SmithCounty Library, 301 Lexington Av. 7 p.m. Wednesday July 15. 

 The Lakewood performance will be an intimate one, as Smith plays and sings a selection of American popular songs from the last 50 years. 

 Born and raised in Toms River, Smith began his career as a child soloist.  He went on to become a music teacher in local schools and later embraced live theatre performance. 

 Smith’s most recent theatrical credits include a long stint in the national and international touring company productions of Elton John and Tim Rice’s “Aida.”  Smith played the role of King Amonasro for nine months in a 35-city tour around the United States in 2006-7.  He repeated the role during a three-month tour of north China and Mongolia in 2008.

 The performance is free and open to the public.

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