Archive for March, 2010

Stafford “magically” celebrates its 20th anniversary.

The Friends of the Stafford branch helped kick off the branch’s 20th anniversary with a Magic Show, Saturday March 13th featuring Bruce Bray.  The room was packed with children who had a great time laughing at Bruce’s jokes and experiencing his fun magic tricks.  Everyone had a wonderful time, thanks to the Friends of the Stafford branch for sponsoring this program!


Disney legend presents business breakfast

“Disney Legend” and author Charles Ridgway spoke at a business breakfast his morning in Mancini Hall.

Ridgway, a former public relations official with Disney for more than 40 years, shared stories from his succesful career promoting the  company and helping it become the world’s most recognized entertainment brand.

In the early days, Disney did next to no advertising, relying upon Ridgway’s ingenuity to spread the word about the wonders that awaited within the park.  It was a strategy that worked well.  And it was supported by partnerships with businesses and individuals, or as Disney preferred to call them, “participants.”

His hint for getting the word out to the media, “Have something worthwhile for them to see.” 

He also advocated establishing a friendly relationship with the media.  “Go out and meet with the press.”

As to the Internet and social media, it’s a valuable tool, he says, but it’s a mistake to try and control it.

The greatest crisis he faced?   There were two: the death of Walt Disney, because the family did not want to upset the public that was vacationing in their park; and the gasoline shortage which the media said would curtail driving vacations and hinder the public from traveling to Disney World.

Favorite Disney movie?  There are three: “Beauty and the Beast”; “The Jungle Book”; and “Mary Poppins.”  He especially liked the “Mary Poppins” stage show.

Best memory he took away from those 44 years: the opening of Walt Disney World.

Ridgway will also speak at a special program in Mancini Hall Monday night (March 15.)

History and genealogy programs

History Your Family – Your Community Discovering History in Your Own Backyard

Local history can bring people together and strengthen personal and community ties. The story of people in a neighborhood, a town, and their ties to the larger community of county, state and nation reminds us that history begins in one’s own back yard.

In keeping with its mission statement “Connecting People Building Community” the Ocean County Library will host a series of programs on local history and genealogy.

Some of the topics covered will include:
• March 20 –“400 years of Boating on Barnegat Bay.” Celebrate the history of boating, boat building and fishing on the bay.

• April 10 – “Writing your Life Story.” Learn how to preserve valued family photographs and mementos.

• April 24 – “Ocean County Local History Fair.” Local heritage and history organizations tell the history of the people of Ocean County.

• May 4 – “Gather and Organize Your Family History.” Learn how to extend the life of valued family photographs and mementos.

• May 22 – “Pass it on.” Preservation specialist Jill Rawnsley will teach the proper way to preserve and store photos, quilts and other collections.

• June 3 – “Geocaching and History: A virtual history treasure hunt.” A high-tech cross between a scavenger and treasure hunt that people from all backgrounds can enjoy and learn about the history of the location.

• June 8 – “Library Resources for Genealogy and Research.” Discover the library’s vast history collection and databases.

• “All Aboard! NJ’s Deluxe Train the Blue Comet.” Filmmaker Robert Emmons Jr uncovers the famous Central Railroad train “the Blue Comet”. Date of this program is yet to be determined.

These programs are made possible by a partnership of the Ocean County Library and by a grant from the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the New Jersey Historical Commission.

All programs will be held at the Toms River branch, 101 Washington St. and are free and open to the public. Please register at or call 732-349-6200.

How to Raise a Drug Free Kid: The Straight Dope for Parents

More than 130 parents, educators and teens attended Monday night’s “How to Raise a Drug-Free Kid” presentation given by Joseph A. Califano, Jr.  Califano is the founder of The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University and also served as the U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare from 1977 to 1979. Parents and educators were given insight into one of the most common problems facing teens today: resisting drugs and alcohol. Marleen Lynch Ford, the Ocean County Prosecutor, was in attendance and addressed the group as well.

While parents and educators got “the straight dope” about drugs and kids, teens participated in a workshop with Bob Dolan, a retired substance awareness counselor, upstairs in Hometown Dairy. The group practiced problem solving and assertiveness skills while also learning about how to handle tough drug and alcohol related situations.

Each attendee went home with a copy of Califano’s book, How to Raise a Drug Free Kid: The Straight Dope for Parents. The author was available after the presentation to answer questions and to sign his book.

2010 Women’s History Program in Mancini Hall

More than 125 people attended Thursday night’s Women’s History Month program and reception in Mancini Hall.  This year’s theme was “Writing Women Back into History.”

Freeholder John P. Kelly and Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove presented the Ocean County Advisory Commission on the Status of Women with resolutions from the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Fourth Legislative District.

Norvella Lightbody read a PowerPoint prresentation about the women of New Jersey.  It was prepared by Cynthia Smith.

The event included opening remarks by the Advisory Committee Chairwoman April Yezzi and Library Director Susan Quinn.

Prizes were awarded to nine children who were among more than 300 entrants in an art contest that honored women in American history.

The event was cosponsored by the Library, The Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Advisory Commission, the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore, and Zonta Club of Ocean County.

Photos from the event can be viewed on Flickr @

TR Student Art Reception

Thursday night was one very busy night at the Toms River branch.  Our door counter showed that 2,554 people entered the library and just about all of them seemed to have been there for the Toms River students’ art reception.  (We also had about 120 people attend the Women’s History Month program in Mancini Hall.)

Proud parents, teachers and the students themselves had a grand time showing off.

Thanks to all who participated and helped out.

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