TR branch marks 30-year milestone

This year has been a time of milestones in Ocean County Library history.

Ocean County Library began celebrating its 85 years of serving the residents Sept. 19, 2010. And August 28th will mark the 30th anniversary of the Toms River branch being dedicated at its current location on Washington Street.

Prior to that move it had been located at 15 Hooper Avenue, now a site of the Probation Department.

When the branch was dedicated in 1981 Lady Diana Spencer married Charles the Prince of Wales. Microsoft released MS-DOS on the first IBM PC. And the price of a gallon of gasoline was $1.25.

Thirty years ago the library card catalog was just that: a paper card file that listed its holdings. Its music records were on vinyl or 8-track tape. If one wanted to view a feature film the library had just created its Video Tape Circuit that had groups of 12 VHS tapes that rotated bimonthly amongst the branches. And a limited number of Apple’s “microcomputers” were being introduced for the public’s use to see if they would catch on.

Since the building’s dedication it has gone through a renovation, doubling its size to 100,000 square feet. A coffee shop serves the library’s customers. And Mancini Hall has served up top notch speakers and entertainers.

The Toms River branch has created a display of its last 30 years at 101 Washington Street and can be viewed in the Wheeler Room on the building’s second floor.

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