Laid-off children’s librarian Sira Williams embraces colleague Jane Eigenrauch after Wednesday night’s council meeting. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge) By JOHN T. WARD Hours after more than half the staff of the Red Bank Public Library…

Posted: March 13th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Red Bank | Tags: , , | 12 Comments »


  1. John Knox said at 2:38 pm on March 13th, 2014:

    The Red Bank library should learn from the Middletown library how to efficiently run a library.

  2. Jim Granelli said at 2:49 pm on March 13th, 2014:

    I’m wondering if it is time for membership fees. It’s like the movies, so much available at Netflix ect, that movie theaters are barely full anymore. No different with books available electronically.

    If you want an old fashioned library with these kinds of expenses, maybe you should pay more for it.

    We can’t keep paying these exorbitant buyouts via our taxes.

  3. careful Jim said at 3:45 pm on March 13th, 2014:

    Jim, I don’t entirely disagree with you, however, it’s a careful line to walk, ie, given Khan Academy, every college offering online courses, and all of the Moodle type of online learning software/programs out there, one can absolutely extend the claim to “If you want an old fashioned school with those kinds of expenses, maybe you should pay more for it” — and I’d suspect that old folks/younger folks (those without kids) would love to not pay for your kids to attend a school building or get a bus there. If you’re not a parent, having parents pay for their own kids’ education sounds fair, right? If you are parent, seems like quite a good way to save money, pool your money with other’s money. I’m all for using modern technology to save a few $s, but is there a “greater good” or a big picture savings in a school, or a library that is worth the whole public funding? I’m really not sure, but it seems wrong to consider one without the other.

    I think it may be that this is another case of “yeah make those cuts in spending!” when really what you and I might mean and really want to see instead are those $150,000+ “administrators” in Trenton or at the NY/NJ/DE/PA Port Authority(ies) or the multiple, redundant principles that are in every school, etc to be cut. For a bad yet similar analogy, I don’t mind get ripped off of a $1 for a candy bar by some kid “for his T-ball team”, but I do mind if $0.95 of that $1 goes to some guy in a suit while some parent doesn’t get to watch their kid play because the parent has to sell hot-dogs instead. I think we all just want money in the right places, and in general, I think we all feel like that is rarely happening.

    I offer no conclusion or suggestion to the problems, just something to consider.

  4. untaxable said at 4:28 pm on March 13th, 2014:

    the people in red bank have to realize every time we take a privately owned home off the tax rolls the tax payers have to help make up the difference. Lunch Break is expanding and took more homes of the tax rolls. great high taxes! People want to take the Thomas Fortune House of the tax roll, thus more $ out of tax payers pockets. Yes River view don’t have to pay R/E tax but they did give money to the town. lets look at the real problem

  5. Outrageous! said at 5:19 pm on March 13th, 2014:

    it is long past time for that council to get off their duffs and trim their number of town employees,(10, for a place that small!) either get a non-profit or historical society or some organization to “adopt” it, and keep it funded and maintained, privatize the thing, start charging a users’fee, AND/or, STOP the ridiculous policy of bonding for years, to pay off a few employees to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars!.. we are all sick of the waste and abuse of the taxpayers in that town.. just because it was left to the town, does not mean it is now financially viable to keep it running.. has anyone ever done a study/survey, to learn how many residents really even use it, how many pay the card fee and use the much larger, modern, Shrewsbury county library, right down the road, or have even used it at all?.. if they want it for the use of a few, then do a ballot referendum on the November ballot, to see if the taxpayers want to continue to pay for the repairs and upkeep of an expensive, outdated idea..

  6. @ Outrageous said at 5:38 pm on March 13th, 2014:

    Offers a solution then, volunteers. I am sure there are retired people that would love to help out and reduce the number of paid staff.

    Jim Granelli

  7. Chris said at 5:47 pm on March 13th, 2014:

    We actually do pay a user fee. In Middletown it’s itemized on the tax bill.

    But with the move to Ebooks, you see booksellers going out of business (Borders), so libraries will get obsolete soon too. Eventually they’ll have to consolidate or switch to a reduced county system.

  8. Monmouth County said at 11:37 pm on March 13th, 2014:

    has the largest circulation of any library system in NJ.. With the two main branches in Shrewsbury and Manalapan, and all the member libraries scattered throughout the county, all their programs and services to the community, nearly all free, do a great service,and keep libraries relevant,as community centers people love and are willing to support.. In the case of Red Bank, it is likely time to either privatize it, sell the land on the River for ratables, and move on.. Not fair to keep an old and expensive building that needs to be put to a better use. Emotions are valid, but too expensive, these days, especially in an over- crowded, over- taxed little town.

  9. Bob English said at 7:03 am on March 14th, 2014:

    @Monmouth County…Just out of curiosity how was it determined that the libraries in roughly 10 towns would be part of the County system? Would it make sense to have the Red Bank Library and perhaps other local libraries part of the County system?

  10. The towns said at 7:42 am on March 14th, 2014:

    make the decision whether to become part of the county library system, if they will get more for their money, or save money, by becoming a member.. In Red Bank, there is apparently some kind of deed restriction on the donated property that may preclude them from coming in.. The council really basically, has to stop throwing good money after bad, as the building deteriorates,and look for alternative solutions,other than robbing Peter to pay Paul, and their favorite: raising local property taxes and water/ sewer rates, to balance their budget..

  11. Sancho Panza said at 11:49 am on March 15th, 2014:

    Re: “Monmouth County has the largest circulation of any library system in NJ.. With the two main branches in Shrewsbury and Manalapan, and all the member libraries scattered throughout the county, all their programs and services to the community, nearly all free, do a great service.”

    It seems as if you have never even glanced at your property-tax bill.

  12. Oh, stop- said at 11:55 am on March 15th, 2014:

    Go on the county website and read the budget breakdown: only 16 cents of your tax dollar goes to the county- it is the over- spending towns and the outrageous school budgets that account for almost all of it!! I submit you get plenty for your county tax dollars, if you choose to investigate all they do, and choose to partake of it!