By Lillian Burry, Monmouth County Freeholder
It was both gratifying and astonishing to see how the staff and all employees of the Monmouth County Library system could so readily and efficiently expand the resources it has always offered to meet the at home needs of its thousands of patrons during this coronavirus stay-at-home crisis.
From the very beginning of the digital age, the Monmouth County Library has always offered digital resources to meet every need with access both from systems in place in each of the libraries as well as at home. The eBooks and audiobooks which have always been available, together with the research databases, magazines, newspapers, and video streaming are all part of the library’s offerings since they were created and have expanded regularly as new programs and classes became available.
What is rewarding is seeing the huge number of Monmouth County residents who have taken advantage of all these resources, and the number of new patrons eager to learn more about our Monmouth County library system. Patrons who have always enjoyed the resources within the buildings have now expanded their own knowledge and experiences by activating these same resources at home electronically.
The headquarters library in Manalapan, the Eastern Branch in Shrewsbury and each of the other 11 branches, have always been a valuable resource both online and in person, in addition to offering numerous live presentations of everything from comedy and music to history reenactments and literary presentations. However, many of these resources cannot be made available under present state regulations governing public activities. Fortunately, the library staff, through its constant efforts to include the most up-to-state resources and recreational sources for its patrons was well able to meet the increasing needs for on-line programs and resources.
In addition to providing these resources, library staff sent out a highly informative large card to thousands of Monmouth County residents informing them of all that is offered for their home enjoyment and education, and included on that card not only what is offered but also how to download the library mobile app so that it is always available at a patron’s fingertips. The card also gives information on how to become a library member even during the shutdown of its buildings, as well as phone numbers for both virtual chats and telephone assistance. The library urges residents eligible for membership in the Monmouth County library to visit its website at www.monmouthcountylib.org to learn more about how you the patron can take every advantage of this very valuable resource in which Monmouth County can take great pride.
As the liaison from the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders to this highly acclaimed library system, I join with the thousands of others in saying thank you to a staff that has taken on the added responsibilities and education with the same efficiency and perfection they always devote to providing the best and most complete resources for Monmouth County residents.