Letter to the Editor:
The Monmouth County Library Commission endorses a Yes vote on Question #1 on the Nov. 7 ballot, and urges voters who appreciate the many services public libraries offer to approve the bond issue which authorizes the state of New Jersey to fund libraries through the sale of bonds.
The bonds, when approved, free money for the state of New Jersey to match funds with local libraries for new construction or expansion and equipment purchases to raise their portion of the total cost through grants or other sources.
The 21st century is a digital world, and the Monmouth County Library has recognized this in its planning and capital improvements programs. The Monmouth County Library, through its Headquarters in Manalapan and 12 branches throughout Monmouth County, has been in the forefront of libraries throughout the state for decades. The Library Commission is committed to increasing the availability for users to access resources through electronic means by increasing availability to all topics and sources from magazines and newspapers to ancestry, career planning and online courses from accounting to web development.
Monmouth County residents have taken advantage of the Library’s vast resources on line. The library has recorded more than one million loans of E-books and audio books during the library’s first five years of providing modern technology while at the same time circulating more than four million pieces of information to the public. Passage of the bond issue would provide necessary funding to continue the improvement of electronic capabilities as well as maintenance and upgrading of an atmosphere within its walls for study, entertainment and culture.
Libraries indeed, have become the community centers for lectures, concerts and a variety of activities for all ages. With access for all, libraries are the leveling force, the true backbone of our democracy, a place to learn, to grow, to keep pace with technology, self-improvement, and a myriad of recreational activities for all ages. In 2017, the Monmouth County Library provided culture and entertainment in a diversity of programs from meeting with Olympians, entertaining the public with noted musicians, offering numerous programs and lectures on American history, screening first run movies, as well as the celebration of literary anniversaries, including the upcoming Jane Austen 200 programs and activities.
A yes vote on Question One will enable the Monmouth County library to continue making the capital improvements and equipment purchases that will keep the Monmouth County Library in the palm of the hand of every resident eager to use its resources.
A yes vote on Question One recognizes the importance of this vital referendum and its impact on Monmouth County. Like the more than half the Monmouth County population who have walked through our library doors this year, voters will prove they truly recognize the magic of the library.
Renee B. Swartz
Chair, Monmouth County Library Commission