The main library relocated from its original site in the Lonan building to temporary quarters in the Robbins Street Firehouse before settling in the east wing of the Courthouse in 1950. The library relocated again in 1962 to 15 Hooper Avenue, inside what had formerly been St. Joseph Church’s gymnasium. The Ocean County Probation Office presently occupies the space.

In October 1981, the library that served as the Toms River Branch and the System Headquarters relocated to its present home, 101 Washington Street. Thanks to this facility, the library was able to extend its services and incorporate the Children’s Services and Media Services divisions into the main building.

The Bishop Memorial Library, formerly known as the Township of Dover Library, first opened its doors on Washington Street in 1941. Nathaniel Holmes Bishop, a local writer, cranberry producer, and explorer in the Victorian period, was honored with Bishop Library. In 1976, the Dover Township Library amalgamated with the Ocean County Library System after a vote. After the new Toms River branch was erected next door, the facility was transformed into a non-circulating local history and genealogy research collection.

A computer training lab was built in the Bishop building in 1997. Until 2006, it provided free computer instruction and Internet access to the general public. All of the services that were formerly accessible at the Bishop Memorial Library Facility were relocated to the main building in 2006. The Hugh B. Wheeler Room now houses genealogy and historical research collections. In addition, the computer training lab was upgraded to a 20-seat Technology Lab. Check it out here

After a four-year effort, the Toms River Branch was expanded to 100,000 square feet. Mancini Hall (named after Ocean County *Freeholder James J. Mancini, the “father of the modern [Ocean] County library system”), a 250-seat multi-purpose room for concerts and special events, the technology training lab, a youth services area with a story and craft room, a large Teen Zone with a plasma TV for gaming, enlarged reading rooms, a quiet study tower, conference and group study rooms, expanded space for videos, audiobooks, DVDs, and acoustic

The branch was created to suit the multi-purpose requirements of a varied population while being adaptable to new technology demands. Click here for the next article

Through the power of knowledge and stories, the Ocean County Library brings people together, fosters communities, and changes lives. Today, more than ever, we are vital to our community. Lifelong learning, sustainable communities, and economic prosperity are all aided by public libraries. The library functions as a knowledge hub and promotes civic engagement. It progressively delivers digital information while supporting our citizens’ quest for personal development.

For further information, call (732) 349-6200 or check their website to see whether your local library branch is available.