The Berkeley Branch of the Ocean County Library
maintains a 45,000-volume library of books, encyclopedias
and other reference materials, and subscriptions
to over 100 magazines and newspapers. There are
more than 1,400 feature films on video and DVD,
a large and varied collection of compact discs for
all ages and musical tastes, and hundreds of books
in large print and on tape and compact disc. The
Berkeley Branch has a growing and varied collection
of Spanish language materials, including fiction,
mysteries, biographies, and educational language
resources. Seven Internet and two word processing
computers are available for use by the public.
Our Youth Services Librarians promote and nurture
a love of reading with story times and craft for
pre-school children, lap-sit story times, and book
Music also sparks the imagination, and, thanks to
the Friends of the Berkeley Library, we are able
to offer exciting and educational musical programs
for children. “Kids at Heart,” for children
ages 1-6, is an interactive parent/child participation
program with rhythm instruments. Yosi, a very popular
sing-along artist, performs here to crowds of enthusiastic
fans from 2-7 years old.
The Berkeley Branch was the first library in New
Jersey to host Family Place, a program for children
age 12 to 42 months and their parents. One day a
week for 5 weeks, parent and child enjoy free playtime,
craft and circle time. Library resources are readily
available to answer parenting questions, and each
week a different expert in child development, nutrition,
speech, and other areas circulates among the families
to discuss questions and problems. Please contact
the Berkeley Branch for more information.
We have many other popular family programs, including
the Friends’ Fun Fair, and live animals such
as the Seeing Eye Puppies, and Snakes ‘n Scales.
These programs draw hundreds of families to the
Berkeley Branch on a weekly basis, making it a focal
point of the community. Look for our Renaissance
Fair in the summer of 2005. There will be games,
activities and demonstrations, sponsored by the
Friends of the Berkeley Library.
teen customers are very important to us, and we
look for many ways to serve them and include them
in volunteer activities in the library. Teens at
the branch have recently started a Fantasy Book
Discussion group and a Teen Advisory Board to which
all teens in grades 7-12 are welcome! Please call
the branch for dates and times.
The Berkeley Branch’s collection includes
a wide selection of young adult fiction, including
mysteries, romance, science fiction and fantasy,
horror and suspense, and manga and graphic novels.
Our Information Services are always ready to help
find the materials necessary for completing homework
assignments and for researching colleges and careers.
Our S.A.I.L. (Student Achievement In the Library)
program gives teens from the community opportunities
to volunteer to help with summer reading programs,
maintaining the library, and helping customers.
In addition to our circulating collection of books,
CDs, DVDs, and videotapes, the Berkeley Branch also
provides many reference services, Internet training,
and programs of personal interest and improvement.
Many resources, such as telephone books, Berkeley
Township ordinances, state and federal tax forms,
and environmental information are available in the
Reference Department. Each month, free classes are
scheduled for adults wishing to learn the basics
of using the computer to navigate on the Internet.
There are also free adult and family programs each
month open to the public.
The Berkeley Branch now sponsors a monthly program,
Berkeley Seniors Day @ the Library, that focuses
on the interests and needs of our senior citizens.
Programs on financial planning for seniors, elderlaw,
Medicare fraud, Elderhostel, the Ocean County College
Academy for Lifelong Learning, and services from
the Ocean County Office of Senior Services, are
free and open to all senior citizens.
New in 2005 are our series of family programs on
healthy living, cooking, and other seasonal themes.
Our first series, called Healthy Living, includes
programs with a dietician, and experts in tai chi
Sponsored by St. Francis Community Center, two levels
of English as a Second Language programs are hosted
each week at the Berkeley Branch. Please call and
ask to speak to a reference librarian for more information
about this free program.
For information about dates and times of any of
our programs, please consult the program calendars
or call the Berkeley Branch.
by Linda Feaster
Information Services and Young Adult Librarian