Ocean County Library Bay Head Reading Center
Grand Reopening Scheduled for June 1
A spirit of cooperation amongst Ocean County and Borough agencies has resulted in the scheduled reopening of the Ocean County Library's Bay Head Reading Center at 136 Meadow Ave., here, by the end of May.
"We are working diligently to reopen the Reading Center the week of Memorial Day with the goal of having our library staff back in the building on May 28," said Ocean County Library Director Susan Quinn. "That will be followed by a grand reopening celebration for the public on Saturday, June 1 starting at 10 a.m.."
The Bay Head Reading Center was severely damaged as a result of Superstorm Sandy and work has been ongoing to rebuild and renovate the facility in order to reopen it to the public.
The good news, according to Quinn, is work at the Bay Head Reading Center is nearly complete with furniture and library materials recently delivered to the site. The restoration work was performed by the Ocean County Vocational Technical School's Brick Center under the supervision of the Library's Facilities Supervisor Joseph Cahill, and with materials supplied by the Borough of Bay Head.
"I deeply appreciate the cooperation and hard work from the dedicated staff to numerous volunteers to our vocational technical students all working in concert allowing us to reopen this facility to serve the residents of Bay Head and the Northern Barrier Island," said Ocean County Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari, who serves as liaison to the Ocean County Library system. "This reading room, just like all of our library branches, serves as a focal point in the community where all of our citizens can come to rent a movie, find a book, and take some time to step away from the day to day challenges we have been facing.
"I am very pleased to see this facility ready to reopen," he said.
The Reading Center, along with the library system's Upper Shores Branch at 112 Jersey City Ave., Lavallette, has been closed since Oct. 27. Both received extensive damage during Superstorm Sandy when it hit the barrier island on Oct. 29.
"Work is ongoing to reopen the Upper Shores branch later this summer," Vicari said. "The Ocean County Department of Buildings and Grounds working with the library staff was able to get the reconstruction under way. Again, the importance of partnership and cooperation will get these facilities up and running again for our citizens."
Ocean County Library aims to have the Upper Shores branch reopened later this summer.
"The coordinated efforts and hard work of the library staff, working together with Freeholder Joseph Vicari, and the Ocean County Vocational School, as well as the dedicated elected officials from Bay Head and Lavallette, will restore the exceptional level of library services the public has always enjoyed on the barrier island," said Bonnie R. Peterson, chair of the Ocean County Library Commission.
"Most importantly, the genuine community spirit generated from joining forces to confront and repair the storm damage has energized all participants, and created a sense of optimism that will undoubtedly be enjoyed by all who come in contact with our fine facilities," she said.
The Bay Head Reading Center will be open additional hours during the summer months from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday to serve the residents of the northern barrier island until the Upper Shores Branch is able to reopen.
"I want to thank the Ocean County Library Commission for extending the hours of the Reading Center so it can be used by our citizens who continue to work at recovering after Superstorm Sandy," said Freeholder Director John P. Kelly, Director of Law and Public Safety. "Our library branches provide many programs and services and are a source of recreation and leisure activities that I know the residents of our barrier islands have missed since the branches were damaged by the storm. The reopening is another sign that we are recovering from the storm."
Information and updates on the Bay Head and Upper Shores facilities can be found on the library's website www.theoceancountylibrary.org.