Ocean County Press Release
Computer Lab and Meeting Areas Slated for Brick Library
BRICK TOWNSHIP – Age along with wear and tear has resulted in the need to improve and upgrade the Brick Township branch of the Ocean County Library on Chambersbridge Road, here.
"The people of Brick have been very patient waiting for this library project," said Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari, who serves as liaison to the county's library system. "There will be no increase in library taxes to finance this project and by waiting to start it until 2012, we were able to capitalize on lower building costs.
"In addition, this renovation will bring needed construction and trade jobs to the people of Ocean County," he said.
The renovations are being done under a partnership between the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Ocean County Library Commission. The interior design project will include new carpeting, furniture, energy-efficient lighting, and painting in addition to reconfiguring some of the space.
"The fixtures in the building are original to the facility, and although they have served us well, they have outlived their useful lifespan," said Ocean County Library Commission Chairman Henry J. Mancini. "We have redesigned the existing floor plan with value in mind to create meeting room and study spaces, a children's story corner, a new teen area, and a conference room that can serve a dual purpose as a computer instruction lab."
The project is expected to get under way in mid-March with a completion date anticipated for late summer.
According to Susan Quinn, Library Director, the branch will be temporarily closed during construction however, the library is looking at all options and has put in a request to Brick Township to partner in providing a temporary location for library services.
"We invite our patrons to visit our nearby full-service library branches during this period," she said.
Nearby branches include the Point Pleasant Borough Branch located at 834 Beaver Dam Road or the Lakewood Branch at 301 Lexington Avenue.
"Library cards are accepted at all 21 branches of the Ocean County Library," Quinn said. "A library card also provides access to the library's many databases and collection of E-books and audio books through the library's website 24 hours a day, seven days a week from a home computer with an Internet connection at www.theoceancountylibrary.org."
Originally, the County in cooperation with Brick Township and the Library Commission planned a 20,109 square feet expansion to the facility. However, those plans were postponed following the downturn in the economy.
"Working toward the expansion, our community expressed a desire for more meeting room spaces and computers within the building, as well as a growing interest to accommodate technologies that customers are bringing with them to the branch, such as laptops," said Brick Library Branch Manager Susan Gardiner, who has worked at the location since opening day in 1990. "Through a creative use of the current space, I am delighted that we will still be able to provide some of these desired features for library patrons."
Quinn noted the branch will receive 10 new laptop computers for the new computer lab through federal funding received from the Broadband Technology Opportunity grant and matching funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through the New Jersey State Library. The goal of the grant is to provide libraries with the tools they need to provide services to the unemployed and underemployed such as classes and instruction on job hunting and resume writing.
"It will be wonderful for our librarians to have a dedicated computer lab at the Brick branch for this purpose," she said. "The library is a focal point in the community.
We are working to make sure we offer a host of services and programs to meet the needs of all the citizens."
The renovations were designed by local architects Yezzi Associates of Toms River. Bids for the work are expected to be received by the County on Feb. 7 with an award scheduled for March 7.
A new heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system was already installed at the branch the weekend of Oct. 1, 2011.
"Working in partnership, we are continuing to provide our residents with the best services possible at this library branch," said Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little. "I am sure our library patrons will be pleased with the upgrades."