To the Editor:

With summer in full swing, beaches full, ocean and pools inviting, Monmouth County is fortunate in having alternative entertainment, from music and song to dance and drama at the Library Headquarters in Manalapan and all of the Monmouth County Library’s 12 other branches.

Each of the libraries offers a variety of entertainment for all ages, in addition to regularly scheduled classes and clubs.  Afternoon movies have always been a prime source of indoor entertainment and the variety offered at the library is better than ever.  Anyone can take advantage of movie screenings offered on a regular basis at libraries including Headquarters, Eastern Branch, Wall Township, Howell, Marlboro, Hazlet, Colts Neck and Ocean Township.  It’s easy to check www.monmouthcountylib.org to find a showing someplace in Monmouth County Libraries that piques every interest.  And, like almost every program at the library, they are free and open to the public. 

Many of the branches, as well as the Library Headquarters, offer classes in numerous subjects from bridge and chess to English conversation and Yoga.  Yoga for Beginners will be a special Monday class at Library Headquarters beginning July 23 and continuing through Aug. 13.  The 7 p.m. class offers tips in freeing minds from stress through breathing, vibration, concentration and movement, all demonstrated in a relaxing class offered by a certified teacher of Dharma Yoga.

Monmouth County libraries offer special programs to entice teens during the summer, including a special teen summer celebration on August 1 at Headquarters featuring YouTube Karaoke, YouTube Name—that—Song, pizza and refreshments. Unique displays of rocks will be featured at the event as well promoting the teen summer reading theme, Libraries Rock! On July 30 in Manalapan there’s a two-hour teen workshop for young people interested in making music a part of their lives. The workshop will include everything from working with managers and agents to touring and performing live in front of thousands. Teens are urged to bring their own instrument for increased enjoyment of this unique workshop. The list of teen offerings is vast, but there’s a teen web page on the library’s web site that has all the details.

In both Howell and Atlantic Highlands this month, there are even opportunities to sketch your favorite pet in charcoal and pastels. Lessons are offered for the most unartistic crafter, and all that’s needed is a special photo of your pet, be it hamster, bird, dog or something else, and simply follow the guidance of the instructor to create your own masterpiece.

For those interested in learning more about another culture, the July 26 Headquarters program on Bharatanatyam is a must. That major genre of Indian classical dance which dates to the 10th century will be presented by performer Nisha Pradeep who not only performs the Indian classical and semi-classical dance but will also describe and explain the specific movements for greater appreciation by the audience.

The Monmouth County Library is indeed in the Palm of the Hand of everyone who wants to take advantage of everything that is offered. Summer is the right time to visit  monmouthcountylib.org online or stop in at any of the branches to see what new programs have been introduced, what old favorites are waiting for you to enjoy, and what new friends you can meet over a book, CD, or bridge workshop.

So walk through our doors. We’re excited to meet you and help add another dimension to your summer fun!

Renee B. Swartz

Chair, Monmouth County Library Commission