mc library tolchin

photo: Monmouth County Library Commissioners congratulating Director Judith Tolchin on her appointment, from left, front row: Commissioner Donald W. Burden, Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, Tolchin, Commission Chairperson Renee B. Swartz; back row, Commissioners Gracce Abramov, Nancy A. Grbelja, Peter Doyle and James S. Gray.

FREEHOLD, NJ - Judith Tolchin, Acting Director of the Monmouth County Library system since January, 2014, was appointed Library Director at the last meeting of the County Library Commission held at the Eastern Branch Tuesday.

Tolchin, who has been with the library system for 23 years, immediately outlined a vision and her plan of action and expectation for the coming years through a power point presentation she made at the meeting, covering everything from the need and desire for facilities improvements to the headquarters in Manalapan to grants, corporate sponsorships and other means to raise funds to supplement county taxes that finance the library system’s 13 branches and 14 member libraries.  

“We are very pleased that Judi has accepted the position of Library Director,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, the Board of Chosen Freeholders liaison to the library. “Her qualifications, experience and public service acumen make her the ideal choice.”

Library Commission Chairperson Renee Swartz reiterated Burry’s comments, adding that “Judi has done an exceptional job as Acting Director over the last 18 months and has proven to be, following a national search, the most qualified candidate to take the leadership role in the county library.”

The new Director earned her master’s degree in library and Information Science from Rutgers University, graduating with honors. She holds an undergraduate degree in Personnel and Industrial Relations, with a minor in economics, from Ithaca College. Within the library system, she has served as Branch Manager and Chief Librarian at the headquarters facility, Librarian for the children’s department, and Public Relations Librarian.

“She has been responsible for branch operations as the chief librarian, and knows every facet of the vast and fine library system that Monmouth County boasts,” Burry continued.

In her presentation to the Commissioners at their meeting, Tolchin noted her vision incorporates the recommendations made in a recent IVY Group consultant study of the library system commissioned by the Board of Chosen Freeholders, as well as expanding on technology, an improved web site, including iconic access to collections and access for the physically disabled for the library website, and a catalog upgrade to facilitate searches. Tolchin also highlighted programming possibilities to “literally put the library in the palm of your hand.”

The Director’s vision upholds and furthers the library primary missions of “welcoming and supporting the
development of a lifelong interest in the pursuit of knowledge through reading and learning, as well as serving as a lending library and community center promoting library use by all, through the collaborative association of branch and member libraries.”

Created by the County Board of Chosen Freeholders in 1922, the library system also aims to help its patrons meet their educational, recreational, and cultural needs through collections, professional services, information resources, and innovative programming. Towards those ends, the system provides automated access to a vast network of electronic content resources, as well as entertainment and education as diverse as music, dance, business and finance, health, book clubs and games.

"As our mission statement says,” Swartz noted, ”we strive to be a place to dream, to learn, mingle, and to realize one’s potential.” Tolchin said, “I will continue to strive hard to continue to meet those ambitions.