ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ - The Monmouth County Library will officially welcome the Atlantic Highlands Library as the System’s 13th branch on May 1.

“We are so pleased that the people of Atlantic Highlands have chosen to expand our long association by becoming a branch of the library,” said Renee B. Swartz, chair of the Monmouth County Library Commission. “We will always be mindful of the faith you have demonstrated in our institution and honored that you entrusted the operation of the Atlantic Highlands Library to the Monmouth County Library Commission.”

Atlantic Highlands Library Director Marilyn Scherfen with patron at the borough library.

The Atlantic Highlands Borough Council last year voted to join the as a branch, and the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, led by then-Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry, confirmed the action in a vote in December.

“It is with great enthusiasm that we welcome Atlantic Highlands as our newest Monmouth County Library branch,” said Freeholder Burry, who is the Freeholders’ liaison for the Library System. “Atlantic Highlands is home to my daughter and grandchildren, and I know first-hand what a wonderful community it is. The presence of a Library branch there only makes it more special.”

Mayor Frederick Rast has noted that switching Atlantic Highlands’ status from a member library to a branch will save the borough approximately $130,000 annually, and the library’s five employees will now become county employees.

During the past few months, work has been ongoing to make the borough library’s computer system and catalog compatible with the county system.

Beginning May 1, Atlantic Highlands Library will offer new expanded hours:

Mondays, Wednesday and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tuesdays and Thursdays 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Fridays, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The Atlantic Highlands Library is currently located at 48 Avenue C while its new home is under construction. A new and larger Library will be housed at the renovated Borough Hall on . The renovation project is expected to be completed later this year.

The Atlantic Highlands Library began in 1919 as a library established by a group of local women who had served in the Red Cross during World War I. They established a Community Club which had its own library and reading room.

On August 17, 1926, the Community Club passed a resolution to transform its library into a full-fledged Borough Public Library. In September, 1926, the Atlantic Highlands Public Library officially came into being and under the policy at that time, automatically became a member of the System.

“We are very pleased to be able to extend the services the marvelous Monmouth County Library system to this part of the Bayshore. We thank Lillian Burry, Renee Swartz, the Freeholders and County Library Board for allowing us to continue, and expand, the vision that those thoughtful women of Atlantic Highlands started 85 years ago,” stated Atlantic Highlands Library Director Marilyn Scherfen.

The Atlantic Highlands Library was housed in several different venues, including the Elementary School, before finally becoming part of the Borough Hall complex in 1970. It moved to its current temporary location when the renovation project began last year.