MIDDLETOWN, NJ - The Middletown Township Public Library has begun donating materials from its recently closed Bayshore branch to the public schools in the area.   Several dozen teachers have poured over the books available, and,  in just three days, they have chosen over 3,000 children's books for use in their classrooms and school libraries. More materials are expected to go to storm-damaged schools and needy libraries in the next few days.

Cynthia Wilson, principal of the Ocean Avenue School, said in an email that the school "is overwhelmed with [the library's] generosity", and pledged to put the new books to good use.  Other teachers have also expressed interest in accepting the library’s collection.

The library branches closed March 1 after the Library Board of Trustees approved its annual budget for 2013 on February 20, which included the branch closings.  The Bayshore building is owned by the Township of Middletown, which will convert the space into offices for employees.  Library public computers will remain available at this location during business hours.  The Lincroft branch collection will be donated at an as yet unspecified date.  The Navesink branch, owned by the Duryea-Navesink Library Association, will keep its collection until 2014 for the celebration of the Association’s 100th anniversary.

The Main branch of the library at 55 New Monmouth Road is offering additional story times and other programming for area residents.  In addition, the library is developing its online presence (“The Virtual Library”) and considering book delivery for homebound patrons, among other services.