Gina Soares, branch manager of the Navesink branch of Investors Bank, made the presentation together with assistant branch manager Lauren Crowley to Friends of the Library president Linda Lucas, and members Ken Grasso, and Lisa Sanders. Mayor Randi LeGrice, a charter and still active member of the Friends group, was also present for the presentation and gave the grant donors a brief history of the Friends of the Library branch.
The Friends for this branch of the County Library was formed when the library moved to its present facility in Borough Hall when the municipality was built in 2012. The $4,000 grant will replace furniture that was not new when originally purchased, the mayor explained. At the time of construction, with limited funds, the library and borough administrator Adam Hubeny worked together and found a Middletown business that was selling some used furniture. “The chairs and table were in excellent condition, we could get them right away, so the purchase was made,” the mayor said, “and now with this grant we have the opportunity to upgrade it to make it more comfortable, and to enable our many users to have more individuality and access to electronic sources for their research and entertainment.”
Investors Foundation assists organizations in New Jersey, New York City and Long Island that invigorate communities with civic-minded initiatives focused cultural and educational programs. Library Friends worked with the librarian to ascertain the greatest immediate need for the library before deciding on the furniture for the grant funds.
Reynolds said she will seek out prices and availability for the type of table best suited to the library but would not have the new furniture arrive until the beginning of the school season because of the number of different activities currently going on in the library.
“Statistics are showing that the greatest users of the library are the millennials,” Lucas said, “many seeking a place and connections to do research or seek outside sources for further education, for job searches or any number of different reasons. The new table will make their library visits even more productive.”
In addition to the local community, who actively participate in numerous library programs and offerings, the library is a great source for boaters at the municipal yacht harbor, the president said. “Because we have such a great community and all work so well together, personnel at the harbor, employees at the restaurants or shops often refer newcomers to the library for reference on local offerings, newspapers, and information on Monmouth County and the surrounding area. It’s a busy place and we’re happy to have the visitors see how much we have to offer.”
Although this is the first grant the Friends group has received from Investors, they have made significant contributions to the library through their other fund-raising efforts throughout the years, including shading blinds for the glassed-in activity room. The Friends are listed as a recipient for purchases made on Amazon by buyers who visit http://smile.amazon.com/ designating the Friends of the Atlantic Highlands Library Branch as a recipient.