SHREWSBURY – When it gets right down to it, it isn’t the plethora of programs it offers; nor is it the thousands of books and DVDs available. It isn’t even the comfort and ease of doing research. Or the Book Club. All of these are important, appreciated and used.
But it’s the people who staff the Eastern Branch of the Monmouth County Library who draw the most praise and are given as the most favorite thing people like about the Library.
That’s what has been showing up in the red and white box on the counter at the Route 35 facility, where Librarian Kim Avagliano has invited visitors to write why they love the Monmouth County Library.
The write-in campaign is just one of many celebrations and programs scheduled to celebrate the half century anniversary of the opening of the largest branch of the Monmouth County Library. Dozens of new comments are added each day, citing numerous reasons for their affection for the library; but the vast majority of them also add how sensational, friendly and helpful the staff is.
While comments praise everything about the library, many visitors make special note of “how nice and helpful everyone is. You can always get what you want.” Or the librarians “always have a smile.” Or, the people are great because they help us.”
All ages of visitors are filling out the papers explaining their reasons for loving the library. For Robert, who explains in his letter that he does his own rap music and has a dream of hosting a talent show at his favorite library, he notes “I love the library because I talk to Erin a lot, everyone is friendly,” and he likes “Lee and the red head.” For Makay, it’s because “it has so many books and it’s fun. I enjoy reading book with my Mommy.” Kim wrote “the staff is amazing. They always greet you with smiles and Mrs. Marilyn is a sweetheart. She is so friendly and always helps us find books. She taught us how to use the microfilm and microfiche.” Ruth agrees the books, audios and movies are great, but adds “but the folks that work here are even better.”
For Jenna, it’s because “there is always something fun to read and watch,” and Sloane loves the fact “they have so many books.” Virginia likes the library because it’s free, there are plenty of computers to use, it’s always clean…even the restrooms…and “all the employees are always so helpful.” Mairead loves the fact there is a great selection of teen books, as well as the library is “quiet to get work done.” An unsigned writer also loves the books, but appreciates the recommendations from staff at the desk, as well as the movies, music, Netflix….”it’s got it all!”
Lia, a teacher, can’t narrow it down there are so many things she loves about the library. “It has given me a wealth of knowledge, laughter and wisdom through all the books I have read over the years. It has also helped me educate my students. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Virginia has been coming to the library since it opened and still remembers one of her very first reasons for loving it. “Fifty years ago, when the Eastern Branch opened, I asked for some special material which quickly arrived…the service has been just as fine over the years since. And the movies and special programs are superb!
Gabrielle puts the Eastern Branch library up among her most favorite things to appreciate in life. “It’s beautiful, plentiful and has great staff. It’s a fantastic central meeting spot.” And to sum it up, she adds, “I’ve never enjoyed my local library more!
Rachel had difficulty narrowing down her reasons for loving the library but was systematic in highlighting a few: “an always accommodating and pleasant staff…much better than dealing with robots!. The materials that are essential to support my research and writing are free; it improves the quality of life and general wellbeing; it’s clean, free of perfumes, dyes, and dust; access to the internet, again free.” And for good measure, Rachel concluded, ”and there are many more reasons!” For Jackie, it’s because, simply, “it’s incredible!”
Maria likes the fact she can access any books from any library in Monmouth County at Eastern Branch, but added, “there’s the fact all the people are so nice, and I love the special programs for children.”
A Happy Reader penned “it is a benevolent source of literary enticement,” while another erudite visitor wrote the library “holds books that provide introspection and self-discovery through knowledge.” Less scholastic but just as enthusiastic are the numerous comments about the awesome books, videos and CDs.
Some people couldn’t narrow it down but wanted to include some comments. For one, “there are too many reasons to comment. I love everything about Eastern Branch. “ And it isn’t only the interior atmosphere, but even “the island garden is always lovely!”
Patience probably expressed what some of the thousands who make use of this facility on a daily, weekly, monthly, or even occasional basis wrote. “It has everything. Books, movies, newspapers, periodicals, computer, etc. It’s a great place to relax and read, offers many programs that are varied and of interest. I highly recommend it!”
As part of the 50th anniversary celebration, the Friends of Monmouth County Library are looking to add at least 50 new members before the October anniversary activities. Stop by the library to learn how you could be one of them.