Monmouth County Library Bookmarks
Monmouth County Library Bookmark created by Aditya Choudhary

MANALAPAN –  What started in National Library Week in April and became a part of the printed page in May continued to be a celebration of art for the Monmouth County Library, one more innovative program that has encouraged people of all ages from kindergarten through adult to try something new, different, and stimulating.

   This is the second year the headquarters library on Symmes Drive and each of the branches celebrated National Library Week in April  by seeking out artists to design the bookmarks regularly used and distributed freely by the library system. Each bookmark includes the names, addresses and phone numbers of each of the 12 branches and headquarters for easy reference. The bookmarks also contain the numerous ways the library can be contacted, including, Facebook, twitter, YouTube, and more, together with the reminder that membership in the county library means membership and access to each of the branches with all the same privileges.

    The Library invited artists of all ages to submit artwork to be considered for use as the newest bookmarks, which were then printed and began distribution in May. Categories for artists were divided into groups to enable the greatest participation, with judging in the grades  K-4, 5-8, 9 through 12 categories as well as adults. Artists were simply asked to show what they love about the library as the subject of their artwork.

   Each of the submitted works was reviewed and approved and the result is a broad variety of nine attractive bookmarks with the names of the artists included on each bookmark.

    Aditya Choudhary’s artwork is included on the Manalapan library bookmark, Joey’s artistic drawing of himself and “I love Story Time” is a Ocean Township Branch library bookmark. Kate Sabbagh’s depiction of a blonde girl reading “A Lovely Night’ is another Ocean Township Branch artwork and Ellsworth Burrows Book Worms with and without glasses are depicted on the Howell Branch attraction.  Elena Whitehead portrayed a thoughtful reader under a tree urging people to “See where your mind takes you,” for the Eastern Branch library.

Monmouth County Library Bookmark
Monmouth County Library Bookmark created by Ellsworth Burrows

  Ayla Egunay proclaimed that “Books are Magic,” and depicted books, people, stories, love, nooks, friends, magic characters, words and pictures as her reasons why book s are magic.

  Pierce’s predominantly purple shades and white depiction of a universe outside Earth is a challenging “You left off here.”  While Even McNaught’s work on another Headquarters bookmark shows the depths of reading, with a treasure chest of books open and ready for a deep sea diver.

    “It is always so gratifying to see how innovative our library staff is,” said Monmouth County Commissioner Lillian G. Burry, the County Commissioners’  liaison to the Library. “It is art challenges like this that pique the interest of young and old alike and challenge them to be creative and let others see the extent of their talent. It is evident the innovation of the staff brings out creativity among our library users, and expands the numerous ways the library is such a lively and integral part of the  Monmouth County community. I commend and thank each of the artists for their creativity and their generosity in sharing their talent with everyone who uses the Monmouth County Library.”

  For more information on the library and all the programs, activities, resources and curricula available, both in person and virtually, visit

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Muriel J. Smith

Muriel J Smith

Muriel J Smith an award-winning journalist, former newspaper editor, book author and historian, Her newest venture is her blog, in...