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Hours

Monday: 10am - 5pm
Tuesday: 10am - 5pm
Wednesday: 1pm - 9pm
Thursday: 1pm - 9pm
Friday: 1pm - 5pm
Saturday: 10am - 5pm
       

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can have a Red Bank Public Library Card?

Who can have a Red Bank Public Library Card?

Anyone who lives, works, owns property, or attends school in Red Bank (including students at Red Bank Regional High School) may register for a library card to borrow books and other items. Library cards must be renewed every 3 years.  Your Red Bank card can also be used at other member libraries in our consortium, which you find out more about here at the LMxAC website.

Children are encouraged to have their own library card, which they may apply for in the Children's Department. Children transfer to the Young Adult Department when they reach 7th grade or the age of 13. Persons under the age of 18 must have their application signed by a parent or guardian. 
 
Non-residents may obtain a library card for an annual fee of $50. Please note: some Middletown residents have a Red Bank postal address but pay taxes in Middletown. They are not eligible for a resident card but are welcome to become non-resident borrowers for the $50 fee.

What do I get with my library card?

What do I get with my library card?

So, so much! The Red Bank Public Library alone has over 40,000 items in its collection -- this includes extensive Young Adult, Biography, Cookbook, Large Print, Comic Book/Graphic Novel, Manga, and Spanish-language collections. We also have hundreds of DVDs, magazines, and audiobooks, and we are regularly adding to all of these collections. On top of our own collection, library card holders have access to the 1 million titles available in the Libraries of Middlesex Automated Consortium (LMxAC). Card holders may either visit the 30 other libraries in this consortium, or put holds on books in those libraries using our online catalog and have them delivered for pick-up in Red Bank.

You do not even need to come into the library to put a hold on an item -- as long as you have your card and PIN number, you can do it all online and we'll let you know when you can come pick it up. Or, if you don't want to come in at all, you can check out the online resources we have available to cardholders, including ebooks, magazines, as well as streaming video and music on Hoopla Digital, Overdrive, Freegal, Freading, and RBDigital. Cardholders also have access to Rosetta Stone, the library edition of Ancestry.com, and free online courses from Universal Class. We also have a Cake Pan library, if you want to bake a special cake but do not want to buy the pan for a one-time use.

The Library itself also serves as an open public space for cardholders and non-cardholders alike. We have 8 computers for public use in the adult section of the library, 2 in our YA section and 6 in the children's section. We also have 5 new laptops that are available for public use, and free public Wi-Fi. We have a really beautiful view of the Navesink River, so if you're looking to get some work done in a quiet place with a great view, there's no better spot in town.

Our library offers regular community programming, too -- this includes monthly Historic Red Bank Walking Tours, our award-winning "Let's Talk About Race" program, twice-weekly story time in the Children's Room, the Readin' on the River book club, Anime Club, yoga classes, monthly used book sales, computer tutoring, Senior Day, ESL classes, the River Read open-mic reading series, musical performances, and much more. All information on programs can be found on our calendar.

We also collect, maintain, and preserve historical materials in our Local History Room, which is open to the public on Wednesdays. If you went to high school in Red Bank, you may well find your yearbook up there -- we have yearbooks going back decades, and have digitized many of them. We maintain an archive of old local newspapers, as well.

Do I need a card to visit the library?

Do I need a card to visit the library?

If you are not a Red Bank resident or a card holder, you are still welcome at our library. While you can't check out our materials without a card, you are welcome to use the public space. Services open to the general public include:

  • You are welcome to view our materials without a card as long as you keep them in the library. This includes our newspapers, our magazines, and our books.
  • We have 8 computers for public use in the adult section of the library, 2 in the YA section, and 6 in the children's section. We also have 5 new laptops that are available for public use.
  • We have a really beautiful view of the Navesink River, so if you're looking to get some work done in a quiet place with a great view, there's no better spot in town.
  • Our community programming is open to all, as well. This includes monthly Historic Red Bank Walking Tours, our award-winning "Let's Talk About Race" program, twice-weekly Story Time in the Children's Room, our Readin' on the River Book Club, our Anime Club, free yoga classes, free meditation classes, monthly used book sales, computer tutoring, Senior Day, ESL classes, and so much more. All information on programs can be found on our calendar.
  • We also collect, maintain, and preserve historical materials in our Local History Room, which is open to the public on Wednesdays. If you went to high school in Red Bank, you may well find your yearbook up there -- we have yearbooks going back decades, and have digitized many of them. We maintain an archive of old local newspapers, as well.

Can I attend Library programs without a library card?

Can I attend Library programs without a library card?

Yes! Our programs are all open to the public. Some programs are popular and may require registration (which you can do online at our Calendar page or by calling our reference desk at (732) 842-0690 ext. 111), but no card is required to do so.

How long can I take out items for?

How long can I take out items for?

Different items can go out for different periods of time. There are a few items which cannot be taken out of the library, such as newspapers, reference books, and items in the local history room. Here's a breakdown:

  LOAN PERIOD     LIMIT     RENEWALS     OVERDUE FINES
         
Books 14 days 25 2 .20/day
Magazines 14 days 5 None  .20/day
DVDs-Entertainment        
7 days 5 2  $1.00/day
DVDs-Instructional 14 days 5 2 $1.00/day
Audiobooks & CDs 14 days 5 2  .20/day
Cake Pans* 14 days 1 None .20/day

* The cake pans must be hand-washed prior to being returned.  Please do not put the cake pans in the book drop.

Why isn't the Red Bank Public Library a member of the Monmouth County Library System?

Why isn't the Red Bank Public Library a member of the Monmouth County Library System?

In short: It comes down to finances, and we pay less money to get access to more materials by being a member of the Libraries of Middlesex Automated Consortium (LMxAC) than we would if we joined the Monmouth County Library System.

In a bit more detail: The Red Bank Public Library Eisner Memorial (RBPL) operates as an independent municipal library. Currently, because we are a municipal library, the library’s budget is established by a state-mandated formula (called “the 1/3 of the mill rate”) based on the appraised value of property in Red Bank. The Borough is informed each October by the State of the amount required to fund the Library. This amount of funding fluctuates as housing values go up and down, but overall has declined almost 12% since 2009.

As a small standalone library, RBPL made the decision to join a consortium of libraries in 2001, namely the Libraries of Middlesex Automated Consortium (LMxAC). The benefits of belonging to a consortium are numerous, including: interlibrary loans of over 1 million titles (over 3 million items), technical and professional support, reciprocal borrowing privileges at over 150 libraries, access to databases and online resources, as well as eBook collections. We currently pay $22,000, from our annual budget, to be a member of LMxAC. LMxAC currently consists of 30 members, including Red Bank.

To join the Monmouth County Library System (MCLS), Red Bank residents would pay for this privilege via their Monmouth County taxes. The 2015 County Library tax rate applied to the Net Valuation on Which County Taxes are Apportioned averaged .000183988602134 (compared with a tax rate of .000333333333333 for municipal libraries.)  If applied to Red Bank's Net Valuation of $1,990,213,711 based on 2014 data, it is estimated that Red Bank's County Library tax total would have been about $366,176 in 2015.  (This is an estimate as there are other variables that could apply).

The MCLS membership cost would cover all library materials, computing and technology needs, and support services, a programming budget, resource sharing, databases and online educational resources, the Library's eBook collections and downloadable eMagazine collections, the use of all 13 Monmouth County branch libraries, inter-library loan service, and delivery services.* RBPL currently spends approximately $169,000 on these budget items today. 

If Red Bank Library were not a municipal library and became a member of the Monmouth County Library System, then the town would not be required to tax at the 1/3 mil rate (.000333333333333) in addition to the County Library tax. But while the tax rate seems low for membership dues to join Monmouth County Library, it is important to keep in mind that RBPL would be paying that tax IN ADDITION to paying for staff and library building costs, which in 2015 were $550,000.

To address a few myths that we've heard about the RBPL joining the MCLS:

MYTH: The county system would shut down our library.

TRUTH: There are two ways to join the County System: as a Branch and as a Member. Because of our proximity to the Eastern Branch of the County Library, we would never be considered as a branch library. When you are a branch library, MCPL basically takes over running the library. If we were to join it would be as a member library, much like Little Silver and Fair Haven. What this means is we remain autonomous, in control of staffing and operating our library including facilities and programming decisions. Because of this, we would still be paying for all staffing and facilities costs, which are our largest budget items.

MYTH: The Eisner Deed does not allow us to join the County System.

TRUTH: The Eisner Deed is the document that legally deeded the home of Sigmund and Bertha Eisner to Red Bank for the sole and specific use of a public library. The deed stipulates we must be a library, it does not place any restrictions upon being a library as part of a larger association. Joining the County would be no different, in regard to the deed, than our current membership in LMxAC.

BOTTOM LINE:

While there are many benefits to joining the MCLS, it would increase the amount taxpayers would pay for library services. The Board of Trustees believes our membership in LMxAC provides residents with similar benefits at a very cost effective rate.

*Important note: Patrons who live in a community with a member library have borrowing privileges at their own location and 13 branches. MCLS does not borrow or inter-library loan materials from member locations. Patrons cannot borrow from other member libraries.

By the Numbers:

These numbers are based on 2014/2015 budget and tax numbers. They are general estimates of cost, as there could be additional unforeseen budget items involved in joining a new system.

RBPL LMxAC vs MCLS Comparison

Can I help out at the Library?

Can I help out at the Library?

Of course! We're always accepting volunteers. We are so very grateful for the many volunteers who help us manage the library day to day.  We truly could not function without their generous donation of time and skills.  Here are some of the things you can do for us as a volunteer:

  • Shelve books and keep our shelves in order
  • Teach computer skills to our patrons
  • Organize exhibits
  • Assist in the New Jersey History Room
  • Help host events and programs
  • Set up for the annual book sale
  • And much more!

Whether you're recently retired, a student in need of community service hours, or just have some free time to give to us, we would love to have you apply to become a volunteer.  Interested in becoming a volunteer?  You will need to fill out an application form and meet with our Volunteer Coordinator, Linda Hewitt.  To receive an application or for any questions @ (732) 842-0690 ext. 112.

Patrons who want to support the library can also join our Friends group (which throws library events like our Town Wide Yard Sale, our bookmark contest, and our Volunteer Luncheon), or our Foundation, which supports the library through fundraisers. 

You can also help us by attending events, checking out materials, and spreading the word!

You don't have a material I want in your catalog. Can you get it for me?

You don't have a material I want in your catalog. Can you get it for me?

Possibly! We are always adding new materials to our collection, so if you can't find something you'd like, please let us know at our circulation desk and we will consider adding it.

Do you accept donations?

Do you accept donations?

Cash gifts and donations

Yes! Public funding only covers some of the library's operating costs, so we gladly accept donations. Thanks to your tax deductible gift we can continue to expand our role as a community engagement center, a technology resource, and a partner with many organizations that give Red Bank its unique quality of life. You can find our donation page here.

Materials

Yes! We accept books, audiobooks, and DVDs as long as they are in good condition. We can't accept damaged materials. Your donations may be placed in our collection, or they may be put into our Book Sale room, which helps raise funds for the library.

 

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Red Bank Public Library
84 W. Front Street
Red Bank, NJ 07701
(732) 842-0690

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