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?

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. We have free passes to the Grounds for Sculpture available for check-out as well. 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 DigitalOverdriveFreegalFreading, and RBDigital. Cardholders also have access to Rosetta Stone, the library edition of Ancestry.com (which is only available at the library), 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, thrice-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?

No! 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 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 keep items?

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:

Item

Loan Period

Limit

Renewals

Overdue Fines

Books
Magazines
DVDs — Entertainment
DVDs — Instructional
Audiobooks & CDs
Cake Pans

14 days
14 days
7 days

14 days

14 days
14 days

25
5
5

5

5
1

2
None
2

2

2
None

.20/day
.20/day
$1/day

$1/day

.20/day
.20/day

Does the Library have Printers, Scanners, and Fax Machines Available?

The library has black and white and color printers available to the public, as well as a scanner and a copier. We do not have a fax machine.

Does the Library have Quiet Spaces Available?

Yes! If there are no programs in them, patrons are welcome to use the Eisner Room and the West Room upstairs as study or work spaces. Inquire at the reference desk to see what’s available. Passes are handed out on a first-come, first-served basis. Note that patrons are not guaranteed a room to themselves.

If you’d like to reserve a room for a private event, please inquire at the library about doing so.

Why isn’t the Red Bank Library a part of the Monmouth County Library System?

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. For patrons and community members, joining the MCLS would mean two things:

  1. Taxes would increase.

  2. Residents would have access to fewer services and materials.

If you’d ever like more information about how we made our choice, ask, and we will provide you with the details!

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 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?

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?

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.