Libraries hold a special place in our hearts. Many of us have fond memories from childhood, and as adults, we look back and smile thinking about the books we read. Libraries in Middletown have been in continuous operation since 1921.

Actually, our library history goes back even a little further, after only a slightly hesitant start as two independent libraries (Navesink, established in 1914; Middletown, 1916), the Middletown Township Library appeared as a full-grown entity in June 1921. Middletown provided a pioneering model for rural library service nearly two years before Monmouth County voters approved the establishment of a county library. Below is the budget for 1921. Notice the postage and car maintenance budgets! They are very close to the actual building budget! In 1921 Middletown Township Library operated one of the first “book wagons” or bookmobiles to travel around the countryside and also would mail books to our rural community. If we compare 1921’s postage budget dollar value to 2020’s postage budget dollar value, we spend 48% less on postage today!

 

Our circulation in 1921 was 34,297 items, which was very impressive. You can see we had a down year in 1922, but the following years are circulation kept increasing. Today, our circulation is over 600 thousand items a year.

The history of the Middletown Township Public Library is long and storied. We will be celebrating 100 years of Middletown Township Public Library in 2021! If you would like to get involved with our Centennial Committee, please contact Heather Andolsen at handolsen@mtpl.org