The earliest written record of a town library dates back approximately 125 years. Since Lakewood was then known as the Village of Bricksburg, our library was managed by the Bricksburg Library Association. It was housed in a rent- free room offered by the Presbyterian Society, and its collection consisted of 40 volumes.
Originally supported by annual fee of $1.00 per subscriber, additional funding was provided through lectures, plays, cake and rummage sales, teas, card parties and dances.
After Bricksburg became the Township of Lakewood, the library reorganized as the Lakewood Library Association. It was incorporated in 1893.
In 1903, the collection was expanded to include books for children, not previously offered here.
By 1914, circulation and membership increased to where a permanent home was sought and in 1917, the Lakewood Free Public Library was constructed on Monmouth Avenue. Funding was provided by the Carnegie Corporation, the Township and private donations. Miss Katherine Hinsdale was hired as Librarian for $2.00 per day. Miss Hinsdale was the friend of one of Lakewood's most illustrious citizens, John D. Rockefeller, who donated a beautiful circulation desk.
The present building was opened on July 17, 1995. Lakewood Library joined the Ocean County Library system on January 1, 1999.
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