The Library provides for the informational, educational, recreational and cultural needs of the residents of Rockaway Township.The Library will ensure free and open access to ideas and information which are fundamental to a democracy. The Library will also protect intellectual freedom, promote literacy, encourage lifelong learning, and provide library materials and information services. The Library subscribes to the (ALA) American Library Association Library Bill of Rights.
The Library provides an organized collection of materials in a variety of formats reflecting the diversity of ideas in proportion to the levels of need and use as identified in the community. The Library insures that the print collection contains good quality, up-to-date materials in all relevant subject areas, and offers guidance and encouragement in their use. The Library provides electronic circulation and information retrieval to the residents of Rockaway Township including dial-up access to the Library's online catalog, online periodical databases and the resources available worldwide through the Internet. The Library provides reader's advisory, motivational guidance, and programs for children, young adults, parents, teachers and others serving the needs of youth.
The Rockaway Township Free Public Library began as two library stations, one at the Marcella Community Club in 1954, and a second at the White Meadow Lake Clubhouse. Mrs. Mary Adler founded the first library in the donated cloakrooms of the Marcella Community Club. This library was moved to the basement rooms of the Hibernia School in January 1966. The library at the White Meadow Lake Clubhouse became a branch of the Rockaway Township Free Public Library in September 1968. A third station was later installed in the basement of the Birchwood School on Art Street. Through the diligent efforts of interested citizens, the Township administration recognized the need for a municipal library. The Rockaway Township Free Public Library was officially incorporated in 1968.
The Lions Club purchased the Holy Trinity Church on Green Pond Road and donated the building to the library as temporary housing until a municipal complex could be built. The dedication of the building on Green Pond Road took place in April 1970.
In May 1981, the new Rockaway Township Library opened its doors at 61 Mount Hope Road. The Holy Trinity Lutheran Church building was kept as the Hibernia Branch for the residents of the northern end of the Township. This branch is still open two days per week (Mondays 9:30-5:30 and Wednesdays 1-9). The Main Library at 61 Mount Hope Road is open (7) seven days per week (Monday-Friday 9-9, Saturday 9-5 and Sunday 1-4 (September through June).
In 1968, the Library owned 8,741 books, had approximately 500 registered borrowers and circulated about 15,000 books. At the beginning of 2005 the Library owned 120,000 books. In addition to books, the Library now lends out cassettes, books-on-tape, books-on-CD, readalongs, compact discs, videos and DVDs. In 1968 residents of Rockaway Township could only borrow materials from the Rockaway Township Library with their library cards. In 1981, through a New Jersey State Grant, the M.O.R.E. program (Morris Reciprocal Loan Program) began. This program is still in effect today, allowing residents of Rockaway Township to use their library cards to freely borrow materials from any library in Morris County.
From 1968 to 1989 library borrowers used the card catalog to locate materials held at the Rockaway Township Library. Beginning in April 1989, residents had the option of using the Morris Automated Information Network (M.A.I.N.) to locate materials held at our library and at 34 libraries in Morris County. In addition to item location, the on-line catalogs show whether an item is available or checked out. Before 1990 library patrons used only print sources to locate periodicals and business information. In July 1990, the Library received a grant from the State of New Jersey for CD-ROM reference service. Now information in over 400 periodicals spanning a 10-year period, directory information on 9 million businesses, full-text information from the New York Times and full company reports could be accessed using this new CD-ROM technology.
In September 1993 the Library began dial-up access to the Library Catalog, Periodical and Newspaper Abstracts and the Internet giving library patrons wider access to informational sources.The Library also participates in an online reference subscription program through M.A.I.N. Inc., the Highlands Regional Library Cooperative and the New Jersey State Library, giving online access to Contemporary Authors, Facts on File, MagillOnLiterature, Novelist, New York Times back to 1851, EBSCOhost Masterfile, Proquest Magazines and Newspapers, and Reference USA Index. The Library also subscribes to LitFinder (full-text poems, short stories and essays) and Wilsonweb (biographical sketches). Within the Library patrons have access to the Internet on (18) eighteen public access workstations upstairs and (1) one workstation in the Children's Room.
In July 2005, the Library initiated free wireless access to the Internet. The public can bring in a computer laptop, plug the laptop into any one of 8 (eight) study carrels or use battery-operated laptops and PDAs from anywhere on the upper service level of the library. In August 2005, computer workstations were installed in the Children's Room with educational software for preschoolers and younger elementary school children. The Library prides itself on itself full service to children and their parents. The Library provides 18 story time programs for ages 2-8 Monday through Saturday.
The RT Library, the heart of our community, offers an innovative and engaging public environment as well as resources to support the cultural, intellectual, and lifelong learning needs of the Rockaway Township community.
The RT Library:
1. Supports the community’s personal and intellectual growth.
2. Collaborates with individuals and community organizations to meet residents’ library needs.
3. Seeks to provide open accessibility to all library facilities and its Web site.
4. Offers excellent and diverse collections and programs that respond to the changing community.
5. Improves the library experience by providing modern facilities and engaging new technologies.
6. Embraces innovation and change.
7. Builds community support for the library by demonstrating sound stewardship.