Press release from Monmouth County Library

Renee Swartz Lillian BurryDuring its reorganization meeting held recently at the Eastern Branch Library in Shrewsbury, Renee Swartz of Rumson was unanimously re-elected chair of the Monmouth County Library Commission, a position that the popular long time member has held since 1976.

A graduate of Barnard College, Swartz (left in picture, with Freeholder Lillian Burry) dates her interest in the role of libraries back to the early years of her marriage, when she was asked to volunteer as a survey taker for the American Association of University Women, as a way of determining what educational resources would be offered to the growing population of Monmouth County.

Her advocacy for libraries has been felt at all levels of government. At the national level, she was Chair of the NJ Delegation to the White House Conference on Library and Information Services task forces, serving as national treasurer and permanent representative; appointed by the President to the Institute of Museum and Library Services Board, a federal agency of the executive branch which administers funds to 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums across the nation.

She was on the founding Board of Directors of the Library of Congress’ New Jersey Center for the Book, the NJ State Library Advisory Council, the American Library Association Advisory Board for the National Office of Information Technology Policy, and numerous other national, state, and county committees, task forces, and communications offices. She wrote and developed The People’s Bill of Rights, which was subsequently adopted by the New Jersey Library Association and was an amendment to the White House Conference in 1979 as the Preamble to the Second White House Conference.

“We say today that the Library is in the Palm of your Hand because of all of our technological advances,” Swartz said in accepting the chairmanship for another year, and also expressed thanks to Freeholder Director (and liaison to the Commission) Lillian Burry and the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, for their funding which enables the Commission to keep up with technology and offer 24 hour access to a variety of programs and materials.

Also re-elected at the annual reorganization meeting were Frank Wells of Union Beach as vice chair, and Nancy Grbelja of Millstone and Peter Boyle of Atlantic Highlands as co-treasurers.