RED BANK LIBRARY GETS HUGE CACHE OF CDs

J.R. Ford, left, and Jim Willis roll one of several loads of CDs into the library Friday afternoon. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Several thousand CDs collected by a North Jersey man who had “heartbreakingly awesome taste” in classical music and jazz have been donated to the Red Bank Public Library just in time for a fundraiser for the financially strapped facility.

Library officials, who recently had to cut hours of operation for budgetary reasons, hope to put some, if not all, of the collection up for sale as part of the annual book sale fundraiser scheduled for February 2. In the interim, they’re looking for volunteers who know their Rachmaninoff from Rahsaan Roland Kirk to help sort the cache.

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RED BANK: CHARGING UP AT THE LIBRARY

Eriq Douglas, at left below, chats with other patrons of the Red Bank Public Library who were recharging their electronic devices Friday morning. Douglas said he’s “confused as to why downtown Red Bank is lit up and no one else is.”

The library, at 84 West Front Street, is open until 5 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. (Photos by Rebecca Desfosse.Click to enlarge)

LIBRARY TO FETE LIFE OF SIGMUND EISNER

Local-history librarian Elizabeth McDermott, below, with a custom-branded Eisner lightbulb in the second-floor New Jersey Room of the Red Bank Public Library, once the home of industrialist Sigmund Eisner. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

On April 15, 1937, the Red Bank Public Library – for decades an itinerant but growing collection of books and archival material – finally found a permanent home, relocating from a downtown storefront to a mansion at 84 West Front Street.

Three months earlier, the heirs of Sigmund Eisner – mass-manufacturer of uniforms for the Army, the Boy Scouts and other organizations  – had donated their late father’s mansion overlooking the Navesink River to the library.

The shared hope of H. Raymond, Monroe and J. Lester Eisner was that the house would provide a warm and dry place for reading, but also that it would function “as a bit of a museum, too,” says local-history librarian Elizabeth McDermott.

Next month, the library will celebrate its 75th anniversary in the house with museum-like displays that highlight Eisner and his transformative impact on Red Bank as an industrialist and philanthropist.

The event, says McDermott, “is completely about” Eisner.

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RED BANK BOOKED FOR TOWNWIDE YARD SALE

book-barn-2Volunteers from the Friends of the Red Bank Public Library gathered at a barn on South Street this week to sort through books slated for inclusion in this weekend’s three-day book sale at the library, to be held in conjunction with the Townwide Yard Sale. (Photo by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge.)

yard_infopack_gfx2It’s sale time, as Saturday’s Red Bank Townwide Yard Sale gets ready to unfold under warm and sunny skies.

Today, the Yard Sale website carries the third-annual event’s information packet for shoppers, a downloadable PDF that includes a locator map and addresses of registered sellers, along with brief information about what’s for sale.

More than 115 homes are participating in the border-to-border bargain bonanza, which this year has a new host: the Friends of the Red Bank Public Library. In conjunction with the event, the group is kicking off a three-day used-book sale at the library Saturday morning.

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AN EARTHLY RE-ENTRY FOR THE WRIGHT STUFF

al-ruth-wright1

The Al Wright Unit — featuring vocalist Ruth Wright — brings both homegrown cred and a space-trekking sonic legacy back to the Red Bank Public Library on Thursday evening. (Photos courtesy of Red Bank Public Library)

By TOM CHESEK

“In New Jersey there’s a place with much to offer, much to proffer, called Red Bank” — from “Red Bank II,” lyrics by Al Wright

We first happened upon the Al Wright Unit some twenty years ago, back in the original Monmouth Street location of the old House of Coffee — and we found the chamber-jazz combo a flavorful way to chase a ‘ccino. There was Mr. Wright, cutting a dapper figure as the elegant suit-and-tie standup skinsman, with vocalist wife Ruth Wright bringing some classically cool phrasing to a set that spotlighted a healthy number of original compositions.

When the 21st- century edition of the Unit (Ruth, Al and keyboardist Greg Murphy) returns to the Red Bank Public Library tomorrow evening for the latest in a semiannual series of free performances, the drummer and bandleader will do more than pay customary tribute to the town where he’s lived his whole life. He’ll be tapping into a whole other, cosmically amazing legacy that many of his longtime neighbors might not be aware of.

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LET’S GO TO THE BOOKMARK

rbpl-book-saleBook shoppers who attended last week’s pre-sale reception at the Red Bank Public Library got an early jump on a sale that was later postponed by weather.

OK, lovers of canonical lit, airport thrillers, self-help and cat photo books: it’s re-do time at the Red Bank Public Library.

The book sale planned for last weekend but postponed by the first of two blizzards in a week is on for Saturday.

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BOOK SALE IS FOR LOVERS

rb-library-book-sale-2009Shoppers browsing the bargain bins at the Red Bank Public Library’s “yard sale” last September.

The Red Bank Public Library is looking for a few new lovers. Be it of books, music or the library itself, a group called the Friends of Red Bank Public Library is pulling out all its tricks to garner a little TLC.

In celebration of the Valentine-ish creation Library Lovers Month, the library is hosting its second annual book sale, but it’s more of a three-day party than anything else. The sale is slated for Saturday, February 6, but there will be a preview and reception at the library the night before. This shindig offers guests a chance to catch live music from Jim Crawford, sip wine, nosh on cheese and, perhaps most importantly, get the first shot at the books on sale.

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