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Library History


The Library was founded in 1915 and moved to its present location in 1916. The building was a gift from Andrew Carnegie. The Avon Public Library is one of only four Carnegie buildings in Monmouth County, and only one of only seventeen in the State of New Jersey. Library collections include: A 21,000 volume popular fiction and non-fiction for children and adults, over 1200 audio books, children and adult classic DVDs, reference, a New Jersey history collection and over 52 periodical titles for loan.

At the time of the initial inquiry to request Carnegie funding by Miss Valeria F. Penrose and Miss Frances Winans in November of 1915, the Avon Library was housed in a single rented room on Main Street with a collection of 1,500 volumes and a circulation of 2,976.

Despite the Carnegie Corporation minimum of a population of 1,000, the New Jersey Library Commissioner persuaded them to look at Avon's steady growth and estimated summer population of 4,000 and awarded $5,000 to the Borough of Avon-by-the-Sea, with a population of 707, the smallest town in the United States to receive funding.

The laying of the cornerstone of the new Carnegie building on the corner of Fifth and Garfield Avenues occurred on Saturday, September 23, 1916 at 3:00pm.

Miss Penrose wrote, "We are grateful. The starved lives in little Avon are now assured of practical mental food with adequate housing and the people will increasingly avail themselves of the benefits, the summer people too."


Fifth & Garfield Aves.
Avon-by-the-Sea, NJ 07717
Office: 732-502-4525 / Fax: 732-775-8430