OPINION: It’s time to throw the book at the Public Library

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Stay involved – Here is how

WhatsApp! – Click HERE1 (732) 554-1889

Update: A parent of Yeshiva Orchos Chaim told GL, the official policy of the Yeshiva is no kid can go into the library – even with a parent.

The month of June is To’evah month. Many retail websites have an icon, statement photo or flag to show solidarity with the LGBT community. Privately owned sites can do as they please since we have the option not to patronize those businesses. 

The Public library, by its very name, is different. Publicly funded by us the taxpayers, don’t we deserve a voice? 

For the remainder of June books with Toevah characters and themes will be on display in our local (Lakewood) library. A librarian said that the children’s section will have a small display with the teen’s section having a more prominent presence.

As an extra bonus, the library has computers for our children to browse. Their computers have a low-level filter. GreaterLakewood spoke with the librarian who said in regards to the filter, “people get around them, it is pretty simple.”

Tens of thousands of  ‘Lakewooders’ shlepped to Citi Field to fight the dangers of the web – now that there is a problem in our own backyards, let’s not ignore it!

The library should not allow this. We the people should not be FORCED to fund things (with our taxes dollars) that go against our beliefs.

Why is it ok for our impressionable children to go watch whatever they want for as long as they want? 

Here is a photo taken last week by a GL reporter. 

Libraries work on an annual budget based on city/county allocations, or property tax allocations. With the average of $200 of a homeowners yearly taxes going to the Library. If we fund it, don’t we deserve a say?

Many parents are unaware that a place promoting literacy and education is also promoting ideas against our morals. As devoted parents we invest time, effort and money into our children. We vet their friends and institutions. We restrict, monitor and filter their devices. 

GreaterLakewood spoke with a 16 year-old-boy (who we will refer to as Moishe). On the outside Moishe seems like your typical Chassidish Teen on the inside he struggles with keeping Shabbos.

Moishe was first exposed to movies at the library. His parents wouldn’t allow it in the home, so he used a guest pass to enter the library and access their computers – with headphones – for hours on end. Moishe said his parents were unaware there was public internet access at the Library.

Here’s what can be done:

1. SPEAK UP – Reach out to ourcounty officials, about the library, and ask:

Why we are forced to pay for content that goes against our religion. 

2. EDUCATE – Parents and schools must be aware of the dangers in our midst. Awareness before prevention.

3. INNOVATE – It may be time to open to a Jewish library. There are thousands of clean books and videos allowing us to offer a kosher alternative.

Click HERE to view the Ocean County Library Commission

Have an opinion? Share it with the world! Contact us HERE


54 COMMENTS

  1. Rav Matisyahu Shlita said back in תשס״ז that the library in lakewood is not
    פתחו של גהינום rather it is גהינום ממש!!

  2. I’m 15 and would be extremely bored without the public library. I watch a couple of movies on bein hazmanim and read a lot of books all yr. round.
    Secular novels are always better than jewish ones so a kosher library will not work. i’ve used the internet computers and neve seen anything bad. I don’t know how GL got the picture but i’ve neve seen bochrim on the teen comps so can’t be too common.

    • Interesting. Thanks for sharing. We had a reporter go in one random day. Hard to believe it’s just luck. We hope it was!

      • THANK YOU GREATER LAKEWOOD
        THANK YOU GREATER LAKEWOOD
        THANK YOU GREATER LAKEWOOD
        THANK YOU GREATER LAKEWOOD
        THANK YOU GREATER LAKEWOOD
        THANK YOU GREATER LAKEWOOD

    • I usually don’t see bachurim on the teen computers either. They are usually all over the adult computers glued to the screens with headphones over their ears.

  3. Wondering which of those families are paying $200 a year to support the library when 70% of Lakewood is publicly/governmentally funded! This is America… we are more open minded apparently. Love thy neighbor.

    • Facts first. Ocean county library which has multiple branches, with one in Lakewood, is primarily funded by us taxpayers.
      Do you pay property tax? If you do, look at your annual bill.
      Can’t argue on facts.

  4. Teach your children you values and let others do what they are allowed to do.kids don’t need to go to a library for computer time.it is call cell phones

    • In your culture that may be true. In orthodox Jewish culture it is untrue for some people, at younger ages etc. it’s weird to ‘outsiders’ we get that. But our site is geared to the community not RUOC.
      If you indeed have questions and are interested in dialogue, please contact us here & we will have someone answer each and every one of your questions.
      https://greaterlakewood.com/contact/

  5. Sorry. You did this to yourselves by continuing to vote for the dems. Stop blindly following the vaad. Or if you trust them so much then sit back and trust that they are already taking care of your library concerns. You got what you deserve.

  6. Why pay or help fund something that goes against your beliefs? Because it’s a PUBLIC library! The Jewish community is part of the public community. The content is there for everyone.

    • Hi, we appreciate the support from RUOC, welcome to our platform. You won’t be blocked here for having an opinion that doesn’t fit our narrative.

      Of course it’s a public library and it services the public. The author says why should we be forced to fund something that goes against our beliefs.

      The county shouldn’t be able to force people to fund things that go against their religion. Keep controversy out and be there for ALL people. Public things should be for ALL – specifically when we are forced to pay for it.

      • Yes, public things are for ALL. “ALL” includes the LGBTQ community of Ocean County. Why should they be left out? The LGBTQ community and LGBTQ allies are ALSO paying taxes for the public library, are they not? So, would it be fair to have items pertaining to themselves or their beliefs removed from the library? Why should they be paying taxes to a library that does not provide them with representation? There would be no books, movies, music, programs, resources in the library if they honored every single complaint they receive stating “this goes against my beliefs” by removing said item. The government we live in supports all walks of life. All religions. All races. All genders. All ages. I’m sorry, but your beliefs are irrelevant here. How would you feel if the library removed all items pertaining to Judaism because a group of people said your religion goes against their beliefs? Good for you that that isn’t happening – I would be upset with that as well! Representation matters! You live in a community where there are many different types of people. If you don’t like it, don’t live here.

        • I would be absolutely fine with the public library removing all material pertaining to Judaism. It’s a public library. I would not want to offend anyone with my beliefs nor would I want to foist my beliefs on others, whether directly or indirectly. The same goes for LGBTQ. They are free to believe and do whatever they want. But the funding for the library should not go to material that others who do not agree with them find offensive. There is enough good material that can be accepted unilaterally by people of all races, creeds and beliefs. That is what a public library is for, and that’s where public funds should be allocated. For that matter, if representation matters, who gave the library the right to express solidarity with the LGBTQ community when I and most Orthodox Jews do not? This is also something that is a public matter.

  7. If we’re going to discuss the option of picking and choosing what our tax money goes towards, then maybe we should look at the busing situation and Medicaid fraud, both paid for by taxpayers that don’t use it or agree with it.

    • Hi, we appreciate the support from RUOC, welcome to our platform. You won’t be blocked here for having an opinion that doesn’t fit our narrative.

      Great point. No one says we should have a choice where and when our tax payers money to – that is done at the polls.
      The point is, we are forced to pay for the library which displays content that goes against our religion.
      Your points on ‘funding fraud’ of course no one disagrees with assuming you have a point…. regarding bussing, GL disagrees with you for many reasons most are just wrong facts out there.

      But If you indeed have questions and are interested in dialogue, please contact us here & we will have someone answer each and every one of your questions.
      https://greaterlakewood.com/contact/

  8. We also pay for things through our taxes for your religious beliefs that we don’t want but are forced to… what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.. get over yourselves already.. you are no better.

    • Hi, we appreciate the support from RUOC, welcome to our platform. You won’t be blocked here for having an opinion that doesn’t fit our narrative.

      It’s easy to throw concepts around. People agree on concepts easier than on points. You have a great concept but no point.
      Taxpayers funding religious beliefs? Sounds unconstitutional.

      If you indeed have questions and are interested in dialogue, please contact us here & we will have someone answer each and every one of your questions.
      https://greaterlakewood.com/contact/

      However, compare your tone with the commenter before you and calm down.

      • Segregated busing is to the best of my knowledge only required for the Jewish religion and state funds pay for that which comes from ALL of our taxes, the Catholics pay, the LGBTQ, everyone. Maybe your community should start refusing all state, federal or county funds because the LGBTQ is providing those funds. Otherwise your being hypocritical.

        • I believe the community would gladly refuse the aid if they don’t have to pay school district property taxes. The amount collected for the school district property taxes far exceeds the benefits received from busing.

          • Lakewoods rate is I believe 1.012 per 100 so for a 420k home thats roughly 3036 in school tax. Thats 3k no matter if you have 0 children or 20. Lets not forget that school taxes also go for all the special needs children which can cost well over 80 or 90 k per year in services. Yes some of the funding does come from state paid to township school districts. So for individuals with larger families with children in private school I really don’t think they would be happy to stop paying the school portion of property tax and loose the transportation fee they get.

          • The town in which the child resides is responsible to pay for the transportation to school. I had a child who went to Catholic school in the next town over and received an in lieu of payment twice a year for 8 years. It is a NJ State law.

  9. Its a PUBLIC library, no a Jewish library. Jewish individuals are not the only ones paying for funding. The name itself means EVERYONE, all races all religions all genders. Don’t like whats there don’t go.

    • Hi, we appreciate the support from RUOC, welcome to our platform. You won’t be blocked here for having an opinion that doesn’t fit our narrative.

      If it’s funded by we the people, and goes against some of ‘we the people’s basic belief system we have a problem.
      The county shouldn’t be able to force a sect of people into paying for something that goes against their religion. Simple.
      Of course we can choose not to go, which was the primary focus if the article, but we shouldn’t then have to find it.

      If you indeed have questions and are interested in dialogue, please contact us here & we will have someone answer each and every one of your questions.
      https://greaterlakewood.com/contact/

  10. I’m sorry but I very strongly disagree. The LGBTQ community faces a lot of persecution and while their lifestyle is something the torah condemns it is not okay for us to join the side of the persecution. We are in golus and our children will have many opportunities to learn about these things. The library has never been a kosher place for a teen to go to without supervision. Twenty years ago we weren’t allowed to go there ourselves. I’m not sure why we think it’s ok for us to allow our teenagers there unsupervised and expect the world to change to fit our values. When we forget our place in golus the goyim make sure to remind us.

    • Wow, hold on – not having books displayed and having a big display in the teens section is persecution?

      The Torah commands us to be respectful to people. It commands not to cause unnecessary pain to animals. Of course we need to be nice to all people regardless of race, religion or Gender, no one disputes that but don’t call it persecuting people.
      Hey. There’s no Israeli flag in the township. Is that persecution? Of course it doesn’t belong there. The question is if it belongs on s sand which store 🙂 https://greaterlakewood.com/southside-sandwich-shop-hangs-isrseli-flag-kcl-threatens-to-pull-hechsher/

      Yes people are not aware of the potential dangers of the library. We tried to bring it to the forefront.

      • Of course you’re not persecuting anyone. But others are. As rachmanim we can recognize that. Obviously we shouldn’t participate in all things pride related but we also don’t need to fight it the way you are. A more appropriate way of educating others on the potential dangers of the library (which really should be pretty obvious) would be to warn others about what’s happening this month at the library so they can choose not to go.

        • You said ‘it’s not OK for us to join the side of persecution’ – your words.
          You offer advice about the more appropriate way to deal with it is to educate ppl etc.
          perhaps look over the article again. Over 60% of it, including both photos were done to educate people.
          Are you arguing just to argue?

          • Absolutely not. I’m arguing that we should be a little more careful to understand that when someone’s being persecuted, any fight against them or their beliefs will feel to them like we agree with their persecutors. Which we don’t. I also don’t think that we should be pretending that the library is a kosher place that becomes unkosher because of this. It always has been a place with more exposure to ways of life that are against the torah. You are arguing for change not just for educating people. I’m all for educating people. I don’t agree with changing the way the outside world does things just because we don’t like it even if, as you pointed out, we have every right to. Just because we have a right to do something doesn’t make it the right thing to do.

  11. While I hear your point, the reality is that during most months of the year, the library has displays based on that month’s ‘celebration’. We have books celebrating Christmas, Hannukah, on display in December. Thanksgiving in November. Black History Month etc.

    While I personally share the beliefs of most Orthodox Jew, when it makes me uncomfortable to bring my children into the library in the month of June (as it probably should), I dont have to go in there with them. If you ask them to carry more books to cater to the Orthodox public because your taxes fund it, which they do, that is fine. But you cant ask them to take something down that most libraries display especially when there are non-Orthodox patrons that use the library as well.

    • Great point – thanks for sharing.
      1) Why are we forced it fund it?
      2) We are bringing awareness to people who are unaware.
      3) LGBT Is differ than religions.

      The library carries their books – and they should as a public library – but don’t stuff it in our face.

    • I want to address a few of the comments on here. I don’t know if I agree whether this was the proper venue to bring up this issue, but I strongly disagree with many of the comments attacking GL’s point.

      1) The comparison of people to the funding of the library to funding busing etc to private schools is just misguided. Orthodox Jews pay property taxes, a lot of them. Parents of public school children receive $13k plus per year for each child’s education, it is not unreasonable for private school parents to get a few thousand dollars back towards transportation for the massive amount they pay in property taxes.

      2) What is being overlooked is not the fact that there maybe some books in the library that discuss these issues, it is the fact that this is part of a larger campaign to normalize and promote certain behaviors. Is it normal for a library to display books for children regarding marital relations regardless of how the person is “orientated”? Would the behavior that occurs in public at parades from this group be accepted from any other group, or would they face arrest for public indecency (lewd behavior, depending on how the statues are written). Is there a reason why a group that represents only 2% of the population, is so heavily over-represented in media and programming? Is there any other group, that has a month in their honor based on their preferences or behaviors?

      The objection appears to be why is this group being so heavily promoted , and the larger question in general, is why is this behavior promoted so heavily in society. (note, there is a difference between questioning why something is being heavily promoted, which is a valid question, and discriminating against people, (which no one has called for).

      If there would be books in the library or references in school books condoning and exalting a particular religion, or religious practices, the ACLU would be all over it.

      Some have claimed that the massive campaign to promote this behavior, is part of a “progressive agenda” to attack the nuclear family. While some may find this to be a stretch Marx and Engels, authors of the Communist Manifesto attack the family (and gender) as an obstacle to their utopian society. In their view, in a utopian society, everyone is equal and subordinate to the state, family, gender, and religion all contribute to individuality, which is the enemy of Marxism. While some may find this to be stretch, I am sure if you told people 15 years ago, that many mainstream members of Congress were openly advocating for Socialism, they wouldn’t believe you, yet that is exactly what is happening now.

  12. I will report this if u don’t take it off u cannot go against a public thing and whoever took the pictures I’m him not mochel cuz I am in the pictures…

    • Report us. Go to the library and google ‘how do you report someone for busting you – if my face was blocked’

      If you prefer, contact us via our contact page & we can allow acdesss to our filtered computers at the GreaterLakewood HQ.

  13. It’s no one’s business to mix into teenagers lives they can do whatever they want as long as their parents know.definitely wrong to post a picture of teenagers sitting over there you guys should be ashamed of yourselves not only Jews live in Lakewood you guys don’t own it keep your mouth shut let everyone do whatever they want to do if you have a problem with the library don’t walk in

    • You don’t sound too religious. Our article was geared to religious people.

      “It’s no one’s business to mix into teenagers lives they can do whatever they want as long as their parents know” – do their parents know? We are educating parents.

      “you guys should be ashamed of yourselves” – not sure why – for busting ‘yeshiva gugys watching movies @ the library? Perhaps elaborate

      “let everyone do whatever they want to do” – No – we will fight corruption & will educate the community.

      “you have a problem with the library don’t walk in” – Have a problem with our story? Go to TLS

      • As far as I know everyone sitting there is from the same yeshiva and all of there parents know, they’re allowed to have phone at home but they can’t bring it to you yeshiva which is why they sit there and they keep up with their stuff so that they don’t have to bring their phones to yeshiva…

  14. As many others have pointed out, the library is a public place. The majority of the public that use the public library (all 21 branches) are not Jewish, and yet, we provide plenty of Jewish books, ESPECIALLY for children. Why should the public fund them if it’s not their religion? Because a library is for EVERYONE. It carries materials for all walks of life. It is not the library’s job to censor, but inform. If you feel “outside information” is dangerous then you need to either avoid the library, or be there with your child. I do believe one of their rules is no one under the age of 13 without a parent anyway. The world doesn’t stand still for one group.

    • Lots of things to say here.
      You are comparing apples to oranges. Apples to apples would be if the article said not to carry LGBT books. But it didn’t. It stated, they shouldn’t be on prominent display. Just like there shouldn’t be a democrat section on display or republican. Its a PUBLIC place for ALL people. They need to care about everyone – especially since it is funded by everyone.
      Particularly in lakewood where over 50% of people funding & attending are Jews and these displays are against our religion.

      Now a few general questions for you.
      1) Why does the library have computers?
      2) Why is there a poor/no filter on teens computers – is that legal?
      3) Why is there no time limit on computers?
      4) Why do we have libraries?

      I think after you answer these questions, you will have more questions – some that sound like our article 🙂

    • What the library provide books of content which is inappropriate for children- right in middle of the children’s section? Definitely not.
      Would they advertise such content in public- definitely not

      The thing is that they decided to believe that such content is very healthy for children- and evry decent and moral person knows that that is ludicrous.

  15. Thank you
    תזכו למצוות
    יישר כוח
    Why aren’t any of the local Jewish newspapers writing about this?????
    Is this not important to them ??

  16. I am not an Orthodox Jew, but I do believe that the Ocean County Library System carries too many leftist books, including promotion of homosexuality, antiwhite agendas and left wing viewpoints. The children’s section at my branch is loaded with books promoting left wing views, while right wing views are noticeably absent. I have already stopped taking my children there, because they never find anything they want to read there anyway. They aren’t interested in books about two princes hooking up, The Children’s Encyclopedia of Homosexuality or books in which the white male is always the goofball or bad guy.

  17. Frum Jews do not belong taking their children to the public library, period. I went with my mother as a kid, and flipped through books in the YA section. I can still remember one explicit book I came across, about a 14 year old girl who had a relationship with her teacher. If parents want to go themselves to pick up completely appropriate books for their children, that’s one thing. But to allow kids to browse books that promote gross, secular values is incredibly unwise. Children should read and be educated, but not at the expense of their spiritual welfare.

  18. Actually there are rules at the library, each code/guess pass/library card that is used gets certain amount of time on the computer but that does not mean one can not get many guess pass or codes to use. One single use of a code gives one 30 minutes, a code gives you about 100ish a day but you can go to the desk and ask for 5 codes if one wanted. It is one who needs to be responsible and abide by their beliefs, it is one who should think to themselves enough is enough. No one forces no one to use the public library, the computers, the books or anything. Therefore if you believe there is something going on with the people and the beliefs of your religion speak among you guys and see how you guys can make a difference among your religion. If you think that the people are being exposed to too many things then maybe parents should be out with their kids, their teens or men. The world is full of risks and exposures to many things but no one forces no one to do anything.

  19. I don’t get it. The library, publicly funded, has to be sensitive to the whole community. If two people decide that people should marry goldfish, should the library promote it. Being sensitive means avoiding things that antagonize others. Period. The library is not a place for religion or morally sensitive topics. They should be discussed and promoted privately. Since when does any group have a right to use public funds to promote their way of life? The LGBT community is getting away with murder. And it’s the majority of America’s fault for not insisting on keeping private that which most people find morally repulsive, especially since G-d hates it, and America, yes America, was built on judeo-christian values. The world is getting sicker by the day. Soon well have to allow them to promote beastiality. Rise up normal people who are honest good people!

  20. By the way I was just in the ocean county library this afternoon for the notary and was shocked to see the teen section full with Bochurim watching movies!!! tumah!!! the adult section was no better, tens and tens of white shirts!
    Hashem Yirachem! we can only be dan lekaf zechus,but I hope these neshamos realize that the only true simcha they will find that will satisfy them is in the Torah Hakdosha!

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