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Ocean City Free Public Library Information

Purpose, Vision, & Mission Statement

The Library's purpose, vision, mission statement and roles: The Library's purpose, vision, mission statement and service roles are the key principles that shape the development of the collections.

Purpose Statement

The purpose of The Ocean City Free Public Library is to empower Ocean City residents, students and workers to enrich their own lives with knowledge, information, education and culture.


The Ocean City Free Public Library will be the intellectual, social and cultural heart of our community, providing a place to go for information, literacy and cultural resources, in a comfortable, attractive and convenient environment

Mission Statement

The mission of The Ocean City Free Public Library is to provide for the people of Ocean City an easily available local collection of and global access to the universal record of human thought, wisdom, ideals, information, experiences, and artistic expressions.

The Library provides information useful for daily living, supports formal education and independent learning efforts and assists researchers and scholars.

Deriving its principal support from the City of Ocean City, the Library emphasizes services for Ocean City’s residents and students. Affirming its belief in the power of education and in the potential of libraries to change lives, the Library strongly supports the children of Ocean City in their efforts to learn and grow and achieve.

As a major library resource for Atlantic and Cape May Counties, the Library strives also to serve those who work in the City, and libraries and people throughout the county and state.

In support of this mission, the Library: selects, collects, organizes and makes available for use a broad, deep and diverse collection of materials in a variety of formats; provides excellent personal information services and guidance in the use of library resources; and offers programs for personal enrichment.

In pursing this mission the Library strives to fulfill its unique responsibility to ensure open and equal access to information for all the people that the Library serves.

The Library actively seeks to serve and reflect the diverse South Jersey shore community in its collections, services, programs and staff. It affirms a commitment to preserve, promote and celebrate the multicultural heritage of the people of South Jersey.

The Ocean City Free Public Library contributes to the economic life of the City, the vitality of its neighborhoods and the quality of life of its citizens.

Historical Background

The first Ocean City library was located on Asbury Avenue near 9th Street on the second floor of a wood frame building. The library stayed at this location from 1915 to 1925. In 1925, the library moved to the Ocean City High School, where it remained until 1953.

With a bequest from former mayor Harry Headley, a building was constructed at 6th Street and Ocean Avenue. The "Headley" building housed the Ocean City Free Public Library from 1953 to 1990.

The present library building, part of the Community Center, was built in 1989 and consisted of 17,000 square feet, and housed a collection of over 100,000 volumes.

A 10,000 square foot addition was completed in December 2009 increasing the total square footage to 27,000 square feet. The building houses over 110,000 volumes, meeting rooms, teen space, a children’s activity room and expanded computer center housing 24 computer workstations.

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