Lynbrook VS Westbury

Lynbrook

This library reminds me of an old school from the outside.  Or maybe more like a museum?  Either way, it’s gorgeous.  I stood outside for a little while and simply looked at the street-side facade.  You can’t enter through this grand entrance, but it’s still beautiful to look at.  Around the corner is the teeny tiny parking lot.  If you want to pay for parking, there are dozens of metered spots, but the free lot is very small and I ended up waiting for a spot.

The inside of this library is large and full of books–I went to the reference librarian, and asked for a book (you guys know the drill).  She immediately took me to the shelf, where she very kindly explained the Dewey Decimal system to me.  She was really friendly and even pointed about a few other books I might be interested in (they were related to my topic).  Before leaving, she told me she remembered another book that just came in.  While I was picking a book off the shelf, she came back with a brand new book exactly on my topic.  I couldn’t thank her enough for being so nice and proactive.  The way she helped me made me feel like she wasn’t just waiting to show me to a shelf, but instead was really thinking about how she could get me exactly what I needed.  It was refreshing to deal with such a great librarian.

I wandered the shelves a bit and found the young adult books.  The section was really confusing and I had a hard time following how the books were arranged.  After looking and not finding any graphic novels, I gave up and started towards the circulation desk, only to happen to look over and see them.  I grabbed one and went to the circ desk.  There was a patron in front of me, already waiting.  The clerk was scanning books on the other side of the desk with her back to us.  While I waited, I noticed the children’s room had tons of clocks on the wall to show the different times from places around the world.  That was a GREAT idea to celebrate the summer reading theme!  I hadn’t seen it before and I really thought it was clever.

Another staff member came to the desk and told the clerk there were people waiting to be helped.  She seemed very annoyed (grumbles, glares and all) to have to stop what she was doing to help us.  When it was my turn to be helped, she ignored everything I said to her, checked my items out as quickly as she could and then walked away without a single word to me (even though I was cheerfully trying to start a conversation with her).  I reached across the desk and took my books, leaving this great library disappointed.

Westbury

This library and its parking lot are really long, but really pretty.  I found a parking spot without trouble and walked through the cool looking entrance.  It would be fabulous if next to the library there could be a large reading garden.  Perhaps with a fountain and statues of famous authors.  This is a place where you feel like spending you day reading.  Okay, now I’m really off topic.

Anyway, there are meeting rooms when you first walk in, as well as some offices.  I also believe there’s a quiet study space, but I didn’t investigate very much because the circulation clerk greeted me as I walked in and I wanted to say hello back.

The entire center of the library is media–it was a really impressive collection.  In any case, before going to the reference desk I browsed the DVDs for a little while, then I went to the young adult section, which is located in a nook to the left of the circulation desk (if you’re facing the wall).  It was a great section, and I picked a graphic novel from the ones I saw on display.  After, I finally made my way to the reference desk (which for some reason, I completely missed when I first walked in).  The librarian helped me right away and showed me a display they had on my topic as well as the books they had on the shelves.  I found an interesting title thanks to her suggestions.

I checked out my materials at the circulation desk, where a really friendly clerk mentioned the earthquake and all the media coverage it’s been getting.  We chatted briefly, then I left, glad to have visited.

Bonus, unrelated, other stuff: The Westbury library’s website is AWESOME.  Things move and it’s so much fun to explore.  You can do a lot through the site, and there’s even this feature where you can figure out just how much your library card is worth.  I don’t have a Westbury card, but I plugged in my estimates for what I get from my own card and nearly fainted.  If you’d like to see how valuable your library card is, click here: How much is your card worth?  This has nothing to do with the battle at all, but I just happened to notice how cool and pretty their site was and I wanted to mention it.

Results

When it comes to outsides, both of these libraries are on top.  They’re both very beautiful.  Westbury has the bigger lot for sure, though it isn’t very much larger.  Both libraries had tons of materials to offer patrons.  Lynbrook’s librarian won me over with her extreme helpfulness, but the combination of Westbury’s kind librarian and friendly circulation clerk left me in a better mood as I walked to my car.  Westbury has a clear, neat young adult section, while I had some trouble navigating through Lynbrook’s books.  Though I’d gladly stand outside and stare at Lynbrook’s breath-taking facade, I’m giving this round to the teamwork at:

7 thoughts on “Lynbrook VS Westbury”

  1. You place a lot of credence on parking!!! If a library has “good” parking, does that make it a better place to go??? I don’t think so. In my opinion, some of the best libraries in Nassau County have limited parking. I hope you don’t mind the criticism.

    1. I do think parking is pretty important. It’s the first thing a patron has to do before even stepping foot into a library. It doesn’t determine completely whether or not if a library is a better place to go. For example: I hated Freeport’s paid parking situation, but I would pay to go there any day. It wouldn’t be the first library I recommend to my peers due to the fact that many of them want a place they can sit for a day and study, so that can be pretty expensive. However, I won’t deny that the library blew me away. And I state that in my review.

      Each patron has to decide for themselves whether or not driving around the block three or four times is worth what’s inside a library. They all come from different situations, so each person values different things. I accept and never mind criticism (when it is tasteful and justified), though I don’t think that’s what you wrote. I took your comment more as a second point of view, and that is always welcomed here. Thank you for the comment!

      1. Have you ever thought of checking out the libraries in Westchester County? I think that it would be an interesting challenge.

        1. I’ve been considering multiple projects for after this current one is done. Whenever I travel, I always make sure to stop by the local library just to take a peek, so I wouldn’t be opposed to trying out all of Westchester!

  2. The Westbury website certainly has a “wow” factor, but it took me a while to find out how to find anything on it. (Remember, libraries are all about access!) Maybe it’s my monitor, but it took some exploring to find a way to actually enter the site (along the bottom of the screen). Once you’re in, the navigation tools are on the top, which makes all the difference in the world.

    1. I found the website very easy to navigate through. Your problem might have been, like you mentioned, your monitor. I saw all the links on my browser, but I can see how the bottom options may get cut off. Also, you’re right. I did neglect to mention the separate children’s library. Thank you for bringing it up!

  3. BTW — You didn’t mention the adorable separate children’s library at Westbury.

    Many Long Island libraries have the “value calculator ” on their websites. It is very eye-opening, especially for light library users, to see what they’re getting for their money.

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