Wantagh vs Williston Park

I decided to remove Elmont from the running.  It was a bit of a catch-22 for me.  I realized I would upset a large group of people if I wrote bad things about it and I would upset an even larger group of people if I wrote good things about it.  Instead, I swapped it’s spot with Wantagh, who was left dangling on the bottom of the list without someone to battle.


The inside of Wantagh is both confusing and awesome.  I felt like I was in a maze full of books (which, in my opinion, is the coolest kind of maze there is).  There are three levels of shelves and each is shaped like a circle.  On the lowest level there are two curved benches against the wall.  It was really cool and reminded me a lot of a boat.  While I had a hard time finding my way to the reference desk, I really liked the layout of the library.  As I wandered upstairs on my reference desk quest, I spotted the graphic novels.  I swear, it’s like they call to me.  On my way to the graphic novels, I found the reference desk and paused my journey to ask a question.  The librarian was helpful, and explained the logic behind the layout of the bottom floor to me as she found my books.  This was great since I wouldn’t have been able to find my materials as quickly as she did (or at all).  It was also a really warm and welcoming thing to do–as she explained a little, I became more familiar with the way the library was arranged, and in turn, felt more at home.

I picked a book, finished my mission to the graphic novels (which was next to the cute YA nook), then happily let a very polite, and handsome clerk check my books out.  And then came time for the embarrassment.  There are two entrances right across from one another and they look pretty similar.  I completely forgot which entrance I had come through, so I hesitated between them for a short moment while I debated the likelihood of the left entrance being the one I came from.

I took a chance, exited, and quickly doubled back to the entrance on the right (secretly hoping the circulation clerk wasn’t watching me in my moment of extreme memory loss).  There’s a very large lot at the back of the library and parking in front, so this wasn’t a problem at all for me.  Apparently my new problem is getting BACK to my car.

Completely random: I noticed during my walk around the library that they still have a card catalog filled with cards.  Yes, I know–I couldn’t help but open a drawer.  I stood there a moment and happily stared at the forgotten piece of many libraries and wondered how many books in the drawers were actually still in the library.  I figured there were probably still a good chunk.  Then I wondered how long it would be before every card no longer led to something.  I pondered a lot during my few minutes by the card catalog.  Then I noticed the graphic novels and all thoughts about the future, times forgotten and change vanished.

Williston Park

I’m not going to lie: I went to East Williston first and kind of expected Williston Park to be this giant tower of a library.  I don’t know why–I just felt that these libraries were out to surprise me.  It’s slightly larger than East Williston, but not by very much.  The parking lot beside it is equally teeny.  It took a few loops around the block to spot the library.  A friend joined me for this trip and as we were parking the car (phfft, we?  Why am I giving her any credit?), she looked pensively at the building and in a very serious tone, suggested a lot of Christmas lights around the windows and door.

I imagined Williston Park library suddenly decorated like that crazy house that has lights which blink in time with music.  I dare someone to miss the library then!  Wow, off topic–back to the library!  I walked in and was immediately greeted by the circulation clerk.  She was incredibly friendly and had a great laugh.  I made the reference desk my first stop where the librarian informed me he was helping someone already.  He wrote the number down for where I’d find my book, and then let me know that if I couldn’t find my book, he’d look for me as soon as he finished helping the patron he was currently working with.  Even though he couldn’t help me completely, he was clear and polite.  Instead of ignoring me or having me wait for him without letting me know he was busy, the librarian explained the situation to me and still gave me the help I needed.  I was really grateful for that.

His number was spot on and I found the book without trouble at all.  He was still helping the other patron while I checked my books out.  I could tell he wasn’t the kind of librarian who answered questions at face-value and moved on, and so after chatting briefly with the circulation clerk about the intense rain that had just stopped, I left Williston Park feeling a lot happier than when I walked in.


Here’s another really tough round.  Size isn’t too much of an issue between these libraries (for the record, Wantagh is much larger) because both libraries have such incredible staff members.  Wantagh was easier for me to find and way easier in terms of parking.  Based on convenience, I give the round to:

4 thoughts on “Wantagh vs Williston Park”

  1. I don’t understand your logic of excluding your own library, especially when you are comparing all Nassau County libraries. Doesn’t that sku the end result (if you want to be fair). While you make some valid points about each library, I get the impression that you are a bit high handed as well. Maybe I just can’t get passed those battle of the library shirts you are selling.

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