Tag Archives: Battle of the Libraries

East Meadow vs Bethpage

East Meadow

You know the Louvre pyramid?  That’s kind of what this library reminded me of while I was driving past it.  Tons of windows make the outside of this library look quite artsy.  I liked it.  There was a ton of parking, which was lovely, and I noticed a post box right by the door.  I love when libraries have post boxes by the door!  There are a few that I saw during my travels, but this one is literally right by the door.

Inside is just as huge as the outside suggests it is, but what you’d never guess from the parking lot is just how many books are stuffed into this building.  I felt a bit overwhelmed when the librarian brought me to the shelves after I asked her for a book and I noticed that every shelf was jam-packed with books.  For someone who loves to hold literature,  it took everything in my power not to cuddle with the shelves.

There are tons of computers and reading nooks and the windows keep this library as bright as you can imagine.  After being helped by a very pleasant librarian, I picked my book from the shelf and wandered around until I found graphic novels.  I picked an interesting book from here as well, and then made my way back to the circulation desk after looping around the library twice.  I found myself wishing I had more time to just browse everything they had here.  There was a nice hum of people working and whispering and browsing and walking–I liked it.

The clerk was very kind and joked with me about the strange weather we’d been having all week.  I left feeling happy and eager to come back for a second visit–especially since I felt like I hadn’t spent enough time there to really see everything I wanted to.


This library  is very long–from the outside, it reminded me of a pool because of really nice blue.  There is a ton of parking across the street, which was great, though to get to the library you have to cross at a crosswalk.  I didn’t have much trouble wandering across.  I walked in and headed to the librarian at the reference desk, and asked for my typical book.  She rejected most of my attempts at small talk, and without a word to me, led me to the shelves to show me where my book was located.  While we were at the shelves, she saw a few books nearby that were also on my topic, and pointed them out to me as well.  I thanked her for the help and before leaving, she showed me even more books that, while not exactly on my topic, might also be helpful.  I really appreciated that extra help.

And then, because I haven’t embarrassed myself at a library in a week, I prepared myself to sound like an idiot.  Before I returned to the librarian, I stopped at the graphic novels–which Bethpage has a TON of.  Any fans of the comic won’t be disappointed here, especially if you like DC heroes.  There were shelves and shelves of superheroes.  I grabbed two that looked really good and then went to make a fool of myself.

On the way in, I had noticed that there were tons of computers by the reference desk.  They had different signs by them, and I wasn’t exactly sure how they worked.  I decided to ask the librarian about the rules regarding computer usage.  Only, I asked about the rules for the computers in Farmingdale, which was the library I planned on visiting after Bethpage.  This is almost too embarrassing to admit, but hey–I’m human (hold the cylon jokes) too, right?

The reason for my sudden moron moment was that Pottermore had just opened and I was too busy having a nerdattack to use any brain cells.

Anyway, so I blurt out the wrong library, and the librarian gives me this look like I had just asked her if I could borrow a tomato.  Confused by her confusion, I prepared myself to swallow my pride and admit the reason I wanted to use a computer, but before I could, she pointed to the computers and explained how they worked.  It wasn’t until I logged into a computer that I realized why she didn’t understand what I was asking.  I was so embarrassed by how stupid I had been that I called a friend the moment I got to my car and told her how I’ve yet to go a week without pulling a painfully silly stunt at a library.  She just laughed at me and reassured me that the librarian was probably on a break now, saying, “So you’ll never guess what this very confused dingbat said to me today…”

Before that, though, I tried to make friendly conversation with the circulation clerk, but I was already aware of my massive oops, so I’m sure I nervously laughed a lot and made lame jokes about the weather.  The clerk didn’t call me out on it though.  Instead, she politely smiled and wished me a good day, which was really nice of her.

All in all, besides the moment of dumb I had, Bethpage was a really nice library.  It was silent (as in, I felt like I should breathe quieter) when I was there, and they had several tables by the non-fiction for studying, which would please anyone who has to get some work done.


This match is quite close–many of them are.  Both libraries had huge lots, though East Meadow’s was more convenient.  They’re both beautiful libraries, inside and out.  East Meadow seemed to have more materials, but Bethpage definitely had the better work environment and more graphic novels.  I can’t say Bethpage doesn’t have professional staff, that’s for sure.  The librarian never once made me feel like an idiot for my slip.  East Meadow had a lot to offer, and with it came this busy vibe of getting things done.  Bethpage on the other hand was quiet and relaxed.  They were both great working environments.  This is really a hard decision.  That being said, I think the only thing I can do is:


East Meadow wins the round, and Bethpage gets an honorable appearance in round two (there’s an odd number of libraries, so it works out well).  The heart is for not making me feel silly during my visit.

Oyster Bay-East Norwich VS Mineola

Oyster Bay-East Norwich

As I pulled into my parking spot, I realized I’ve driven passed this library twice before in my life.  I was pretty excited to finally go inside.  Oyster Bay-East Norwich (OBEN for short) is a pretty library that looks like a house from the outside.  There’s a large lot to the left, and lots of green around the front, which you can see a bit of in the pictures.  When I was there, they were advertising a movie.  The sign was simple but it really made the entrance inviting, like when a store puts out their best meals because they want people to stop in.  There are also some men on the roof, which I didn’t notice until just now when I was uploading the pictures.  Whoops!

Once inside, I stopped by the reference desk and asked a librarian for help locating a book.  He took me to the wrong section at first, and after realizing none of the books were on my topic, quickly scooted me over to the right place and we exchanged jokes about the mistake.  I could tell by the way he immediately got out of his seat when I first asked for help that he knew the collection and that I was in good hands.

I found the young adult books while wandering the shelves, and picked out a graphic novel that looked really interesting.  Finally, I made my way to the circulation clerk, who kindly checked out my materials for me, and I walked happily back to my car.



 Here’s another library I’ve really been looking forward to visiting.  Whenever I mentioned that I was planning a trip there, most heads nodded approvingly and complimented the library.  And now I know why.

I parked (so terribly the first time, I got back in the car and fixed myself for the sake of retaining my driving dignity) on the street in front of the library, and walked in.  As usual, I went straight to the reference desk and asked for my book.  The reference librarian chatted happily with me while she looked up my call number, then she walked me to the location of the book.  While we were there, she pointed out a few other titles I might enjoy, and explained how the OPAC worked, as well as how the library was arranged.  She was so kind, extremely helpful and friendly.  And she didn’t tell me all this information so I wouldn’t bother her the next time I visited–she was doing it because she genuinely wanted to share information with me.  It was greatly appreciated.

I visited their young adult books, which were on a few shelves by reference, and picked one out.  The circulation clerk was very personable and really made sure I knew when all my books were due.


Both of these libraries are pretty from the outside (and I’d say about the same size on the inside).  OBEN had the bigger and more convenient parking situation, but Mineola’s extremely patron-conscious staff makes me hand this round over to:

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:

Lynbrook VS Westbury


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.


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.


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:

Plainedge VS North Merrick


Without meaning to, I visited this library very close to closing.  It was both a combination of misunderstanding the closing time and thinking it was earlier in the day than it was.  I was greeted pleasantly by a circulation clerk as I walked in, and when I asked a reference librarian for help, she snapped at me that the library was about to close in a minute.  Surprised, I checked the time, and apologized, ready to leave and come back.  She insisted she could help me after all, and walked me to the shelves while asking why I didn’t just look up my own call number.  She handed me a random book that was lying on top of the others on the shelf and walked away before I could thank her.  I took my book and sprinted to the circulation clerk, who pleasantly asked if I found everything I needed.  I thought I would get whiplash from the drastic difference in moods.  I collected my books, and hurried to the car, stepping around the vacuuming custodian on my way out.

I decided since I had made such a big mistake coming only a dozen minutes before closing, I’d revisit this library.  I made sure I had plenty of time to browse and ask my usual question.  I arrived and walked straight to the reference desk.  No one was around, so I waited for a few minutes before I couldn’t hold myself back anymore.  I hurried to the young adult corner and browsed their graphic novel titles.  After finding one I wanted, I returned to the reference desk, which was still unoccupied.  While I waited, I browsed travel pamphlets and new books.  I found one that looked really good, so I wrote the title down on a piece of paper for later reading.

After waiting for almost twenty minutes, I approached the circulation desk and asked if there was a staff member that could help me locate a book.  She not-so-kindly informed me that she was busy and I would have to wait.  Smiling, I stepped back and waited.  When she finished, she beckoned me forward and I asked for a specific book.  She brought me immediately to the shelves and pointed out the general area I would have to look, informing me that I should browse for my book.  She left me at the shelves, nowhere near my desired book.  Frustrated by staff that seemed completely disinterested in helping me, I took the nearest book to me and checked out.

North Merrick

I was told after visiting that this library was once a school.  Looking back, I suppose it did have that kind of feel on the inside, but I don’t think I would have guessed on my own.  The reference room is very large and bright–I went to the librarian and asked my question (as usual) and she happily looked up the call number while I listened to an older gentleman inform her that the day I was visiting was the best day of the summer because there was no rain.  She walked me to the shelves, realized the books she was bringing me to had been moved and quickly looped around to the right area.  Joking that she had intended the mini-tour, she pulled a few titles for me, and left me to choose one I liked.  I felt guilty she had jogged around the library to find my book, but her positive attitude made me feel like she’d do just about anything to find the right book.  It’s a simple gesture, but it made me feel cared for as a patron.

I stopped by the young adult department, which is located by the non-fiction shelves across from the reference room.  I chatted with the lovely librarian there for a few minutes before browsing their graphic novels and grabbing one.  Checking out was completely wonderful–the clerk processed my materials quickly and wished me a good day.


I’m sure you can guess which library wins this round.  I hoped Plainedge’s original mixed signals (welcoming, friendly circulation staff and disinterested, irritable librarian) were because of my own mistake, but a corrected second visit landed me almost the same disappointing service.  North Merrick’s staff served me with a smile, even when they had to go out of their way to do so.  I don’t have to compare buildings, collections or parking lots for these libraries, because regardless of what faults North Merrick has in those categories, I would visit them any day of the week.  The winner of this round is:


Island Park VS Island Trees

Figures that I managed to pair these two together, right?  Whoops.  In any case, onto the battle!

Island Park

I’ve been to this library once before years ago (it was when I first bought my new car–I remember because I sat in the parking lot trying to figure out how to turn my high beams off for an embarrassingly long minute) for a book signing.  It rained the entire night and all I could remember was that the library was really tall and that it was located in the middle of no where.  Well, the library is still tall, but driving there in the dry day made me realize it’s not even close to the middle of no where.  I probably got lost and had to loop around the first visit–it was really mind-blowing when I got there quickly, only to realize it’s right next to Long Beach library.  Anyway, I’m really off topic.  Back to the actual library!

When you first walk in, the library seems incredibly small.  Children’s is to the left, the front desk to the right and young adult in the back.  However, there are stairs to the far right which bring you up to the rest of the library.  I kind of like this characteristic because the small floors give you the intimacy of tiny libraries while also vertically packing in the space of the bigger libraries.  I asked the librarian for help, and she pointed out display book I could browse.

When I went back to ask another question, the librarian was snacking and didn’t notice me for an awkward couple of minutes, even after I said, “excuse me.”  When she did look up though, she pointed me the direction of what I was looking for.  I found a book that was perfect for what I needed, and sat down in the young adult section for a few minutes to read through what I got.  Speaking of, the young adult department is its own corner towards the back of the first floor.  I sat at a table for a few minutes and felt completely isolated from the rest of the library.  As I picked out a graphic novel (which I didn’t quite see a section for, they were in piles around the shelves), I new studying here would be nice.

While I waited to be checked out, I listened to a man complain that he didn’t check out enough books during his last visit.  He explained that he and his wife had gone to the beach and read through the series they had borrowed.  Now, a day later, he was back for more.  I love hearing things like this.  The librarian who helped me checked out my materials since the other woman behind the desk was occupied with the avid beach reader.  As she blooped my card and books, she chatted about her own life, her daughter, and the weather for the weekend.  It was a really nice way to end my trip.

Finally, the parking lot is in front of the building but is a bit small.  I had to wait for a spot to open up, but it isn’t timed spots, so that’s a plus.

Island Trees

This library is located next to a school, though I was told by a librarian it isn’t a regular elementary school.  I was a bit disappointed to hear that because up until that moment I was imagining the hordes of children running to the library after class.  When you walk into the building, you have to pass through a bit to get to the library (I must have looked completely insane when I peeked inside to make sure I wasn’t turning into staff offices, which I’ve done before).  Past the circulation desk is the reference desk and beyond that, the young adult desk.  They have a section for graphic novels, though it’s a bit awkwardly placed.  To view them, I felt like I was invading the librarian’s personal bubble (which didn’t stop me because I have a weakness for them).  Even though the YA section was small, it gave off the impression that it was still its own space.  The librarian jumped to help me while I was waiting to ask a question at the reference desk–she was incredibly nice and just walked me over to the section I wanted without hesitation.  She seemed like someone who cared deeply for her job by the way she explained the collection on the walk to the books.

Across from the circulation department is the children’s room, which, unlike the reference and young adult department, is its own room.  It reminded me a lot of a kindergarten classroom, something I really enjoyed (both kindergarten and the feel of the room).  When it was time to check out, I couldn’t have had a better circulation experience.  The clerk was loud and didn’t hesitate to pull me into the conversation she was already having.  I felt like coming here would be like visiting friends, or going to places like the bar or salon: you make friends with the employees and not only get a service, but also get a chance to talk to real people who genuinely care about your day.


Now here’s where I have to pray I don’t mix up the names.  Island Park was bigger and had more nooks for quiet study, but Island Trees had a staff that really made the visit worthwhile.  Both librarians that helped me brought me right to the  kind of books I needed, though Island Trees had a young adult librarian, despite the lack of a walled in section (also they had tons of graphic novels).  Both had parking in front (Island Trees has masses more) and both aren’t timed.  I like the quietness and intimacy of Island Park, but I’m going to have to give the round to the helpful ladies at:

Malverne VS North Bellmore


Malverne is a small, but very homey library.  While I visited there was no one at the reference desk, but I contented myself with browsing their shelves for a little while.  The staff was very inviting and I didn’t feel like there was any rush to leave.  Quite the contrary—they made me feel like they wanted me to stay.  A librarian asked if I needed help finding books, but at that point I was frantically writing down several titles I wanted to come back to and declined help, though I was grateful she asked.

I found the young adult department (which is a cute little nook in the corner of the children’s side) with ease, and browsed around for graphic novels.  I didn’t find them right away.  I did, however, find the children’s graphic novels.  I found the YA graphic novels after a bit of searching (they’re around the corner on a shelf behind the children’s desk).

During checkout, the circulation staff member was really clear about my due dates—two of my items had different return dates, so she made sure I was aware of that.  I really liked this, because it’s too easy to assume when books are due–and just assuming books are all due at the same time sometimes leads to a lot of late fees.


North Bellmore

I parked in the back of the building and walked passed a really cute garden area I thought would be great for afternoon reading, then walked all the way around to the front of the building.  I’m beginning to notice a trend with my ability to find correct parking.  I was greeted by a circulation clerk when I entered, and happily (greeting patrons really does make their day, promise) walked to the reference desk to ask my question.  The librarian was extremely friendly and not only looked up my book, but also offered me a ton of other sources I could go to if I wanted more information.  Many of them were sources I had never considered, and having such an open dialogue between the two of us made me feel very comfortable asking questions.

After she wrote down the location of the books I wanted, she handed me the paper and immediately started helping the patron behind me.  I had no idea where the books were located, so I turned back to ask for help, but she wasn’t free to answer.  This made me feel quite awkward, so instead of waiting by the desk for her to finish, I wandered around for several minutes until I found the books I needed.  I chose one I liked, then browsed their young adult books, which were located in the back of the library.

The clerk who greeted me when I walked in checked out my materials and commented on the things I was bringing home.  We had a friendly chat before I left, which left me in a cheerful mood.


Malverne was the smaller library, though North Bellmore really didn’t tower over this round in terms of size.  I noticed that Malverne’s staff walked around the library asking patrons if they needed help, which was really nice when compared to the sudden drop in service at North Bellmore.  It was strange to get so much attention, then be left to fend for myself as soon as it came time to physically find the books.  Parking was nicer at North Bellmore (Malverne didn’t have its own lot*) and it seemed to have more space for studying, though Malverne did have a really cute area towards the back for sitting.  For staff that seem to genuinely want to help as much as possible and great atmosphere, I’m giving this round to:


*Edit: A kind commenter informed me that there IS a lot (but it is small).  Please keep this in mind!  I parked across the street, so even without finding the lot, I found a spot without trouble.

East Rockaway VS Freeport

East Rockaway

This library is really long–and you can see just how big it is from the beautiful outside.  I couldn’t find the parking lot, so I ended up paying for metered parking.  Of course, the moment I stepped into the building I noticed the lot behind the building.  Oops.  I stopped by reference first, but there wasn’t a librarian there.  They had a sign telling patrons if they had any questions to ask the circulation staff member for help.  I turned around and asked her my question.  She pointed me towards the children’s room where I could ask the librarian there for help.

The children’s librarian was busy helping a family when I arrived, which gave me a minute to look around.  I really liked the way the room was arranged and decorated.  It gave off such a kid-friendly, welcoming feeling.  In some libraries, it looks like they forgot who their kid’s room is servicing, but at East Rockaway, they have work done by kids hanging everywhere, summer-reading themed decorations covering the walls and tables covered with paper for crafting.  All that gave off such a great vibe.

The  librarian kindly looked up the location of my book, and I journeyed back to the adult side to find what I wanted.  I found what I was looking for, and before leaving, took a moment to look at the young adult section, which was located on shelves between the circulation desk and the children’s department.

Checking out was easy–the circulation clerk was really friendly.  I felt like a bit of a doofus as I walked back to my metered spot, so anyone looking to come to East Rockaway should keep in mind that there is a lot!


From the outside Freeport looks like this:  

And then you step inside and it looks like this:

I was definitely not expecting that kind of space when I was walking towards the building.  It’s HUGE.  I especially loved the spacious downstairs, which holds the non-fiction as well as cubbies for quiet study.  Upstairs, where the reference department is located, is just as big.  Walking through this library really gives you a feeling of openness and I felt myself becoming less stressed the more I wandered.

Their young adult books are located near their reference collection—after asking a very nice librarian for help, I hurried back to this section to snag a graphic novel.  After, I walked across to their children’s department, which was large and full of families.  It was noisy there–the good kind of noise that comes from a well-loved space.  The tables were full of people, which makes me think that the community really values this place a lot.  Seeing so many people in the library made me smile.

Check-out was quick and easy—the clerk who helped me was kind and friendly.  My only complaint about this library is I didn’t see any parking that wasn’t metered (unless I’m just dopey when it comes to locating parking lots).  I was asked several times on my way in and out of Freeport (by many different people) whether or not the parking was free after a certain time, which makes me wonder if there is a time when the meters don’t need quarters.  If someone from Freeport happens to read this, I would love to know the rules surrounding the meters (especially because I see Freeport as a library I wouldn’t mind spending a day in).  I was lucky enough to find a spot with money left from a previous patron, so regardless, I wasn’t too bothered by this.  I left this library feeling impressed by what I saw–both a beautiful library and a pleasurable visit.


 Both libraries were pretty big.  Freeport was more open and allotted a lot of space for quiet study, which was really nice.  East Rockaway does have a lot behind it which is slightly more convenient than the metered parking behind Freeport.  There was a lot more staff on the floor at Freeport when I visited, though the children’s librarian at East Rockaway was more than helpful when answering my question.  These two libraries both had really nice children’s room and a young adult department which had its own shelves beside another department.  Finally, both of these libraries have gorgeous exteriors (completely unimportant to the function of the library, but something that visitors might like to know).  I thought they were both beautiful.  Another close match, but I’m going to give the round to:

Hicksville VS Lakeview


I didn’t notice the parking lot to the side of this library until after I parked waaay down the side street beside the building and walked to the entrance.  I laughed at my own silliness, but was glad for it because I got to walk around their big building, which is really nice from the outside.  There’s a little path across the front, which was a cute touch that I really enjoyed.  It was almost like the library itself was leading readers inside.  The circulation desk is the first thing you see when you walk in–to the left is the reference department and to the right is the children’s and YA books.  They also have more materials downstairs, which you can reach via stairs by the entrance.  It’s not obvious right away, but this library is very large.

I turned left (like Donna Noble) and asked a really spunky librarian for help finding a book.  She chatted with me about my topic and made funny jokes while telling a few anecdotes from her own life.  She made me feel like she was my friend rather than some stranger paid to help me.  She continued to tell jokes all the way to the shelves, where she handed me a book and bid me good luck.  I spent a few minutes walking around the reference shelves, amazed by how many over sized books they had.

I hurried across the department towards the children’s room.  The young adult books are located on shelves in a little alcove before the children’s room, though the large section of graphic novels were located in shelves before then (most of the books by the entrance to children’s were mostly series).  Of course, I noticed the fish in children’s and sped to them, happily greeting a librarian who waved to me as I passed by.  I watched the fish for a little while, content with the homey, welcoming atmosphere of the library, then wandered back to the circulation desk where a very friendly woman helped me check out.




It must have been a day to miss parking lots because I completely missed the entrance to this libary’s parking lot as well.  Oops.  Embarrassed, I turned around and snagged a parking spot right next to the entrance.  The moment I stepped foot into the lobby, a wonderful woman greeted me and asked how I was.  She smiled so brightly, I knew she loved her job.  Even if I had walked in feeling awful, being greeted like I was an esteemed guest made me feel important to the staff.

I walked to the reference department, where I noticed the giant black heritage section.  It was HUGE.  I walked around the shelves and browsed some titles.  This is definitely something I’d like to come back to when I have an afternoon free for exploring.  There was no one at the desk, so I walked back towards the circulation desk.  Before I reached it, I found the YA section, which is it’s own little nook of books.  I grabbed a really interesting looking title, and walked across to children’s.  There wasn’t anyone in this department either, but an interesting book on display caught my eye, so I took it with me as I walked back to the circulation desk.

I was actually a bit excited to talk with the woman who had enthusiastically welcomed me to her library.  I expected it would be a great conversation.  She didn’t disappoint me at all.  She was engaging and hilarious–she told me stories about her brother, the recent flash of extreme weather and news she heard from others.  Even after I had my library card tucked in my wallet and my books in hand, we continued to talk for a little while.  She was such a great person.

On the way out of the parking lot, I saw a sign that marked the way out–and I secretly imagined that a lot of people passed the parking lot like I had (even though that’s probably very much not true).


Lakeview definitely had a better black heritage section–it was gigantic.  Bigger than possibly all the graphic novel sections in Nassau County put together.  However, Hicksville had it’s own strengths: the entire back portion of the reference department was stocked with oversize books.  There was lots of staff around Hicksville ready to help, which made it easier to navigate when compared to the missing staff outside of the circulation desk (even though this woman was seriously amazing).  Lakeview had the more convenient parking situation–the lot is directly in front of the entrance.  Both libraries had a ton of tables and private spaces for studying.  I really liked my trips to both these libraries and could see myself spending an afternoon in each, but I am going to give this round to:

East Williston VS Jericho

East Williston

This is a super tiny library that shares a building with the village hall.  Even though it’s small and parking isn’t abundant, it’s completely adorable.  Parking directly in front of the doors is limited to fifteen minutes.  There’s parking further down that has a time limit as well, but those spots didn’t cause me any trouble at all.  I was in and out with time to spare.

All three departments share one room, and space is limited, but they still had a ton of young adult books to offer.  I only saw one table in this library, so studiers shouldn’t aim for this place.  They certainly made the table count though: There was a scene under the glass with little figurines and props–like a shadowbox.  I thought it was cool.

There was only one librarian present at the reference/circulation desk, and she helped me find a book I needed with ease.  Afterwords, she checked it out for me and wished me a good day.  My trip was quick, and though East Williston doesn’t have much to offer in terms of size, it certainly makes up for that with a homey, nice inside with plenty to choose from.  They really utilized their space well and their sections weren’t hard to navigate through.  I enjoyed my trip here.


I’ve been to Jericho once before to pick up a book I couldn’t wait to read.  Years later, I’m back again to see more than just their circulation desk.  Jericho has a strange parking lot that for some reason reminds me of my pediatrician’s parking lot.  They were structured similarly.  Regardless of how the parking spots are arranged, I found a spot without any trouble and hurried myself into the library (it was so hot, I was sure I would combust).  I first went to the second floor, which houses the adult and young adult books.  The librarian at the reference desk helped me find the topic I was looking for with little trouble.  While I waited for my companion to browse the shelves, I stumbled upon the young adult graphic novels.  Jericho is another library that often sends me materials.  I think most of what I receive is from them–and now I know why.  They had a TON to choose from.

I found a book I wanted to read, collected my companion and made my way back downstairs, where the children’s department is located.  The librarians at the desk didn’t look up at me any of the times I walked by–they were each reading a book or magazine and I didn’t want to interrupt them with any questions.

The circulation clerk was friendly, and chatted with me while she checked out my books.  With my reading material in hand, I skipped out to the parking lot where I expected to find my car completely melted in my spot.




This round was a bit unfair because size differs so greatly between these libraries.  However, I arranged the libraries together randomly, and will stick to the matches.  East Williston is a great place to go if you’re looking to just grab a book and leave.  It doesn’t have the space or privacy for those looking to study.  Jericho has tons of space as well as several rooms for quiet work.  Just because of its size, Jericho has a bigger selection of material and more staff, though the librarian at East Williston was as attentive and friendly as the people I encountered at Jericho.  Both places had weird parking situations.  Jericho was much easier to locate since it has its own building.  I happened to see the library sign on the side of the town hall building while driving by East Williston, otherwise I would have missed it.  Though I thought East Williston was cute, I’m going to give this round to: