Tag Archives: Battle of the Libraries

Merrick VS Long Beach

Merrick

 From the outside (and inside), Merrick is a beautiful library.  There is parking directly beside the building as well as a large lot across the street.  Also, the street you have to cross isn’t a busy road, so there isn’t a problem facing a heavy traffic flow between your car and the library.  As I walked in, I immediately noticed that they have the coolest bike rack I’ve ever seen.  I’ll post the picture further down.  Anyway, the inside is large, bright and includes two floors.  Reference is on the ground floor.  I went there first and asked a pleasant librarian for help finding a book.  She wasn’t able to find it, but she did show me the section where several other books on my topic were located.  I chose one I liked and then made my way upstairs, which is where the media, young adult and children’s departments are located.

They have a separate room for teens with some of their collection outside of the room.  They didn’t have a lot of graphic novels, but I found an interesting one nonetheless.  While I looked, I tried to make eye contact with a woman who was sitting at a desk beside me–I had a question I wanted to ask regarding the DVDs.  She was reading something and didn’t look up at me when I first approached the desk or when I returned to ask my question, so I didn’t wait long beside the desk.  My question wasn’t too important, and I figured I could ask the circulation clerk later in my trip.  Instead, I continued on to the children’s department.

The walls are painted with an undersea theme–and they even have a fish tank.  I don’t mean a bowl-sized fish tank either.  This thing was huge and had all sorts of fish inside.  I especially liked that they had paragraphs of information on top of the tank regarding what was inside.  I thought this was great, mostly because I found this insanely cool looking starfish and immediately wanted to know what it was called.  The tank is all the way in the back of the room, so for people like me who get excited to see animals in the library, it forces them to walk across the big department in order to scope out what’s in the tank.  I’m not sure if this was done on purpose, or if it was done to kind of separate the play area from the rest of the department (or both), but if this is the case, it’s an extremely clever idea.  It works perfectly.

Checking out was easy.  I handed a kind woman my material and we talked about the weather (I can’t help it) while she scanned all my stuff.  I was out of there in no time, happily toting my books to my car and thinking about fish.

Long Beach

Parking for this library was a bit confusing.  There are spots in front, but also spots across the street in a lot.  There are a lot of lights and entrances and exits, so I had to loop around the block once before figuring out how to nab a parking spot.  I had a really hard time not running to the beach (I don’t know how employees here come to work on sunny days) because it’s not too far from the sandy shore.  I also imagined whether it would be possible to have a book mobile driving up and down the boardwalk with bestsellers for beach goers, but I’m really getting off topic now.

Inside was dark compared to the sunny street.  I hopped over to reference where a massively nice librarian helped me find a book.  I told her more specifically what I was looking for while we walked to the shelves together and she cracked friendly jokes about their tiny selection while she pointed some titles out.  They had dozens and dozens of books to choose from (hence all the joking).  I actually had a hard time finding just one to check out because there were so many titles that sounded interesting.  AND THEN, to make matters worse, as I was walking away from the shelves, I happened to catch a glimpse of cookbooks that dealt with chocolate recipes.  After I drooled over several delicious sounding books, I tried to leave the library (again) and instead, found myself face-to-face with the wall of graphic novels.

Yes.  That’s right.  A wall.  And not just a wall of short shelves, I mean a wall of oh-God-can-I-reach-that-high shelves FULL of graphic novels.  It took every ounce of strength not to hug the books.  Now I understand why whenever I request a graphic novel, Long Beach is one of the libraries to always send materials.  I was in my glory.  I scanned the titles, vowed to read them all one day, and sadly chose just one to take home.

I noticed a media nook on my way out (at this point, I’m lucky I noticed anything at all on account of my frantic scribbling of graphic novel titles in a notebook I had in my bag), and after a pleasant (and slightly awkward) conversation with the circulation clerk, I was excited to speed home to read my books.  The clerk told me that the library has book drops on the boardwalk, which I thought was completely awesome.  She also said that Long Beach has the biggest graphic novel collection in all of Nassau County.  While I was really happy, I feel like she let out some spoilers, haha.  It really was a beautiful adult graphic novel collection.

Results

This match is extremely close.  I really had to ponder this one for a while.  Both buildings had parking across the street, though Merrick’s lot was extremely easy to use and the street wasn’t as hard to cross.  The librarian that helped me at Long Beach was very knowledgeable of her library’s collection while also being very funny and nice.  She didn’t bother looking up numbers or handing me papers, she just popped over to the shelf and offered me their huge selection.  On terms of study space, I have to give Merrick a lot of props–their library is very bright.  There were plenty of places to study at Long Beach too, but the lack of sunlight made me favor my first visit.  Both circulation clerks were kind and processed my materials speedily.  At Long Beach, I felt the staff were all very conscious of being ready to help any patron that walked by–they not only know their library well, but they seem to really have fun at work.  Thus, with a lot of debating, I give this round to:

 

Gold Coast VS Bellmore

Gold Coast

This building kind of reminds me of a post office from the outside.  It looks more like a house than some of the modern buildings I’ve visited.  Inside is small, but cozy.  Ignoring the very squeaky floor, I thought this library had the qualities people think of when they picture a typical library.  There aren’t a lot of places to sit and study, and the center of the room was occupied with a blockbuster kind of DVD arrangement.  It was extremely easy to navigate through their DVDs and to be honest, I thought it was a cool system.

No one was at the circulation desk when I walked in, but I figured there was only one person manning the desk and she was probably busy with another task, so I kept on to the reference area.  I only saw one librarian, who had amazing patience and really did her best to help.  The friend I was with had the title of the book he wanted wrong (not on purpose), then after searching online, the librarian realized even the internet had the title wrong.  A simple question ended up turning into quite a bit of searching.  She never once gave up–she kept trying to find the title of the book, even though the odds were against it being discovered. She did find it in the end (she was also really funny and gave great advice while she searched for the book and got nothing but silly sounding titles).

I won’t talk about the rest of my visit to this library though, because it was at this point that the librarians here found out where I come from and where I work.  There was a clear shift in attitude, and the change made me suspect that the librarians knew who I was.  I didn’t want that to affect the way I saw their library.  I really liked the librarian that originally helped us out and I wanted her eager helpfulness not to be tainted by later events.  I will say this: The Gold Coast library has a really cool self-scanner.

Finally, the parking lot is shared with the LIRR station, and the spots were pretty close together, so while there were plenty of places to park, I worried the guy next to me might hit my door.  I also wondered if the trains coming in make a lot of noise and bothered patrons in the library.  None arrived while I was there, so this wasn’t a problem I dealt with.  I didn’t notice any signs limiting the amount of time cars were allowed to park, which is always good.

Bellmore

This is another library that has two entrances–very convenient for people coming with a car.  There’s two hour parking on the street in front of the building as well as several spots in the lot next door (which is limited to four hour parking).  Not ideal for those who plan on studying all day, but four hours of studying is a pretty hefty chunk of time.  I had no trouble find a spot and happily entered the building.  I first went to the reference desk, which is located towards the back of the library, through the stacks.  I wouldn’t have expected the desk to be back there, but there’s a big sign to help those who don’t know where to go.  I asked the librarian at the desk for help finding a book, and while she looked it up, she made jokes regarding the title.  She was really funny, and after handing me the number, pointed me in the right direction.

Of course I didn’t turn right like she told me to (I made a left), and instead of finding my book, found the YA department.  By the time I realized I am directionally challenged, I had located the graphic novels and contentedly looked through them.  Their YA books aren’t located in an enclosed room, but are all in the same area, which made browsing them really easy.  I grabbed a graphic novel, then found the book I had originally wanted and made my way to the circulation desk.

I kid you not–the circulation staff member that helped me might be the nicest person I have ever met in my entire life.  It took every fiber of my being not steal her DNA for replication.  She immediately commented on a book I had put on the desk, and related it to a program the library was hosting.  She found me the information on one of their flyers (without me asking), and was so kind while doing it.  She was so engaging, we had an entire conversation before I even managed to fish my library card out of my bag.

The scanner wasn’t working and she had to type every barcode into the system by hand, but she even did that happily and with tons of friendly chatter about the weather, the beach, and my choice in reading material.  This library could have been made of lava and heights (#1 and #2 on my list of things I am terrified of)–this woman had the ability to negate that and make me want to come back, if only to have her check my items out.

Finally, the library had a certain relaxed, casual feeling.  It felt like it was broken in and ready to take in new patrons without causing them any stress.  I really enjoyed coming here.

Results

There’s really no comparison between these libraries.  The staff of Bellmore all helped me with such kindness and hilarity that I was glad to have visited.  Their parking was easy-peasy and there was tons of places to hang out if I ever was in need for somewhere to study (but just for four hours).  Bellmore clearly cares very deeply about brightening their patron’s days and welcoming in new guests.  I loved every minute there.  The winner is:

Syosset Library VS Bryant (Roslyn) Library

Syosset

I don’t even know where to start.  I’ll just take you through my whole trip!  This library has two entrances, one from the front and one from the parking lot (it’s a very large library).  This was really convenient, as was the ample amount of spots available.  I walked in and was immediately greeted with large, open space and lots of sunshine.  I saw tons of places where I could sit to study or read–the space was really well planned out.  I first went to a desk I thought might be the reference desk and asked for a book.  The librarian kindly pointed out how I would find my book (it was on the third floor), and I set out to find it.

I walked through the media collection, the books located on their mezzanine and through even more books on their second floor.  This building has so many books!  The library was also really clean–I didn’t see a single mess on a shelf anywhere.  I wondered the entire trip how many pages they had (I guessed 2,000), but I wasn’t sure if that was a rude question to ask.  If it isn’t, I would love for someone to tell me in the comments (I really hope the answer is 2,000).  The doors were labeled with where you’d end up after walking through.  At first I thought this was a cute thing to have, but then I realized how completely necessary it is.  It’s very easy to get lost looking around!  I asked a second librarian for help finding my book, and she wrote the book’s call number down for me, then gave me directions to finding the stairs to the third floor (I couldn’t figure out where they were).  Before I walked up to the third floor though, I noticed that beside the desk were shelves devoted to staff picks, which included a binder telling you who recommended what, as well as a blurb summarizing the book.  I thought this was the coolest thing.  If I was a regular patron of this library, I would adore knowing what my favorite librarian recommends.

At this point, I was happier than Scrooge McDuck in a vault full of money.  I walked up to the reference desk, and asked for help finding my book.  The librarian kindly looked it up, and without handing me the number and hesitating to get up, he popped out of his chair and led me to the exact spot where the book was located.

My next mission was to find the teen room.  I wandered a bit (which caused another reference librarian to ask if I needed help), before finding the Teen Zone, a separate room where their young adult material is kept.  There was a really friendly librarian in the room, who answered my bundles of questions.  They had a ton of graphic novels to look through, and she was so nice that I found myself wanting to know all about the library while I browsed.  I felt very welcomed in this library.  After joking around with her for a bit (she was such a cool librarian), I made my way back down to the ground floor, where I quickly scoped out the children’s room.

There’s a fish!  His name is Gordon Bob (and he just had a birthday).  The librarian here was very helpful and the room was nice and open–I didn’t look through the stacks but I felt at home in the department.

Then it was time to check out my books.  I hesitantly got on line and waited for a circulation clerk to finish helping the patrons in front of me.  I thought to myself: This is it.  The library is way too nice and I’ve had too much fun visiting.  I was at the point during my first date with Syosset where I was trying to figure out the catch.  Did I have to give an organ to take home books?  I imagined the circulation clerk pulling out a flamethrower and torching my books or perhaps when it was my turn, a trap door would open, dropping me into a pit full of patron-eating dragons.  The clerk called me to the desk and I came to her, placing my materials on the counter.  It’s not too late, I thought.  I can still ditch the books and run while the library is still perfect. 

The clerk started chatting about the weather until she noticed I didn’t have a Syosset library card.  She paused, reached under the desk and my heart stopped.  I stared at her name-tag and braced myself for the worst-case scenerio.  This is it!  my thoughts shouted.  She’s calling the cylon centurions to take me away!

Then she pulled out a form and a pen for me to fill out, and continued mentioning how gorgeous it was outside, I mentioned traffic on the way to the library and we both shook our fists at the dozens of people we suspected of lounging on the beach.  I mentioned rain while looking outside and we both laughed.

I feel that if you did a word search through this post, the most used adjectives would be “nice,” “kind,” and “helpful.”  Those staff members were ready to venture into the stacks to help me find books.  They don’t just point at the general area and leave me praying I’ll be tall enough to reach my book.  They answered my questions with personality and humor, and even when I was just observing the surroundings, wanted to know how they could best service me.    I didn’t even care that they weren’t part of the same system most of the libraries in Nassau county use–that part of my visit was completely painless and pleasant.  For a moment while leaving I wondered if I’d have to come back to Syosset to return my books.  You know what thought followed?  Good.  I’ll bring some work with me next time.

Bryant (Roslyn)

The parking lot is a bit confusing to navigate through, but there are signs everywhere to help new visitors find their way.  Immediately before entering the library I noticed the pond (complete with ducks) right next to the building and I knew that if I lived in the area, I’d be reading there every day.  I did wonder though if the library had a problem of people visiting the pond and tracking in a lot of dirt from walking around by the water.  From what I could see, there wasn’t any footprints on the floor, so I think the library has things under control.  I walked in, was greeted by the circulation clerk, and immediately went to the reference department where I tried to find some books I was interested in checking out.  I noticed there are little plaques at the end of each bookshelf that contain quotes.  I loved these.  It was a simple decoration, but it made me want to walk through the shelves and browse their entire collection (which I actually did–I wanted to read all the plaques).  I asked a reference librarian for help locating a book, which she found on the computer in no time.  She got up to show me where the books on my topic were.  I felt a bit guilty because the phone rang at the same time, but she insisted on helping me.

The young adult non-fiction was mixed in with the adult fiction, and when I found the rest of the young adult books, they shared a room with other adult material such as the romance novels.  The graphic novels didn’t have labels on them (that I could see), and I only happened to find them because I turned and recognized a title on display.  There were chairs directly in front of the shelves, making it very difficult to reach the exposed books.  The bottom shelves were blocked by the chairs, and with limited space, I didn’t bother trying to move them.  In another area I found more graphic novels designated by a sign, picked a book that looked interesting, then moved on to the children’s room.

The stairwell was decorated beautifully with children’s book characters, and the room itself had great works of art everywhere.  On top of some of the shelves there are these open books that have been decorated to have sparkly things shooting out of them.  I thought they were awesome.  The librarian there was helpful and found the books I asked her for.  The department was cozy and being detached from the rest of the library the way it is made it feel like its own little world.  My only complaint is that I had a very hard time finding it.  If I hadn’t been curious and read the sign on the door, I would have never guessed that the children’s room was located below the main floor.

A very pleasant clerk helped me during my check-out.  She was funny and made me laugh a lot as she handled my materials.  She even told me some interesting facts about the decorations in the children’s department when I brought it up.  Overall, I had a pleasant experience at Roslyn.

Results

Both libraries had more than enough parking, and were beautiful in their own way.  Syosset was huge, but Roslyn had the personal touches of an abundance of artwork everywhere.  Syosset was definitely better organized to allow patrons easy access to what they need.  Syosset kept their teen stuff together in its own space (I think they both had about the same amount of graphic novels) and also had a librarian (who clearly loves her job) around, which made the whole experience of finding a book a great one.  Both libraries had helpful staff and space for studying, though Syosset was better lit.  More light came in from outside, giving it a fresh and relaxing vibe.  Though Roslyn had an awesome pond a few feet away, I’m going to give the round to (ignore the fact I gave Roslyn more letters than it needed):

Battle of the Libraries Clarification

My readership recently exploded, and so I wanted to take this time to address some details that may have confused some people when first visiting my blog.  Firstly, a disclaimer: I am a library employee and a current library student.  I think there is nothing more valuable to any community than a good library.  Also, this is my personal blog.  Until this morning, I was writing for the ten friends who read it daily.  I understand that putting things on the internet comes with the risk of being discovered, but I ask that my readers treat my blog as it was intended–as a personal blog rather than a professional library journal.

Now let me explain the purpose of my project.  I’m a student and so places to study are very important to me.  I wanted to review libraries as great places to go to work on assignments.  I look at the space inside the library, the atmosphere, the amount of light and noise as well as how easy it is to find, and the parking.

As a library employee, it’s my opinion that it is essential for library staff remain helpful and kind.  Friendly costumer service is key to inviting patrons to return.  I’m rating libraries by how eager staff members are to answer my questions and help me find sections of the library I’m not familiar with.

As a avid reader (and patron) , I am mostly interested in young adult literature and graphic novels.  Those are the kinds of books I like to read, so those are the sections I head for when entering a library. I am rating libraries on their selection and how easy the books are to find.

Based on these qualities, I am evaluating Nassau County libraries.  I am not comparing programs or policies or the age of buildings.  I don’t expect libraries to control the traffic or ensure drivers pay attention to cross walks.  I am merely commenting on how a patron with my interests experiences each library.

I ask my readers to understand this blog only contains my opinions.  Perhaps study space and graphic novels aren’t important to you–in that case this would be a terrible review to read.  My main concern is letting the libraries who value me as a patron know that I appreciate them.  I am happy to visit beautiful buildings, and I am thankful that there are librarians like the very helpful Port Washington ladies to help me find the material I need.

I’ve only visited six libraries so far, but from those six I’ve learned that libraries are different and unique.  I’m not coming to spy on your library and I am most certainly not waiting for staff members to be in the worst of moods before bombarding them with trick questions.  I just want to see what Nassau County has to offer.

PS–To the sincerely friendly librarian from Manhasset that invited me back for a second visit: Thank you!  It’s people like you that bring patrons in and keep them there.  I hope when I do visit, you’re the one I speak with.

Garden City VS Hempstead

Garden City

I never knew this building even existed, and for a while I thought everyone was making up stories about visiting it.  I’ve passed it so many times on the way to the Roosevelt Field mall, I was glad to finally get to walk around inside.  It shares a parking lot with the Garden City train station.  From what I could tell, all parking is limited to two hours (though I might be wrong).  This makes studying there pretty hard.  The building itself is nice on the inside–lots of tables and comfy chairs designed specifically for those coming to work.  I found the young adult department without any trouble, which was wonderful.

They have tons of graphic novels to choose from–all of which are located on the outside of their alcove of a young adult section.  This made finding what I needed very easy.  With my book nuzzled in the crook of my arm, I walked myself through the reference department (which was completely full of sunlight), and into the children’s room.  In this room it’s obvious how old the building is (when I imagine the perfect library, it looks like this room), and the decorations show visitors that the employees are very conscious that they service children.  The windows were painted and the walls were covered in posters.  There were lots of colors and they had several pieces of paper with facts having to do with Summer Reading.  I sincerely felt cozy in this room.  The children’s librarian asked if I needed any help, which was kind of her.

Then I got ready to check out.  I wasn’t sure which side of the desk to stand on, so I glanced around for some clues.  The circulation staff member beckoned me with a slight tilt of her head.  She didn’t speak to me as I complimented the library and asked her how old the building was.  All attempts at friendly conversation were rejected, and so I left the library feeling rather disappointed.  The library itself was wonderful, but my experience with the circulation department blemished my great experience at Garden City.  They could have given out free ice cream made of sunshine and lollipops–when the last person you meet ignores your very existence, it leaves you with the want to seek other places.

 

 

Hempstead

Hempstead is a small library located directly next to a police station.  They don’t have their own parking lot (which was a little annoying), so I had to use the station’s lot.  As I parked, I prayed for a safe return to a not-ticketed car.  Spoilers: Parking was completely fine.

The inside of this library doesn’t contain a lot of study space, though there are a few tables here and there.  It’s not on the top of my list of places to go if I had to spend several hours studying for something important.  They have a nice, big children’s room, but sadly the young adult books are located just outside the door.  There’s no special section for teens.  I had some trouble locating the graphic novels, so I asked someone for help.  She pointed me to the section I wanted, which was several feet from where I assumed it should be.  Also, there were huge white signs everywhere telling patrons what books are located where, but whenever I followed the signs, I found different books were located in that section.  For example, the young adult graphic novels were located in a section labeled for oversize books.  I understand shifting takes place all the time and signs are often wrong during the transition.  Regardless, it was very confusing.

After not finding my specific book, I gave up and asked the reference librarian for help.  She heroically jumped out of her seat and chirped pleasantly as she searched around for my book.  I’m convinced she’s actually made of magic, because she somehow just happened to look on some random shelf, finding my misplaced book.  She was so friendly while we looked for my book, I was glad to have asked her for help.  After handing it to me, she pointed me in the right direction for check out, where a very kind woman blooped my card and book.

 

 

Results

Without a doubt, Garden City was the bigger library.  They both share parking with another building, so neither win that contest.  I think Garden City’s lot was more convenient, but Hempstead’s parking doesn’t have a time limit.  When it comes to young adult departments, Garden City wins again, but in terms of staff, Hempstead not only wins, but it completely dominates.  I don’t think I’ve met friendlier people in my life.  I didn’t feel like I was asking a stranger for advice, but rather, it felt like asking a friend for help finding a book I couldn’t remember misplacing.  Hempstead may be small and confusing, but the staff I met were all willing to hop up and help me however they could.  That’s why I declare the winner:

Franklin Square VS Hillside

This is a tough call, these were two great libraries.  Let’s start with:

Hillside Library

The library looks gorgeous from the outside–there are tons of huge windows facing the street, which invite patrons in with promises of sunshine and rainbows.  There isn’t a parking lot beside the building, but their lot is located across the street.  While that’s kind of annoying, there’s a crosswalk there to make it easy to get to the library.  Most of the cars coming down the main road ignored the red light and honked at pedestrians crossing (even the kids).  Even though the library has tried to make crossing safe, it’s still a bit stressful.

Inside is very nice–there’s plenty of space to study and the reference department is bright and open, making it easy to sit there for hours and study.  I wonder if the big windows cause people to daydream more–I know I’d love to sit by one and do nothing more than look out at the world as it passes.  Anyway, the children’s department is just as big–there’s tons of space for the kids to read and the big windows keep the area bright and cheery.  I saw many families there with their children, which isn’t surprising.  I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to bring my kids here.

Then you get to the young adult department, the only place to find non-children’s graphic novels.  It’s pretty much the size of an office, with a couple of tables and shelves.  It was pretty depressing.  After seeing such a large children’s room, I has high hopes for an equally large young adult area.  There was a desk there, which shows there is a person that usually mans the department, but no one was present while I visited, giving the teen alcove the uncomfortable feeling of Manhasset’s closed area.  I couldn’t find a graphic novel I was interested in, so I walked over to the reference librarian, who pleasantly informed me they really didn’t have any graphic novels.

I browsed the non-fiction (a helpful tip from the reference librarian), grabbed a book about the history of graphic novels, and checked out.  The circulation clerk was cheery and friendly, offering me plenty of conversation while she scanned my card and my book.  She made a few jokes about the weather, which made me laugh.  Though I was disappointed that I didn’t get a graphic novel like I hoped to, I left happy because I felt like this library was glad to have me around.

 

Franklin Square

They’re currently doing construction on the building, so let’s not judge the poor guys on their outside.  Instead of using the front entrance, you have to go through the parking lot–which is the size of a peanut.  There are seriously about four parking spots.  Instead of waiting for a spot, I just parked in the lot across the street.

Inside is cramped with not a lot of study space.  Oddly though, it wasn’t uncomfortable.  It felt more like a library hug than a library smother.  I couldn’t find the young adult department, so I asked a woman at the information desk.  She literally jumped out of her seat and directed me to the set of shelves set aside for young adult books.  That was disappointing.  While I browsed, she continued to talk to me.  The construction done on this building could have left this  library as a pile of rubble–the information desk librarian’s cheery attitude and helpful nature would have made me happy to visit.  I picked out a graphic novel from the two shelves they owned, and walked into the children’s department.

Guys, they have gerbils.  Two tanks of gerbils!  The adorable children’s librarian told me a little about them while I peeked inside the tanks and said hello.  She told me some stories about the animals, as well as the library’s history with gerbils.  Oh, and children’s room is also cute.  I really liked the way it was arranged.  Immediately upon entering, the room popped out as easy to manage and neatly arranged.  Thumbs up to that kid’s room.  After embarrassing myself in front of the gerbils, I took my book to the circulation department and checked out.  The clerk was pretty grumpy and unwilling to talk to me, but I’m finding that’s usually the case with the circulation department staff.  After grabbing my book, I did my best to find my way out of the building, and left.

Results

On terms of parking, they both had some problems.  I’d say Franklin Square is a bit easier, only because the lot across the street is huge and there was also no traffic to worry about on the street.  Crossing was easy as pancakes.  In terms of children’s rooms, I think I’ll have to give it to Hillside.  That place was giant.  Gerbils are awesome, but bright, open space trumps furry animals.  Hillside had a small YA room, but Franklin Square didn’t even have one–point goes to Hillside.  They tie on poor graphic novel selections.  Hillside had a way friendlier circ staff member, so I’ll have to give it the point for a better experience checking out.  Though I really enjoyed visiting Franklin Square, I’m going to give the win to:

Manhasset VS Port Washington

I decided to make this library trip into a battle.  I spent forever making up a quick chart on this huge piece of poster-board.  Seriously, look:

 

Round One

Manhasset Library

From the outside, this library looks really cool.  And inside, it gets even better.  I’ve been told they just recently built this library, so I wasn’t too surprised that inside is gorgeous.  There are three floors–and children’s is on the top floor.  It’s worth the climb though because it’s all Secret Garden themed.  I mean, walls painted and fake plants, the whole nine yards.  It was awesome.   This is the first children’s department I’ve seen decorated like this and honestly, it blew me away.

Young adult, on the other hand, was very disappointing.  It’s one room, off to the side, where teens can hang out.  That’s fine if you’re a teen, since the walls serve as a sound barrier, but that room is the only place where patrons can find graphic novels (not in children’s) and there is no adult in the room with the teens.  It made me insanely uncomfortable to go in there to look for something to check out.  I kind of just stepped into the room, grabbed whatever was closest to the door, and then darted out back into the main reference area.  Which is another thing.

Those stacks were so confusing!  And the worst part was the reference librarian was completely unwilling to get up and help me look for material.  She just kept pointing to where I had to go, even though it was clear I had no idea where she meant for me to walk.  I came to her twice for help finding a book, which made me feel stupid and a bother.

After giving up on her, I took my graphic novel and walked downstairs to check it out.  The women at the circulation desk acted like I was rude to come and interrupt their conversation.  I tried to compliment the inside of their library–especially their children’s room, but the clerk that helped me ignored what I said.  It was horrible.  I left this library very disappointed, and a bit sad that such a beautiful library had a staff that wasn’t interested in helping me.

Though the library is gorgeous, the staff here completely turned me off to ever coming back.  The only reason I would ever visit this library again would be to hear the GPS mispronounce the street it’s on as “Badonkadonk Ave.”

 

Port Washington

I owe you guys pictures of this giant library.  I forgot my camera and need to go back to snap some shots.  Let me tell you though–totally worth the trip.  First of all, the library is huge (and beautiful).  They have an unimaginably large amount of books and study space.  They’ve arranged couches around windows for optimal light and coziness.  It was amazing.  Even though I was only there for a quick trip to check it out, I actually sat down at a table and read the beginning of one of my graphic novels because the inside was so inviting.

Their teen books are OUTSIDE their teen lounge, which allowed me to avoid the awkwardness of being surrounded by unaccompanied minors while I browse for my reading material.  After I found two that looked interesting, I asked the reference librarian where I could find the adult graphic novels (because this library has so many, they have different sections) and the librarian got up to show me.  She was very bubbly and really made me feel like helping me wasn’t a burden.  I asked her a few questions about the library, and she happily answered them.  I really liked her.  After grabbing a few titles I wanted to read, I skipped over to the circulation desk where a very kind woman helped me, and even pointed out the coffee room across the lobby.

GUYS, THEY HAVE A ROOM WHERE YOU CAN MAKE COFFEE.  Clearly, this library is very in-tuned with what the patrons need and want.  Their furniture is arranged to best suit those coming to study, and the staff is more than willing to answer any questions.  It was such a pleasure to come here and spend time in the physical space of the library, and it was wonderful interacting with the staff here.  I definitely want to come back one day to study.  It was such a great visit, even if the parking lot was a bit wonky.

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