As many of you know, I’m a librarian as well as an author. My library system, the Nassau Library System in Nassau County, New York, recently hosted a summer library tour. The tour started on July 1st and ran through August 31st. Prizes were awarded to patrons who visited 5, 15, 30, or 45 of the participating libraries. There was also a scavenger hunt item hidden at each library that visitors could search for, as well as a guest book that could be signed. Some staff members wore a special shirt with the library tour insignia that I loved because it featured two cats.
I thought it would be fun to participate myself, but I only managed to visit 8 libraries including my own. Even so, I met many great fellow librarians and learned of the myriad services different libraries provide. I hope to visit more next summer, although I don’t need a tour to drop by any time during the year.
The first library I visited, of course, was my own, the Hicksville Public Library, where I signed the guest book in the Children’s Department and received my map for recording, via yellow stickers, the libraries I visited.
The first library I visited after mine was the Bethpage Public Library. It featured the lunar module as the scavenger hunt item. I found two copies of the first book of my series, A Stone’s Throw, on their shelf.
The next library I visited was the Oyster Bay Public Library. I went there on my vacation, so I could also spend some time in the pretty, North Shore town that is home to Planting Fields Arboretum, Sagamore Hill, and Theodore Roosevelt Park and Beach. There are also some nice shops and restaurants in the area. They had a cute set up for the library tour near the scavenger hunt item which was a poster of the village. I also located two of my books on their shelves.
I visited the third library, Valley Stream Public Library, also known as the Henry Waldinger Memorial Library, after a book signing at their cozy coffee shop, Sip This. Their scavenger Hunt item was a 3D printed book.
After Valley Stream, I went to the Farmingdale Public Library and met Rachel and Dana, two pleasant librarians who pointed me toward a beautiful aquarium that contained their scavenger hunt item, a shipwreck. I also located the first two books of my Cobble Cove mystery series on their shelves.
Next on my list was the Syosset Public Library. I had previously participated in a local author fair there, and the first and third books of my series, A Stone’s Throw, and Written in Stone, were on their shelf with a “local author” sticker. I spoke with a nice man, Ed, the Head of Reference, and located their scavenger hunt item, a cut-out cyclops in honor of their upcoming Sy-Con event on September 13 and 14.
I was pleasantly surprised at my visit to the Seaford Public Library when I was able to say hello to Director Frank McKenna, the husband of Donna McKenna, who had worked previously with me at Hicksville. I also met librarians Eric and Kristen who were friendly and welcoming. I loved the sign outside their door that said “Seaford Public Library: Your Doorway to the Past, the Present, The Future.” I was also happy to note that they also had the first two books of my series. Their scavenger hunt item was a map of their town.
The last but not least library I toured was Wantagh Public Library. I hate to admit that I missed the scavenger hunt item which was listed on the website as a “Wantagh Yesteday” painting. I will just have to go back to view it which won’t be a hardship because I met two nice librarians there, Jack and Ian, who were even kind enough to re-shelve my books that were split into two different areas. In addition to the first two books of my series, they also owned my standalone mystery/thriller, Reason to Die.
Although I didn’t complete my tour of all the Nassau Libraries, I was happy to have met fellow librarians and seen what other libraries offer in the way of services, collection displays, and library design. I was also able to view these places through the eyes of a patron.