This summer the Head of Youth Services over at NLS Renee McGrath decided to put together a library tour. Of the 54 member libraries, 53 decided to participate (East Meadow is under construction) in this summer’s tour. When a patron or group of patrons decide to start their tour they receive a library tour map. At each stop a library staff member will cover the library location on the map with a yellow sticker. At 5 libraries participants get a tour temporary tattoo, at 15 a car magnet for adult and sticker for kids, at 30 a drink Koozie and at 45 a tour pin for adults and astronaut helmet for kids. Also at 45 participants can fill out a raffle ticket for a special prize. Elmont, Freeport, Levittown, Manhasset and Plainview-Old Bethpage are prize centers and patrons have to make stop 30 and 45 one of these 5 libraries. Each library also has a scavenger hunt item to look for.
By checking #nassaulibrarytour on Instragram you can see loads of pictures from library patrons who decided to participate. Some people have even completed this tour.
As librarians we have our own experience with this tour either as a participant or from just having people visit our library.
Here’s what our Technology Committee Chair Amanda has to say:
“As soon as I heard about this tour I knew it was something I wanted to participate in. I love visiting libraries and have been saying I wanted to library hop for a while. As of writing this post I have visited 28 libraries either on my own or with my friend Rose. Some libraries were quick drop ins to libraries I visited before such as my home library of East Rockaway and Uniondale where I work. Other libraries were big and fun day trips. On one Saturday Rose and I conquered 9 libraries (Syosset, Jericho, Oyster Bay-East Norwich Public Library, Bayville, Plainview-Old Bethpage, Hicksville, Bethpage, Island Trees and Levittown) and another Saturday we conquered 5 for both of us (Mineola, East Williston, Williston Park, Hillside and Garden City) plus 3 additional ones just for Rose (East Rockaway, Lynbrook and Rockville Centre) that I had visited on my own. It’s lot of fun to explore other libraries and we’ve met some friendly library workers at various stops. We love looking for the scavenger hunt item with some being easier to spot than others. Rose and I walked past the item at two different libraries multiple times before finally finding it. In addition to the libraries already listed I have visited Roosevelt, Hewlett-Woodmere, Merrick, Bellmore, Oceanside, Island Park, Long Beach, Glen Cove and Locust Valley. I am currently trying to figure out when I can head over to Elmont for stop 30 (with Franklin Square most likely 29) as I’ve been saving it for that stop. Freeport isn’t far from me so I’ve been saving it for number 45 especially since our Treasure Roseann works there. My goal is to visit all 53 even if numbers 46-53 spread into September.
The hashtag is also awesome to follow. I’ve liked some posts by this one family using my librarian/book nerd Instagram account and they mine. When they visited Uniondale they stopped in to say hi knowing it’s where I work. I’ve also got to see photos of my library patrons who are doing the tour (a pair of sisters not only finished but did all 53) and they mine. Most of Uniondale’s visitors are heading to our Children’s or Adult department
Overall, I am really enjoying participating in this tour and plan to if and when it runs again.”
Here’s what our Vice President/President Elect Lisa has to say:
“At Massapequa, the Young Adult department is attached to the Adult Reference department, so I’ve had the chance to sit at the Reference desk on our top floor at Bar Harbour, right near where our Library Tour scavenger item is. If you’re on the Tour and looking for it, it’s a funky chair we decorated with a space-theme, complete with handmade aliens made by my fabulous co-worker, Pamela Pattwell. To best accommodate people on the Tour, I made sure that our three main desks were prepared with the necessary supplies. We see the least foot traffic on the top floor, but we get to meet those looking for the scavenger item to get the full Tour experience.
Without exception, every person I’ve met on the Tour has been happy, excited, and absolutely loving the Tour. We’ve gotten mostly families, with children barely able to contain their excitement when they find our out-of-this-world chair, but I’ve seen a few younger, childless people as well. One of my favorite groups so far consisted of a mom and two children (one was hers, the other a friend) who were documenting their journey and posting the experience on social media in a fun video. The girls loved the bright yellow frisbees we gave out as an extra prize, and took a photo together outside the building to commemorate the visit. I’m not sure how many libraries they’ve visited by now, but I wouldn’t be surprise if they’ve been to them all!
Seeing so many happy, enthusiastic people discovering and exploring the library has been a great joy for me this summer. I hope this becomes a yearly tradition!”
The library tour ends on August 31st so if you haven’t started your own there is still time to visit as many libraries as you can. Be sure to share your photos on Instagram and use the hashtag #nassaulibrarytour.
Don’t forget to check out the tour website. https://tour.nassaulibrary.org/