The Nassau County Library System is looking to have readers of all ages travel across the county to visit 52 libraries as part of its first-ever library tour from July 1 to Aug. 31. Prizes will be presented to readers that visit five, 15, 30 or 45 of the participating libraries. People who visit more than 45 libraries are eligible for a grand prize that is yet to be determined.
At each participating library, participants will be challenged to find a designated scavenger hunt item. Once the item is found, readers have to take a photo with it to post to social media using the hashtag #nassaulibrarytour.
Renee McGrath, manager of Youth Services of the county’s library system originated the idea. “At the end of last summer, I was thinking of a way to engage more patrons with our libraries,” McGrath said. “I spoke with a friend of mine whose husband works for a major corporation that studies millennials. He said that millennials don’t just look for digital experiences, but they’re also looking for physical experiences. That’s what this tour will provide.”
McGrath added the tour offers the opportunity to experience each library’s community. “This is a fun way to explore the libraries in Nassau County,” she said. “Each one is a gateway into a new community, you can visit the library, explore the attractions, restaurants and parks nearby.”
Caroline Ashby, the library system’s director, noted that the tour is more than just reading. “Libraries always provide important summer learning opportunities, but the Nassau Library Tour takes summer learning to a new level,” Ashby said. “It’s important to note that education is about more than books and media, learning happens by looking at architecture, meeting new people and having new experiences.”
Peninsula Public Library in Lawrence and the Hewlett-Woodmere Public Library in Hewlett will be participants, according to the tour’s website. PPL’s scavenger hunt item is a gigantic library stamp. “It will encourage young readers to read more books in the summer,” PPL Library Director Carolynn Matulewicz said. “It will help show kids that libraries are more than just books, it can be more exciting discovering other things to do in a library. And the best part is that libraries are free.”
Besides being fun, Ashby believes that the tour could help battle what is called the “summer slide,” when younger children’s academic skills and knowledge decline during the two-month school break. “This will help young readers stay engaged when school is out,” she said. “They not only can stay engaged in reading through books, but they can also stay engaged just by reading various signs and plaques at different libraries.”
PPL will be hosting a summer reading kickoff event on Sunday June 23 titled, “Aliens! A Science Teller Spectacular.” Which Matulewicz said is an interactive performance that will be performed by an outside group. The event will be held from 2 p.m.-3 p.m.
More information on the tour can be found at: https://tour.nassaulibrary.org/.