Lynbrook, East Rockaway libraries gear up for summer tour challenge


Libraries in Lynbrook and East Rockaway are joining a countywide effort to spice up the summer by inviting residents to participate in the 2019 Nassau Library Tour challenge.

All but two of the county’s 54 libraries will be taking part in what amounts to a scavenger hunt. “We’re really just trying to have people experience the beautiful public libraries in Nassau County,” said Renee McGrath, manager of youth services for the Nassau Library System.

The challenge asks participants to visit as many libraries in the county as possible between July 1 and August 31, according to McGrath.

“We really feel that visiting the libraries is a great way to explore everything that Nassau County has to offer during the summer,” McGrath said. “There’s no better place than Long Island during the summer. By going on the Nassau Library Tour, I think it’s a fun, and free, way to experience everything that all the communities have to offer.”

In Lynbrook, for example, participants can use the library’s computers, check out any of the library’s magazines and receive a Lynbrook Library pencil, according to Library Director Robyn Gilloon. “It’s a nice library, and a nice community for those who have never seen it,” she said.

And in East Rockaway, every participant will be able to see the library’s amenities and receive a pen for their visit. Mary Thorpe, the East Rockaway library director, said she became involved in the initiative because she liked the idea.

“We think the library is one of the most important features of every town,” she said of her fellow librarians. “Libraries have so much to offer and we just want to highlight all they have to offer.”

She added that she would like to see “as many people as possible take part.”

Participants in the challenge may start at any of the county’s libraries, according to McGrath, and receive a map to take with them as they travel from town to town.

If they visit five libraries, they will receive a temporary tattoo prize, while adults who reach 15 libraries receive a car magnet, and children will receive special stickers. When 30 libraries are ticked off, participants will receive soda can koozies, and after 45, adults will get enamel tour pins, and children will receive astronaut helmets.

In addition, participants who visit 45 libraries will be entered into a raffle to receive grand prizes, including museum passes and restaurant gift cards. The raffle winners will be drawn in early September.

“The prizes are just a little inspiration and incentive, but it’s not the main focus of it,” McGrath said. “It really is the experience that you can design yourself.”

Each library will also have its own scavenger hunt item for participants to find. “You can go around at each library, you can find the item that they’ve designated as their unique item to find, you can take a selfie with it and then maybe put it on social media and hashtag Nassau Library Tour,” she said.

At the Lynbrook library, participants can find Mrs. Frizzle from “The Magic School Bus,” and in East Rockaway they could find a fish with googly eyes.

Anyone can participate in the challenge, McGrath said, and participants do not need to have cards for all the libraries in order to have them marked off their challenge maps.