Wantagh Library welcomes feathered friends


It was an exciting two days at the Wantagh Public Library, as ten chicks slowly broke free from their eggs on April 17 and 18. The feathered friends arrived just in time for spring. 

For the first time ever, the Wantagh Library hosted a dozen eggs, and after 21 days of incubation, the chicks slowly emerged from their shells and have been chirping ever since. 

The eggs were brought to the library on behalf of the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County from a farm in Yanphank. After training the librarians and providing the incubators, a batch of eggs were given to Wantagh and 10 other libraries, including in Freeport, East Meadow, Island Park, Rockville Centre and Hewlett-Woodmere.

“It was definitely a success all around,” said Susan Finck, who has been then children’s librarian at Wantagh for three years. “I think the community has really embraced it.”

The new chicks were also used as a learning tool for many of the children in the community. The library implemented a program called From Egg to Chick to help youngsters understand the development happening inside an egg. Programming related to the chicks was part of the library’s STEM — science, technology, math and engineering — initiative.

“Once you get children engaged and they are listening and focused and absorbing information, that’s when they are learning,” Finck said. “It also establishes a respect for nature and animals. Building a better world isn’t just about engineering but about how we treat the environment and how we treat each other.” 

Although the chicks will be given back to the farm this week, library officials said they have enjoyed tracking the hatching process and look forward to incubating the eggs next spring.

“Learning is always more purposeful when you have a visual connection and you can see it happening before your eyes,” Finck added. “This has definitely been my favorite program by far.”