Catalog Services

Encore4web Online Public Access Catalogs (OPACs) are available in the Reference Area, near the Young Adult Librarian, by the Information Desk on the second floor, and in the Children’s Room. Librarians are available to help you search our classic catalog and set up your personal account or assist you with our enhanced Encore system.

You may also browse the mobile version of our library catalog, your web-enabled phones and tablets.

If you have trouble setting your password, managing your account, or other difficulties using our online systems, please call us during regular hours at 516-481-6591.

Collection Development

 collection-wh Reference Librarians evaluate and select materials for the Library. These materials include books, magazines, newspapers, electronic resources, audiovisual materials in various formats. For more information about the materials we offer go to our library Collection page.

Computers for Public Use

 computers-192 — Use of Microsoft Office software such as Word, Publisher, and Excel (excluding Microsoft Access).
— Black and white, or color printing from the public computers, at a nominal charge. The equipment in the Adult Reference Area includes 12 public computers for use by teens and adults. In the Children’s Room there are 5 public use computers available with black/white printing.  There is no charge to use the computers, but registration is required using an automated system called Smart Access Manager (SAM), which allows access via any Nassau Library System card. Youth under the age of 18 are still required to check in at the Reference Desk to assure that parental permission has been granted.

Genealogy Assistance

 ancestry_tree-148 The library subscribes to Family Tree Magazine and continually checks for new books to help you with your genealogy research. We also subscribe to two genealogy databases: HeritageQuest and Ancestry.  Appointments can be made with a Reference Librarian with specialized skills to help you with your genealogy research, including instruction on how to conduct your research using our databases and various print and online resources. Contact the Reference Desk at (516) 481-6591 to schedule your appointment.

Interlibrary Loans

 ill-us Inter-library loans enable West Hempstead Public Library users to obtain materials that are available in other libraries that belong to the Nassau Library System and selected items from Suffolk County libraries using a feature of our online catalog called LILINK. You may request items yourself using ALISWEB, the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) or by requesting assistance at the Reference Desk. For your convenience, the requested items will be delivered to your local library and may be returned to your local library.

The librarians at the Reference Desk can also facilitate an extended Inter-library loan service through the auspices of the Nassau Library System for materials that are not available within our Library System

Program Signups


Reference Librarians manage signups for the various programs and services offered in the Adult Programs Department, including classes, lectures, trips, and museum passes.

We also handle signups and answer questions about the Teen programs and services when Teen Librarians are not available.

Registration is also available on-line for most programs. You will need your West Hempstead Library card number.

Reader Advisory Services


We understand how easy it is to be overwhelmed by the hundreds of new titles every year added to the thousands already on the shelves. Browsing the shelves can be a frustrating exercise. To help you find books you will enjoy, library patrons are encouraged to ask at the Reference Desk for assistance.

As a service to our readers, booklists of authors who write in the various genres have been compiled by the Reference Librarians. We also have several databases especially designed for readers of many genre types.

Ready Reference


Reference Librarians are trained to help you find information on a topic and locate facts and statistics. To accomplish this we may search library catalogs, article databases, and the internet. We may need to refer people to information sources beyond the library.

We provide basic instruction on the research process and the use of our library resources. We also answer questions about the services and resources of the libraries in the Nassau Library System and in the West Hempstead Community.

Research Assistance


Reference Librarians can help you cut through today’s information overload. We can help you learn how to use the available electronic catalogs and databases or locate information on the Internet. We create subject guides and pathfinders to help our patrons find both print and non-print materials.

The West Hempstead Public Library has evaluated and selected a wide variety of high quality subscription databases for reference and research. Use of the databases is free in the Library, but for remote access you must have a West Hempstead library card.

A special Investment page has been created with information about stocks, investing & more.

For instruction and assistance in using the databases, call the Reference Desk at (516) 481-6591.