Archive for October, 2012

Money Smart Week & October Webinar

October 15th, 2012 2 comments

Your library can be part of ‘Money Smart Week @ your library,’ a national initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) and the Federal Reserve Bank (Chicago) to provide financial literacy programming to libraries in an effort to empower libraries, and help community members better manage their personal finances.

All types of libraries are invited to participate by developing programming for individuals of all ages and all stages of life. Library programs can focus on a broad range of topics such as:

  • basic budgeting
  • managing student debt
  • retirement planning
  • home purchasing
  • saving money through couponing
  • how to prevent identity theft

Register for the webinar on October 18th to learn how to participate in ‘Money Smart Week @ your library’ on April 20-27, 2013.

Smart Investing online training opportunity

October 12th, 2012 No comments

An online training course, Smart Investing: Reference Strategies and Resources, is available at no cost to librarians and other individuals looking to improve their reference strategies and knowledge of financial literacy concepts and resources. The course aims to promote confidence and competence in responding to library patrons’ questions on personal finance and investment. Completion of this course will result in a better understanding of the language and concepts in a variety of financial areas, including:

  • Personal financial planning and budgeting
  • Banking and banking products
  • Basics of investment
  • Investing in stocks, bonds (corporate and government), and mutual funds
  • Evaluating stocks using company and industry information
  • Mortgages, short sales, first-time home buying, and real estate as an investment
  • Retirement accounts, including IRAs and 401(k)s

A special thanks to the Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) reference staff and their partner, Infopeople, for making this stand-alone, self-paced course available to the library profession.

New Beta Catalog

October 10th, 2012 2 comments

WLS has been working on a beta catalog. This new version of the catalog creates a friendlier search environment and makes it easier to find both digital and physical materials available at any of the 38 member libraries. Try out the beta catalog and let us know what you think!


New Website Offers Free Resources to Older Adults and Families

October 8th, 2012 No comments

Boxwood AllianceThe Boxwood Alliance ( offers a free aging in place resource for older adults and their families in Northern Westchester and Putnam Counties.  The idea for both the website and the not for profit organization emerged from a group of professionals in the area who work with older adults, including an elder law attorney, a long term care insurance planner, a geriatric care manager, a nurse executive, and others.  They had met in a geriatric coalition and decided to put their combined resources and information together in one place.  Catherine Wynkoop of Pound Ridge helped to get the process started and is now the board chairman.

“We chose the name ‘Boxwood’ because the plant is resilient and widespread in the region,” Wynkoop said.  “Bedford’s Dick Farrell, a Boxwood co-founder, came up with the name as a symbol of longevity and something connected to this area.”

Vice-chairman J Donna Sullivan of Somers stated that the goal was to have a single resource for individuals and families who are often overwhelmed when they realize they need help. “Too often we have families coming to us in ‘crisis’ mode.  We are building this website to be a useful resource for planning and a place to go for reliable information about options.”

To gain access to all the features of the site, including up to date feeds from national news carriers like the New York Times New Old Age Blog and Medicare Rights, users are invited to become a member.  Membership is free.  In addition, members are able to post comments and ask questions on the Community Forum page.  On the Community Connections page, they can share recommendations and rate their experiences with local businesses and vendors.

This fall, the Boxwood Alliance is coordinating Active Aging Week across upper Westchester and Putnam Counties during the week of September 23- 29. “We are reaching out to all the older adult programs and services across the region to join in celebrating the wealth of choices for remaining actively engaged,” said Wynkoop.  The Boxwood Alliance will feature these local events on its website and will promote them across the region.  Agencies and organization that wish to be included can reach the organization by email or by calling 914-764-3014

Local Government Tax Cap Webinar

October 6th, 2012 1 comment

Want to learn more about the tax cap as it relates to local government? The Office of State Comptroller (OSC) will be hosting a Property Tax Cap webinar on Thursday, September 27 and repeated again on Thursday, October 11 for Local Governments with a December 31 fiscal year end. Both webinars are scheduled from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 pm.

The webinar will address current tax levy limit requirements, an overview of the 2013 calculation, and a review of the recent changes on the OSC website and in their online forms. The session will also provide an opportunity for a question and answer session. The slide show for the webinar will be posted on the OSC website at a later date.

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Delivery Services Request for Proposal (RFP)

October 4th, 2012 No comments

A request for proposal (RFP) to perform the delivery service operations between the member libraries and WLS (a total of 45 locations) has been email to thirteen (13) local providers and has been posted on the WLS homepage. The RFP process will follow the following timeline:

  • RFP issued: September 7, 2012
  • Bidders information meeting: September 21, 2012 at 10 am at WLS headquarters
  • RFP responses due: October 12, 2012
  • Meetings with selected vendor(s): October 31, 2012
  • Contract negotiations begin: November 27, 2012
  • Service start date: January 1, 2013

Fran Feuerman, WLS Chief Financial Officer, is the lead contact for this RFP process and any questions about submitting a proposal should be addressed to her attention at

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Library Advocacy

October 3rd, 2012 No comments

There are currently two political action committees (PACs) that address advocacy issues related to public libraries and library systems in New York State. The first, New Yorkers for Better Libraries, has issued a 2012 Voter’s Guide that reviews the voting records of NYS legislators. Many of our local legislators scored well in this legislative review, with Assemblyman Thomas A. Abinanti (AD 92), Assemblywoman, Sandy Galef (AD 90), Senator Jeffrey D. Klein (SD 34), Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (SD 37), and Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (SD 35) receiving the highest ranking for their legislative support of libraries and library systems.

EveryLibrary is a national PAC that focuses exclusively on local library ballot initiatives and measures. This PAC was launched in early September 2012 and it plans to fundraise at the national level in support of local library ballot activities and to provide local libraries with the technical support and consultancy assistance needed to achieve a successful vote.

In addition to the information provided by these PACs, individuals are also encouraged to check the websites of the Westchester Library System (WLS), the New York Library Association (NYLA), the New York State Library and the American Library Association (ALA) to learn more about ongoing library issues and trends. An important Save the Date for NYS advocacy efforts is Tuesday, March 5, 2013 – the next Library Advocacy Day in Albany, NY.

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Free Professional Development Webinars

October 1st, 2012 No comments

For all of you current and future librarians… mark your calendars. Here are some professional development webinars that might be of interest. All of these webinars are free of cost – yes, that’s right, they’re free!

Oct 2 – Tuesday @ 10-11am:                       Business Insights: Essentials +

Oct 2 – Tuesday @ 1-2pm:                           Graphic Novels for Teens and Tweens *

Oct 2 – Tuesday @ 2-3pm:                           Booklist Webinar—What’s New in Series Nonfiction: Fall 2012

Oct 11 – Thursday @ 2-3pm:                       Booklist Webinar—Warm Up to Reading: Getting Kids Hooked on Books

Oct 15 – Monday @ 2-3pm:                         Makerspaces: A New Wave of Library Service – Westport (CT) Public Library

Oct 16 – Tuesday @ 3:30-4:30pm:             Booklist Webinar—Common Core & More: Surprising Reasons to Go Graphic

Nov 19 – Monday @ 2-3pm:                        Makerspaces: A New Wave of Library Service – Cleveland Public Library

Dec 3 – Monday @ 2-3pm:                           Makerspaces: A New Wave of Library Service – Detroit Public Library

Jan 7, 2013 – Monday @ 2-3pm:                Makerspaces: A New Wave of Library Service – Carnegie Library (Pittsburgh, PA)

* provided by New York State Library & the New York Council for the Humanities

+ NOVEL ny database provided at no additional cost to NYS libraries and residents


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Westchester Business Roundtable At WLS

October 1st, 2012 No comments

In an attempt to better connect with the business community of Westchester County, the Westchester Library System holds regular meetings with key members of the community.  These meetings provide an opportunity to share some of the valuable initiatives developed by the Westchester Library System designed specifically for business.

Here is a copy of the presentation from our meeting this past summer.