Archive for April, 2013

22nd Annual Book and Author Luncheon Event Update

April 24th, 2013 No comments

The Westchester Library System’s 22nd Annual Book & Author Luncheon on April 18, 2013, was a tremendous success! The event, sponsored by Entergy and TD Bank, took place at CV Rich Mansion, White Plains, and was attended by close to 200 people. Lifetime Arts, Inc. received the National Library Week Recognition Award for their contribution to libraries and literacy. Here are a couple of photos from the event!


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NYS Assemblyman Steven Otis (Assembly District 91) getting his book signed by author Deidre Bair.



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Posing with the National Library Week Recognition Award is (l-r) Cathy Draper, Member, WLS Board of Trustees, Ed Friedman, Executive Director, Lifetime Arts, Inc., Maura O’Malley, CEO, Lifetime Arts, Inc., and Dave Donelson, President, WLS Board of Trustees.


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(l-r) Dave Donelson, President, WLS Board of Trustees, Authors Dorothy Wickenden, Marie Howe and Deidre Bair, Terry Kirchner

Libraries = Intellectual Capital = Wise Investment in the Future

April 15th, 2013 No comments

An investment in our libraries is not only a wise investment in our county’s future it is an investment that insures Westchester’s place as the intellectual capital of New York. There is a return on investment that is more than just financial. It’s about empowering libraries and empowering communities to serve the public good. Take for example the role libraries played during October’s Hurricane Sandy.

Proving that libraries are more than just repositories of books and information, community building at the library could not be more evident than during that storm. Libraries were the “go to” hot spot – literally. They became the community living room and they were packed! Patrons connected and kept warm. They recharged not only their devices, but their spirits, dampened by nature’s sudden disruption of their lives. To meet the demand, Westchester libraries expanded their hours to accommodate patrons and youth librarians developed engaging programs
for students and their parents who found themselves with a long unexpected school break. Entrepreneurs who typically work from home set up shop in the local library, barely missing a beat. And Westchester Library System’s website kept county residents informed of each library’s online status, WiFi availability, and expanded hours.

What is the most significant return on investment in our libraries? Consider this – in a world where knowledge is power, the library’s free access to information, cultural, and educational resources can empower everyone. In Westchester, more than 7 million library visitors a year take advantage of these resources. Some of those visitors attended the nearly 25,000 library sponsored programs –author talks, story- telling, film screenings, art shows, concerts – all free of charge.

The Westchester Library System (WLS) works to empower libraries with effective capacity building tools and services. A strong library system is critical in the delivery of millions of dollars worth of enhanced services for a fraction of the cost of providing these services separately. And while WLS helped Westchester libraries save over $100,000 per year through centrally provided internet access, technology maintenance service, and upgrades – patrons benefited from free use of computers, internet access and WiFi at 44 library sites. (That’s twice as many Starbucks in Westchester – just in case you were wondering.)

With more than 80% of Fortune 500 companies requiring job applications to be completed online – libraries’ free access to the internet levels the job playing field. WLS further strengthens Westchester’s workforce offering programs in career opportunities, job search, resume writing and interviewing, and connections to the county’s One Stop Employment Center in Westchester libraries.

Keep in mind too, that the System’s 500,000 library card holders (about half the total county’s population) benefit from the cost efficient WLS’ delivery system and interlibrary loan service. More than 1 million items are loaned between the county’s libraries each year. This includes DVDs, audio books, e-books, books, and other print materials. Databases, including Morningstar and Lexis Nexis, language learning tools, and skill building programs, are just a few of the myriad of knowledge resources available online 24/7!

Are you still wondering why anyone would still go to the library to do research when you can ‘Google’ it from home? Ask a research librarian (there is one in your library!); Westchester librarians answered 1,531,058 reference last year. While Google can give you 50,000 responses to your inquiry, your librarian can help you find the one answer you need.

The return on investment can be measured not only by financial impact, but also by our collective community pride in opening the door to knowledge, changing a life, promoting quality of life, and insuring Westchester’s place as the intellectual capital of New York.

It’s National Library Week. Thank your local librarian. And take just one minute and join us in the celebration by making an investment in Westchester’s future with a contribution today.

Westchester Library System’s 22nd Annual Book & Author Luncheon

April 10th, 2013 No comments

Author Deirdre Bair

Westchester Library System’s 22nd Annual Book & Author Luncheon Features Three Outstanding Authors

Westchester County, NY (April 10, 2013) – The Westchester Library System (WLS) will hold its 22nd annual Book & Author Luncheon on Thursday, April 18, 2013 at CV Rich Mansion in White Plains, NY. The event celebrates National Library Week and features talented authors Deidre Bair, Marie Howe and Dorothy Wickenden who will discuss their newly published books.

Lifetime Arts, Inc. will receive the National Library Week Recognition Award for their outstanding contributions to libraries. The Luncheon is sponsored by Entergy and TD Bank.

“The Westchester Library System’s Book & Author Luncheon is the highlight of our National Library Week festivities,” says Terry Kirchner, WLS Executive Director. “This year we have a talented group of authors who will be sure to entertain and enlighten.”

He adds, “We are also thrilled to honor Lifetime Arts, a non-profit organization that allows WLS to sponsor creative aging projects for seniors. With these programs, the local public libraries have become art making centers, bringing together great teaching artists with librarians and seniors.”

The Luncheon, held from 12:00pm – 2:00pm, will be followed by an author signing. Registration begins at 11:15am. Ticket prices for the Book & Author Luncheon are $95 for general admission. Proceeds from this event will support WLS’s efforts to expand its e-book collection and increase digital media content for all Westchester public libraries. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call (914) 231-3226.

The authors’ books, available for purchase and autographing at the event, include:

Saul Steinberg (Deirdre Bair) –National Book Award winner Deirdre Bair’s new biography meticulously connects the puzzle pieces of the complex, often paradoxical life of graphic artist Saul Steinberg (1914–99), the luminary best known for his postwar New Yorker cartoons.

The Kingdom of Ordinary Time (Marie Howe) – American poet and New York State Poet Laureate Marie Howe’s latest collection, The Kingdom of Ordinary Time, is a meditation on ordinary yet nevertheless miraculous moments, such as hurrying through errands, attending a dying mother, and helping a child on the playground.

Nothing Daunted (Dorothy Wickenden) – Author and Executive Senior Editor for The New Yorker magazine, Dorothy Wickenden’s latest novel is a captivating book about Wickenden’s grandmother, who left her affluent East Coast life to “rough it” as a teacher in Colorado in 1916.

The Westchester Library System is located at 540 White Plains Road, Suite 200, Tarrytown, NY 10591. For a complete list of programs and events throughout the Westchester Library System, visit our WLS website.

About the Westchester Library System
The Westchester Library System (WLS) includes 38 member public libraries located throughout the County and is one of New York State’ 23 public library systems. WLS and its members libraries have a total collection of 5.4 million items, including 3.7 million books, as well as audio recordings, videocassettes, DVDs, print serials, and other materials. The mission of the Westchester Library System is to ensure that all residents have seamless access to excellent library service throughout Westchester County. The Westchester Library System serves as a center of innovation for the Westchester County library community. WLS provides model programs, affordable and easy-to-use information technology, and support services that enable libraries to continuously improve service to their communities.

Worldwide Autism Awareness Day

April 2nd, 2013 No comments

Today is Worldwide Autism Awareness Day. To celebrate, thousands will Light It Up Blue – even the Empire State Building! Declared at the United Nations General Assembly in 2008, this day highlights the need to help improve the lives of children and adults who suffer from this disorder so they can lead full and meaningful lives.

The Light It Up Blue movement has its roots right here in Westchester County; and Autism Speaks is spearheading the movement.

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that manifests itself during the first three years of life. The rate of autism in all regions of the world is high; and it has a tremendous impact on children, their families, communities and societies.

For more information and materials on autism, check out our catalog and search keyword “autism.”