Author Archive

Westchester Library System Welcomes Edris Scherer to the Board of Trustees

July 10th, 2013 No comments

The Westchester Library System (WLS) recently named Edris Scherer of North Salem to the organization’s Board of Trustees. Ms. Scherer serves as the District IV representative covering Lewisboro (South Salem), North Salem and Somers.

As Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Scherer TV & AC, and current Co-President of the Katonah Chamber of Commerce, Ms. Scherer brings a strong business background to the WLS Board.  In addition, Ms. Scherer has knowledge of the non-profit sector and serves as a library trustee to her local library, the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library in North Salem.

“Ms. Scherer’s extensive community involvement and organizational knowledge are certain to bring many contributions to the Westchester Library System,” said Terry Kirchner, WLS Executive Director. “We are pleased to welcome her to the Board and look forward to her professional perspective.”


Edris Scherer assisting at the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library’s
S.T.E.A.M. Festival in 2012.

Categories: Library Events, Press Releases Tags:

SYNC Begs For Mercy in Week 8!

July 5th, 2013 No comments


2 Free Audiobook Downloads Each Week

May 30 – August 15, 2013

Once again this year, SYNC offers FREE Young Adult and Classic audiobook downloads to introduce the listening experience.


What is SYNC?

SYNC is a program that gives away two complete audiobook downloads–a current Young Adult title paired thematically with a Classic or Required Summer Reading title–each week to listeners ages 13+ while SYNC is in session. SYNC is in session this year from May 30 – August 21, 2013.

Read more…

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Celebrate Superman Day at Your Library June 15th

June 12th, 2013 No comments

Superman Display at the Port Chester Rye-Brook Public Library

In anticipation of the newest Superman movie Man of Steel coming to theaters June 14th, libraries in Westchester are gearing up! The Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library has put together a collection of classic Superman Books on display.  In the Lewisboro Library’s teen section, you can check out the newest graphic Superman books, and patrons can walk away with Superman-themed comic books, bookmarks and buttons.   June is the 75th anniversary of when Superman first appeared in Action Comics. And don’t forget to check out all the Superman titles including DVDs and audio books available on the WLS Catalog by clicking here

Categories: Library Events, Resources, Uncategorized Tags:

One-Stop Month

May 2nd, 2013 No comments
Elaine Sozzi, Head of WEBS Career and Educational Counseling Service

Elaine Sozzi, Head of WEBS Career and Educational Counseling Service

Guest blog post by Elaine Sozzi, Head of WEBS Career and Educational Counseling Service.

Whether it’s helping adults get reemployed or change careers, or helping youth locate summer jobs, the One-Stop is the place to go.

The One-Stop is a local employment portal dedicated to connecting Westchester and Putnam businesses to job seekers.  The network of Workforce New York One-Stop Career Centers has helped thousands of people get job training, learn new skills and find employment free of charge.  It’s a place to find information and register for workshops, trainings, orientations and more.

In an effort to celebrate its successes, recognize its benefactors and beneficiaries, and promote its services, the White Plains Workforce Investment Board has designated May as One-Stop Month for the third year.

It starts off with a kick-off breakfast on May 1st with keynote speaker Laura S. L. Herman, Managing Director, FSG.  Additional activities throughout the month include a series of career-related workshops offered at various libraries throughout Westchester in cooperation with the Westchester Library System (WLS).   These programs are targeted to a wide variety of jobseekers, career changers and business professionals and include: “Second-Act Careers for Semi-Retirement”, “Careers in Healthcare”, “Get LinkedIn to Your Job Search”, “Personal Branding”, “Hire Me! Keys to a Great Job Interview” and “Top Strategies for Kicking Off a Job Search”.

Whether you’re looking for a job or need an upgrade in training, get in touch with the One-Stop and come to one of the free workshops at a library near you!  Dates and times can be found on our website.

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.

Library Advocacy Day – Guest Post

March 15th, 2013 No comments

Guest blog post by Haina Just-Michael, President, JustMediaGroup, Inc. and Vice President, Board of Trustees at the New Rochelle Public Library.

Advocacy2013-Andrea copy

Democratic Conference Leader Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins holds a poster created by Haina Just-Michael

This Advocacy day has, undoubtedly, a tremendous impact on both those of us who are lobbying and our legislators.  I would like to share a fun story. By pure happenstance, I collected a few of the “LIBRARIES ARE ESSENTIAL SERVICES” posters provided by some of the Library Advocacy groups from the breakfast/check-in room.  I was hanging onto them thinking I would use them somehow in my hometown of New Rochelle to carry our point home.  However, upon visiting our legislators and their assistants, it occurred to me that these posters would make for a great message to convey and underscore our point—we made the trip to meet with them and we want to leave our message with them!

The group of advocates signed the posters, and we left them with each one in the legislator’s office.   It is very possible that the elected officials never would have seen those posters, which were available at the NYLA Legislative Breakfast on the first floor of the building they work.  The packets we leave give specifics and lend much language to our message.

But the quick fix—which was the poster (and artwork which undoubtedly will remain among the memorabilia often seen in these offices) left a smile on theirs and our faces.  Proof in the pudding…the smile on Senator Stewart-Cousins’ face as she holds up our token. And, if you look closely, you can see all our signatures around the border!


George Washington’s Westchester Gamble: August 1781

February 21st, 2013 No comments

220px-Gilbert_Stuart_Williamstown_Portrait_of_George_Washington The following blog post was written by a special guest of the Westchester Library System, Dr. Richard Borkow. 

“The Westchester Library System blog is a fitting place, and Washington’s birthday a fitting time, to highlight a critical decision made by General George Washington in Westchester County in the summer of 1781, a decision that led to victory in the Revolutionary War.

The decision was made in mid-August, 1781, during the 7th year of the war. That summer the allied American and French armies, under the command of Generals Washington and Rochambeau, were encamped side by side in lower Westchester. Washington deployed the American troops to the west of the Sprain Brook, in Dobbs Ferry and Ardsley, and reserved sites to the east, in Hartsdale and White Plains, for the French.

General Washington chose lower Westchester as the site of the allied encampment  because he hoped, with the help of the French, to gain a major battlefield victory by driving the British army from Manhattan, which had been seized by Britain in 1776.

It was a grim time for the 13 United States. The British and American sides were locked in military stalemate, and political prospects for the young republic were poor. The conviction was growing in Paris that the War for American Independence was unwinnable. The French government was hoping to extricate itself and end the war through a settlement determined by the Great European Powers at a conference in Vienna.

It was understood that a Vienna settlement would impose highly unfavorable terms for the United States: The country’s independence would still be contested, and its territory truncated. Most likely the entire South and the trans-Allegheny West would be retained by Great Britain under the Vienna terms, and the so-called United States confined to a northeastern coastal strip. Moreover, the French would terminate their military support, and British armies would be poised to resume hostilities at any time that seemed favorable to them.  Yet Congress, discouraged by the long, inconclusive war, instructed its representatives in Paris (John Adams and Benjamin Franklin) to accede to this plan.

Washington understood the danger to his country, but he believed that a major victory on the battlefield could change everything. If the British were to suffer a significant military defeat, London might be willing to end the war on much more favorable grounds, making a conference in Vienna moot.

In July the allied French and American armies probed for weakness in General Henry Clinton’s British forces on Manhattan, but they quickly learned that British defenses on Manhattan were formidable. By early August, Washington reluctantly had to conclude that there was little chance that the allied armies could defeat General Clinton’s troops.

Then, in mid-August, 1781, Generals Washington and Rochambeau received a correspondence sent from the West Indies by French Admiral De Grasse, which caused them to alter their strategy.  Historian Robert Leckie has called De Grasse’s communication “possibly the most momentous message of the entire war.”

Admiral De Grasse informed the generals that he was bringing his large fleet from the West Indies to the Chesapeake Bay, and that he would be ready to cooperate with them in a joint land and sea campaign against General Cornwallis’s troops in Virginia.

Upon considering De Grasse’s communication and after weighing his options, Washington abandoned his plan to attack the British in New York, and made the decision to risk a secret march of more than 400 miles, from the Hudson to Virginia. Urgent plans for the march were made from August 14th until August 19th.

Washington risked all on this march. Success would require almost perfect coordination of several armies and fleets at great distances. Success would also require the utmost secrecy, for it was essential not to reveal to General Clinton in New York or General Cornwallis in Yorktown, Virginia, that Virginia was the destination of the allied armies.

The allied armies broke camp at Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley, Hartsdale and White Plains on August 19th, 1781; on that date French and American troops took the first steps of the march to Yorktown. It was the beginning of the Yorktown campaign. Two months later, on October 19th, 1781, Cornwallis surrendered his army of 7,500 men to General Washington. The victory at Yorktown was decisive, and led to uncontested independence for the United States.”

51ltNYUWY+L._SL500_SS500_Richard Borkow is the author of George Washington’s Westchester Gamble: The Encampment on the Hudson and the Trapping of Cornwallis (The History Press, May, 2011) 

Follow this YouTube link for Pulitzer Prize winning historian, David Hackett Fischer’s comments about the decision that won the Revolutionary War.



President Franklin Delano Roosevelt by the Chairman of the Westchester County Board of Legislators

February 21st, 2013 No comments


The following blog post was written by a special guest of the Westchester Library System, Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman of the Board, Kenneth W. Jenkins

“The one reason why I became a public servant was to be of help to others. This is something that was instilled in me by my parents, both of whom were always ready to lend a helping hand—at work and in the community. As an African-American, I am certainly proud to have Barack Obama as our President, but when growing up, and as my values were forming, Franklin D. Roosevelt stood as my ideal U.S. President.

President Roosevelt helped lead our nation out of the Great Depression, and he did so by securing passage of a number of important laws that positively impacted the relationship between the federal government and the American people. In one single year—1935—President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act, the National Labor Relations Act (also known as the Wagner Act), plus two executive orders creating the Works Progress Administration and the Rural Electrification Administration.

These New Deal landmarks protected the elderly, infirm and widowed mothers; gave workers the right to collective bargaining; and brought electricity to farmers across the nation. Americans were put to work building roads, bridges, dams, buildings and airports. At the same time, our vibrant and diverse culture was celebrated in countless books, paintings and sculptures, dance, concerts and plays, thanks to government support for the arts.

Seventy-five years after President Roosevelt forever changed our nation and set government on a course to help those who need it most, Congress passed the Affordable Care Act of 2010—legislation that was first envisioned when the Social Security Act was being formulated. This passage of time shows how our federal government is continuously involved in the work of improving our “imperfect union” however possible. Caring, visionary leaders like President Roosevelt show us how to make all things possible for the betterment of others.”

Westchestetjndc5-5g5cxaq91gyn983lajg_layout-1r County Board of Legislators Chairman of the Board, Kenneth W. Jenkins


First Lady Anna Eleanor Roosevelt by County Legislator Judith A. Myers

February 21st, 2013 No comments


The following blog post was written by a special guest of the Westchester Library System, District 7 County Legislator, Judith A. Myers.

“It has always been a President’s WIFE who has inspired me… most recently our former Secretary of State and New York Senator and first lady Hillary Clinton, and for a very long time, Eleanor Roosevelt.

Her quote sums up what has often motivated me in my life:

“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.”



Judith A. Myers, County Legislator, 7th District
Westchester County Board of Legislators

President Thomas Jefferson by Assemblywoman Sandy Galef

February 20th, 2013 No comments

220px-Reproduction-of-the-1805-Rembrandt-Peale-painting-of-Thomas-Jefferson-New-York-Historical-Society_1The following blog post was written by a special guest of the Westchester Library System, Assembly District 95 Assemblywoman, Sandy Galef.

“I have always been impressed with President Thomas Jefferson. I was a graduate student at the University of Virginia, a school developed by President Jefferson, and my personal view of his multi-faceted life made me admire him even more. The University of Virginia is one of his outstanding architectural and educational achievements. In addition, I was amazed at many of his inventions which one can view at his home, called Monticello. He was both an important Founding Father and an extraordinary President.”


Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, 95th Assembly District