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Save the Date – #GivingTuesday

November 14th, 2014 No comments

 

GT-STD-Web-Banner_300x2501#GivingTuesday is a first-of-its-kind effort that will harness the collective power of a unique blend of partners — charities, families, businesses and individuals — to transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season. Coinciding with the Thanksgiving Holiday and the kickoff of the holiday shopping season, #GivingTuesday will inspire people to take collaborative action to improve their local communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they support and help create a better world.

Taking place December 2, 2014 — the Tuesday after Thanksgiving — #GivingTuesday will harness the power of social media to create a national moment around the holidays dedicated to giving, similar to how Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become days that are, today, synonymous with holiday shopping.

 

How is the Westchester Library System involved?

In advance of December 2nd’s #GivingTuesday, when nonprofits hope pre-holiday shoppers will consider making donations, The Journal News and lohud.com, in collaboration with Nonprofit Westchester, have compiled a searchable database of nonprofits in Rockland, Westchester and Putnam Counties.

Within this database are opportunities to support local nonprofits by donating money, or volunteering and donating your time to the organization — which is just as valuable, if not more.

#lohudcares database is now available here: data.lohud.com/lohudcares

 

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Upcoming Events At Your Local Westchester Library!

November 14th, 2014 No comments

 

Check out these FREE events going on today through Monday. For more information, please visit the library’s website, or call the number listed.

Wine Tasting - ArgentinaKATONAH VILLAGE LIBRARY:

Tonight, November 14: A Wine Tasting Journey through France. 7:30 PM. Admission is free, but please RSVP! Call us at (914) 232-3508 or e-mail our director, Van Kozelka, at vkozelka@wlsmail.org.

This free tasting is a fun and delicious way to sample and learn about two dozen remarkable French wines and enjoy delightful hors d’oeuvres!

This is also a convenient opportunity to order your top-pick wines and champagnes for Thanksgiving and holiday entertaining and gift-giving — while supporting your Katonah Village Library! (Half of all profits from your wine purchases will go straight to the Library; checks and credit cards only.)

resume-tipsRYE FREE READING ROOM:

Latest Trends in Resumes – Saturday, November 15, 11 am-12:30 pm

Join them for a free workshop conducted by a professional job counselor and learn to transform your resume into a marketing document. Find out about different formats, select which will work for you, and understand how to post your resume on job boards and social media sites. This program is brought to you by WEBS Career and Educational Counseling Service, a program of  WLS. Register in person at the library or at 914-231-3161.

 

 

gameonYONKERS PUBLIC LIBRARY – RIVERFRONT:

GAME ON! Stop by the Riverfront branch between 1-4 pm in the Event Space, on Saturday, November 15th for International Games Day. Play video games, board games, cards, word games and more! All ages welcome, children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, please call 914-375-7966.

 

 

STEAMFEST

RUTH KEELER MEMORIAL LIBRARY:

STEAM Fest
All science, all day for kids K+
Saturday, Nov. 15th from 11:00 -3:00

Some of this year’s activities will include, rockets, makey makey, soldering, vinyl cutting, 3-D printing, scanning and more.
Please register for this popular event by calling, emailing or coming into the library. This program was inspired and funded by the library Visiting Committee and the John R. and Dorothy Caples fund.

Note that library policy does not allow children under the age of 10 to stay alone in the library. Plan on staying with your child and have fun helping with the events.

 

BRIARCLIFF MANOR PUBLIC LIBRARY:

What is 3D Printing? A Hands-on Workshop – Saturday, November 15 from 1-3 pm at the Briarcliff Manor Public Library . Registration required.

daeFrom healthcare to space travel, learn how 3D printing is changing the world. The team from The Digital Arts Experience will show you how to create your own objects! This workshop will be held in the Digital Arts Experience van which will be in the library’s parking lot.

There will be four sessions at the following times:
1-1:30 pm and 1:30-2 pm (for families with kids ages 5 & up)
2-2:30 pm and 2:30-3 pm (for adults/teens ages 13 & up)

Same day registration for one-30 minute slot is required and will take place in person, in the library, only starting at 12:30 pm. Space is limited. For more information, please contact Melinda Greenblatt, Library Director, at mgreenblatt@wlsmail.org or 941-7072 x6.

GREENBURGH PUBLIC LIBRARY:

Kaplan SAT Practice Test  – Sunday, November 16, 12:45 p.m.- 4:45 p.m.

Why take a free Kaplan practice SAT? A practice test is one of the best ways to get ready for the real things.

You will:

  • Know exactly what to expect on Test Day
  • Get a complete analysis of your results
  • Learn exclusive strategies to improve your score

Registration is required. Go to event details at greenburghlibrary.org

Call 721-8224 for further details.

 

ebolaNORTH CASTLE PUBLIC LIBRARY:

Join them for a presentation on Monday, November 17 at 1 p.m. presented by the Westchester County Department of Health on “Ebola: Facts Not Fear”.

WLS Legislator Breakfast – 9/18/2014

September 22nd, 2014 No comments

 

Over 60 library directors and trustees gathered together on 9/18 at the Westchester Library System (WLS) Headquarters for a Breakfast to thank our New York State Legislators for their support in adding back money to the FY2014-2015 Executive Budget for Library Aid and maintaining the $14 Million Public Library Construction Aid Program.

Nine legislative offices were represented as follows:

LegBreak_Legislators

NEW YORK STATE SENATE

  • John Tomlin from Andrea Stewart-Cousins’ office [35th Senate District]
  • George Latimer [37th Senate District]

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY

  • Amy Paulin [88th Assembly District]
  • Kevin Czerwinski from Amy Paulin’s office [88th Assembly District]
  • J. Gary Pretlow [89th Assembly District]
  • Shelley Mayer [90th Assembly District]
  • Debra Lagapa from Steven Otis’ Office [91st Assembly District]
  • Thomas Abinanti [92nd Assembly District]
  • Elisa Jacobs from Thomas Abinanti’s office [92nd Assembly District]
  • David Buchwald [93rd Assembly District]
  • Sandra Galef [95th Assembly District]

Pat Braja, Director of Development, welcomed everyone for vacationing Executive Director Terry Kirchner, and talked about the important role that WLS plays as one of the 23 public library systems established in 1958 by State Education Law.

By providing services out of one location, versus each of the 38 libraries in Westchester having to provide these services individually, taxpayers save money.  WLS empowers libraries through services that include:   maintenance of the online library system; cataloging; Interlibrary Loan; delivery; professional development; and consultation services.  Library systems are a good investment.  In fact, studies have shown that for each $1 invested, a return of $13 in services is gained.

A portion of Library Aid also goes to outreach for persons who may be unserved or underserved.  Elena Falcone, Director of WLS’s Public Innovation and Engagement (PIE), spoke of some of the unique programs helping to meet these needs including:

Senior Benefit Information Center (SBIC)

TASC Connect!  — New name for the Graduate Equivalency Diploma (GED) that stands for Test Assessing Secondary Completion.

Learning Ambassadors

Cindy Rubino, President of the Public Library Directors Association (PLDA), focused on the State Aid received through the NYS Construction Grant Program.  Libraries have transformed into true centers of our communities; and library buildings also need to be renovated to meet new demands or simply to be updated with much-needed infrastructure projects.David Buchwald with Librarians

Originally, NYS included in its budget only $800,000 for the entire State for Construction Grant money [Westchester’s portion was less than $34,000].  In 2006, this program was expanded to $14 Million, with Westchester getting approximately $654,000 (based on population).  Libraries can submit applications for their eligible construction grants and potentially receive up to 75% of the total project costs.  Over $5 Million has been awarded to over 90 library construction projects since this program’s inception; and posters were displayed for each Legislative District with that district’s construction project awards received.

However, costs keep rising.  While the additional money put back into the budget brought Library Aid to a total of $86.6 Million [Westchester’s portion is approximately $2 Million], this amount still does not equal what is prescribed by Education Law–and the $14 Million for Public Library Construction has remained the same for 8 years.

The Legislators wrapped up the event by sharing their appreciation for the services that libraries have provided through such challenging times over the past years, with minimal resources.  Many are themselves avid library users and have a good understanding of how libraries can change the lives of their constituents; and they will continue, as they are able, in their efforts to support library programs in Westchester.

Retirement of Rhoda Gushue

April 10th, 2014 No comments

 

Elise Burke, Maurice (Mitch) Freedman, and Terry Kirchner

Elise Burke, Maurice (Mitch) Freedman, and Terry Kirchner

I recently received this picture taken of me with former WLS Director Mitch Freedman and current WLS Director Terry Kirchner at the Jazz Reception held to honor Rhoda Gushue upon her retirement as Director from the Bedford Hills Free Library.  Although the event was held almost a month ago (3/13), it still resonates in my mind.  Rhoda served the library and community of Bedford Hills for 43 years!  That got me to thinking–will I be working for WLS that long?  In this day and age, when new models of computers and software come out faster than when you can get used to the last one, I think that longevity is often under appreciated.  Do we really understand the dedication and love that one must have to “go the distance”?

In my workings with Rhoda over many NYS Annual Reports, I knew first-hand that Rhoda had a special commitment and loyalty to her work and profession; but it was wonderful to see how this event captured Rhoda’s spirit and shared her love of jazz, and to hear how others were touched by Rhoda’s career as well. I commend all who took part in putting together such a wonderful tribute.

During this National Library Week, these thoughts lead me to say a heartfelt thank you to the many other library workers throughout this County that display true dedication and commitment to their profession.  Your efforts are long-lasting–and that’s a great thing.

For more photos from Rhoda’s Jazz Reception, click on the link below:

http://www.bedfordhillsfreelibrary.org/galleries/album/2937543

 

Multi-language Book Fair coming to Westchester County

March 20th, 2014 No comments

Plan to attend the Multi-language Book Fair on Thursday, April 3rd!

book_fair

This free event, sponsored by the Westchester Library System, will take place at the White Plains Public Library, 100 Martine Avenue, White Plains from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. No registration is necessary.

The Fair will showcase materials in Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, French, Hindi and Japanese. Peruse and purchase adult and children’s titles of fiction, non-fiction, audiobooks and DVDs as well as electronic material. Remember, a personal contact with a book distributor will provide direct access to acquiring material in a specific focus, subject genre, or format to better reflect your multi-language community.

Nancy_BookFairOther activities include local food tasting; song, poetry and dance; and free raffles. Be sure to sample the multicultural cuisine from the countries represented! Food provides a wonderful way to introduce and share culture.

Parking is available in the parking garage underneath the library. The fee is $1 per hour and may be paid at the pay stations in the garage or the library lobby.

 

For more information, call or email Nancy Coradin, 914-231-3259; ncoradin@wlsmail.org

 

A special thank you to our sponsors:

library ideas hi res logo

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23rd Annual National Library Week Book & Author Luncheon

March 12th, 2014 No comments

Westchester Library System’s 23rd Annual Book & Author Luncheon

Features Outstanding Authors

Adam Kintish of TD Bank Receives the National Library Week Recognition Award

Westchester County, NY (March 6, 2014) – The Westchester Library System (WLS) will hold its 23rd annual Book & Author Luncheon on Friday, April 11th at CV Rich Mansion in White Plains, NY. Sponsored by Entergy and TD Bank, the event celebrates National Library Week and the theme Lives Change @ Your Library.  The luncheon features talented authors Josh Hanagarne, a librarian and Randy Lewis, former senior executive of Walgreens who write about turning points that have changed their lives.

The National Library Week Recognition Award will be presented to Adam Kintish, Senior Vice President, TD Bank for the bank’s local and national initiatives that support literacy and summer reading.

“We are thrilled to host our annual Book & Author Luncheon, a highlight of Westchester Library System’s National Library Week festivities.  Once again, we have an outstanding lineup of authors who are gracious to share their time and talent with us,” said Terry Kirchner, WLS Executive Director. “We appreciate the continued support of our sponsors, Entergy and TD Bank.  They have helped WLS provide the resources to empower Westchester libraries to touch the lives of people from all walks of life.”

The Luncheon, held from 12:00pm – 2:00pm, will be followed by an author signing. Registration begins at 11:30 am. Ticket prices for the Book & Author Luncheon are $95 for general admission. Proceeds from this event will support WLS’s community outreach programs that ensure open access to resources and information in Westchester’s public libraries. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call (914) 231-3241 or visit www.westchesterlibraries.org

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

the-worlds-strongest-librarian-290

The World’s Strongest Librarian (Josh Hanagarne)

Josh Hanagarne fell in love with Fern from Charlotte’s Web at the age of six. Every day since, he has enjoyed reading more than eating, sleeping, and breathing. Today the 6’7″ Hanagarne is an author, speaker, performing strongman, and, despite having an extreme case of Tourette Syndrome, he works as a public librarian in Salt Lake City Utah. His memoir, The World’s Strongest Librarian, is his first book.

 

 

No Greatness Without Goodness (Randy Lewis)

Randy Lewis bet his career that he could create an inclusive no_greatnessworkplace at one of America’s biggest corporations where people with disabilities could not just succeed, but thrive. No Greatness Without Goodness is the powerful story of a corporate executive who, after watching the world through the eyes of his own child with autism, Austin, realized that we all have a greater responsibility to make the world a better place for everyone, including those with disabilities. As the Senior Vice President of Walgreens, Randy Lewis has created thousands of full-time jobs for people with disabilities.

 

Please click HERE for more information or to register for this event.

 

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 the WLS website at www.westchesterlibraries.org.

 

About the Westchester Library System
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. For more information, please visit www.westchesterlibraries.org.

 

Library Advocacy Day – February 26, 2014

March 6th, 2014 No comments

Library Advocacy Day – February 26, 2014

Pictured: Back Row (L-R): Robert Cartolano, President, Eastchester Public Library; Senator George Latimer, 37th District; Haina Just-Michael, President, New Rochelle Public Library; Tom Geoffino, Director, New Rochelle Public Library; Front Row (L-R): Patricia Fontanella, Trustee, Westchester Library System & Library Trustees Association of New York State; Sue Neale, Trustee, Westchester Library System; Pam Bernstein, Librarian, Irvington Public Library; Elise Burke, Executive Assistant, Westchester Library System

Pictured: Back Row (L-R): Robert Cartolano, President, Eastchester Public Library; Senator George Latimer, 37th District; Haina Just-Michael, President, New Rochelle Public Library; Tom Geoffino, Director, New Rochelle Public Library; Front Row (L-R): Patricia Fontanella, Trustee, Westchester Library System & Library Trustees Association of New York State; Sue Neale, Trustee, Westchester Library System; Pam Bernstein, Librarian, Irvington Public Library; Elise Burke, Executive Assistant, Westchester Library System

A group of 14 library supporters from Westchester drove up to Albany to join the New York Library Association’s (NYLA) Library Advocacy Day on Wednesday, February 26.

The group was made up of directors, trustees, staff, friends and advocates representing the libraries listed below:

Armonk-North Castle Public Library

Bedford Free Library

Briarcliff Manor Public Library

Eastchester Public Library

Irvington Public Library

Larchmont Public Library

Mamaroneck Public Library

Mount Pleasant Public Library

New Rochelle Public Library

Ossining Public Library

Pound Ridge Library District

Scarsdale Public Library

The Warner Library (Tarrytown)

Westchester Library System

We visited the offices all of the 14 legislators who represent Westchester County in the following order:

Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer [90th District]

Senator George Latimer [37th District]

Assemblywoman Sandy Galef [95th District]

Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson [36th District]

Assemblyman Steve Katz [94th District]

Senator Greg Ball [40th District]

Senator Jeffrey Klein [34th District]

Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti [92nd District]

Assemblyman Gary Pretlow [89th District]

Senator David Carlucci [38th District]

Assemblyman David Buchwald [93rd District]

Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins [35th District]

Assemblywoman Amy Paulin [88th District]

Assemblyman Steven Otis [91st District]

This year Governor Cuomo’s proposed Executive Budget for FY2014-2015 included $81.6 Million in Library Aid, an amount which reflects levels from 1996.  Library visits have increased 46% since 1996, and libraries have been keeping pace with the technological changes and information needs of their communities.  Additional funding is necessary as libraries continue to expand their role to provide workforce development resources and provide essential portals, along with guidance, to the increasingly important world of digital information.

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Pictured: Back (L-R): Kate Meyer, Westchester Library System; Lucinda Manning, Trustee, Ossining Public Library; Claudia Mausner, Ph.D., Environmental Psychology Consultant & Adjunct Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, Pace University, and Westchester Library User & Advocate; Front (L-R): Patricia Kaufman, Retired Director, Mahopac Public Library, Westchester Library User & Advocate; Julie Ann Polasko, Westchester Library System; Assemblywoman Sandra Galef, 95th District; Elaine Sozzi, Westchester Library System

In addition, users from the libraries noted below signed a letter of support calling for a 4% increase for Library Aid (same as the increase proposed for School Aid).  A total of 971 signatures were collected and the signed letters of support were delivered to the Legislators.

Briarcliff Manor Public Library

Bronxville Public Library

Dobbs Ferry Public Library

Irvington Public Library

The Field Library (Peekskill)

Tuckahoe Public Library

John C. Hart Memorial Library (Shrub Oak/Yorktown)

A special thank you is due to this year’s great group of Library Advocates.  All contributed in some way—sharing insightful success stories from their libraries, taking pictures, driving, writing, tweeting, participating.

Thanks to those who signed on in support of library funding and to those who sent messages to their legislators via other means.

And special thanks goes to New Rochelle Public Library for providing this year’s transportation to Albany!

The deadline for an on-time budget is March 31st, so there is still time to contact your legislator via NYLA’s Online Advocacy page per the link below:

NYLA_Advocacy

Meanwhile, libraries will continue to provide the essential services that are an investment in New York’s educational and cultural infrastructure, shaping a brighter future for all New Yorkers.

New York Health Exchange for you or your small business

January 22nd, 2014 No comments

Small business owners and consumers across New York have have been enrolling in the New York Health Exchange.

healthcare

The Business Council of Westchester (BCW) will continue its outreach to educate businesses on the implantation of the Federal Health Care Act by holding presentations at their office and at different libraries in the County.

 

Partnering with the Westchester Library System, the BCW will hold workshops during the day for businesses to take advantage of. Businesses will receive information about the availability of small business ACA tax credits, health insurance and care options for small business and their employees.

 

In addition, participants will also receive information about the availability of small business ACA tax credits, health insurance and care options for small business and their employees.

Trying to determine how many people you can hire in the coming year while covering health insurance benefits?  Want to know more about tax credits for which you may be eligible?

Come to any of these free sessions and get the information you need:

January 27th, 6 PM – BCW, 108 Corporate Park Dr., Suite 101, White Plains

January 30th, 4 PMBronxville Public Library, 201 Pondfield Road, Bronxville

February 6th, 1:30 PMMamaroneck Public Library, 135 Prospect Avenue, Mamaroneck

February 13th, 1:30 PMHarrison Public Library, Bruce Avenue, Harrison

February 20th, 1:30 PM Town of Pelham Public Library, 530 Colonial Avenue, Pelham

February 27th, 1:30 PMTuckahoe Public Library, 71 Columbus Avenue, Tuckahoe

Presentations given by Glen Ganaway, Outreach Manager for the Business Council of Westchester and former financial manager for a physicians group.

Click HERE to download a flyer.

In Addition, health-related information is available by clicking on the link below:

Health Insurance Marketplace: Have health insurance questions? Get Quick Answers

Celebrating the 2013 Teen Learning Ambassadors

November 4th, 2013 No comments

On November 2, we gathered at the Yonkers Public Library to honor 21 very special kids who participated in the 2013 Teen Learning Ambassadors Program.

It was hard not to be moved by the Learning Ambassador celebration. Parents shared stories about how excited their kids were to go to work each day.  Many called their coordinator Francine Vernon – the brains behind this initiative – the next day to offer their thanks for having made such a significant investment in their children.  As Francine just noted to me, the kids had likely not shared with their parents what they were doing day-to-day, so this was a chance for them to be dazzled.

In truth, the parents absolutely glowed.  The teens, initially a bit tongue-tied during the interview, warmed to their subject. Then the librarian mentors added their perspectives, which were a mix of pride in their teen ambassadors and delight in what they accomplished.

A special thanks goes out to Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (35th S.D.) for joining us. We would also like to thank our supporters, without them there wouldn’t be a program like this:

  • New York State Library Summer Reading Funds
  • TD Charitable Foundation
  • The Thomas and Agnes Carvel Foundation
  • Great Potential/Liberty Partnership Program at Purchase College, SUNY
  • Wheelabrator Westchester

 

To learn more about the WLS Learning Ambassadors Program, and how you can support it, click here.

 

Sen. Andrea Stewart Cousins with WLS Ambassadors

Westchester Library System partners with Total Boox: A New E-Book Service

September 26th, 2013 No comments

TotalBoox

Westchester County, NY (September 26, 2013)—Library card holders in Westchester County now have access to Total Boox, a new e-book service with the following features:

  • Unlimited Access – All books are immediately available to all patrons. No need to wait.
  • Unlimited Downloading – Download as many books as you want to your mobile device.
  • Unlimited reading – No expiration. Books stay on your device for as long as you wish.
  • Unlimited freedom – all books can be read online and offline.

There is a large selection of over 17,000 quality books on the Total Boox platform, in all categories and genres.  Cardholders can access Total Boox on the WLS homepage by simply registering with their library card number, and PIN. Just browse through the Total Boox site and select books of interest to add to your collection.

“We’re very excited to launch our service with WLS”, says Yoav Lorch, Founder and CEO of Total Boox. “This is the first time in the history of libraries where all titles are always available to all patrons, regardless if any titles have been checked out or not. We strongly believe our unique model provides true value to readers, librarians and publishers, and hope to see it in the near future installed in public and academic institutions nationwide.”

“WLS is proud to be the first library system worldwide to integrate this service”, says Terry L. Kirchner, Executive Director.  “Total Boox offers a wide range of e-books, including current titles in computer technology and the sciences, that will help our member libraries better serve the information needs of their communities.”  For more information on Total Boox and other digital collection services, visit our website www.westchesterlibraries.org.

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’s 23 public library systems. WLS and its member libraries have a total collection of 5.3 million items, including 3.8 million books, as well as audio recordings, 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.

About Total Boox

Total Boox (pronounced “books”) is a young company offering a unique patent-pending platform for ebook distribution, where access to all books is free and the cost to the reader reflects the portion of the book that has actually been read. This disruptive approach creates significant advantages in reader-book matching, discoverability, distribution, analytics and more. The company has distribution agreements with many world class publishers, among them Elsevier Science and Technology, O’Reilly Media, Source Books, Constable-Robinson, F+W Media, Other Press, Red-Wheel Wiser, Berrett-Koehler and others. Its services are available to libraries or directly to individual consumers. For more information visit www.totalboox.com.

 

Press Contacts:

Bruce Mason                                                                          Kate Meyer

Total Boox                                                                               Westchester Library System

(917) 541-9014                                                                     914-231-3226

bruce.a.mason@gmail.com                                             kmeyer@wlsmail.org