Archive

Archive for the ‘Press Releases’ Category

Total Construction Grant Award of $654,899 to 12 Library Projects in the Westchester Library System

August 5th, 2016 No comments
Bookmark and Share

WLSLogo

ALBANY, NY – A grand total of $654,899 has been awarded in connection with the New York State public library construction grant program.  This program is funded from $14 Million provided in capital funds for public library construction included in the FY 2015-16 State Budget.  Below is a chart of the projects that these funds will enable.

Applicant Name

Title / Abstract of Project

Overall Project Cost

Submitted Project

Cost

Actual Award Amounts

North Castle Public Library (Armonk)-Main Library HVAC Replacement/ADA Compliance/Young Adult (YA) Lighting:  This project will replace an aging HVAC system, add ADA access to a room for public programming use and install LED lighting in our YA Room.

$39,912

$19,956

$19,956

North Castle Public Library (Armonk)-North White Plains Branch Library Branch Expansion, Lighting & Electrical Upgrade:  This project will upgrade lighting/electrical and add a deck to improve lighting, support expanded computer usage and add space for our North White Plains patrons.

$107,530

$53,765

$53,765

Eastchester Public Library Renovation of Main Floor Adult Services Area:
The renovation includes the installation of LED lighting, replacement of ceiling tiles and installation of carpeting on main floor and mezzanine.

$126,753

$63,376

$63,376

Greenburgh Public Library* Four Adjoining Glass-Partitioned Study Rooms: Installation of glass walls and partitions anchored to an existing library wall to create four 5’x6.5’ individual and group study  rooms.

$59,824

$44,868

$44,868

Larchmont Public Library ADA Compliant Bathrooms:  Remove the existing, out-of-date, bathroom in the main Library building and replace with two fully ADA compliant bathrooms.

$45,115

$22,557

$22,557

Mount Pleasant Public Library Bathroom Renovation:  We have five bathrooms: one for staff and four for public.  These bathrooms are original to the building and will be totally renovated.

$65,345

$32,500

$32,500

Mount Vernon Public Library* MTVPL Elevator:  Library seeks to modernize elevator to improve safety and access to the library.

$312,622

$156,311

$168,981

New Rochelle Public Library* Chiller Replacement Project: The scope of work is to replace the existing hermetic screw chiller with a modular chiller system and associated controls.

$553,200

$225,000

$93,487

Pound Ridge Library Automatic Door Installation:  Installation of automatic doors to make the Library more easily accessible to our patrons.

$35,200

$16,600

$16,600

Rye Free Reading Room Energy Efficient Lighting & Insulation Installation:  The library is replacing 16 fluorescent lights with energy efficient LED lights & adding spray foam insulation to the attic to reduce energy usage.

$38,701

$19,350

$19,350

Somers Library Bathroom Accessibility Renovation:  The two public bathrooms on the main floor of the library will be completely renovated in order to bring them up to ADA compliance.

$177,450

$88,725

$88,725

The Warner Library
(Tarrytown)*
Automatic Meeting Room Divider Project:    This project will enable staff to easily and efficiently create two public meeting rooms from one large room.

$40,979

$30,734

$30,734

*Meets criteria for economically disadvantaged community TOTALS $1,602,631

$773,742

$654,899

“The projects supported by the NYS public library construction aid benefit everyone,” said Terry Kirchner, WLS Executive Director, “local contractors gain business opportunities, the local communities gain economic benefits and improved property value, and local residents gain enhanced library facilities that offer lifelong learning for all.”

Celebrate Black History Month At Your Local Westchester Library

February 1st, 2016 No comments
Bookmark and Share

Black History Month is a month set aside to learn, honor, and celebrate the achievements of black men and women throughout history. Learn about famous firsts by black Americans, read the history of black history, and find information about milestones in black history. Check out just some of what’s going on at your local Westchester library this month.

dubois

W.E.B. Du Bois

HARRISON PUBLIC LIBRARY

Live Performance

“W.E.B. Du Bois, a Man for All Times” — Written and directed by Alexa Kelly, presented in conjunction with Pulse Theatre Ensemble. This play entertains and enthralls, as it compels the viewer to travel on this near-100-year journey. The audience is brought to laughter and tears. Sunday, February 7, 2-4 pm, Richard E. Halperin Memorial Library Building.
Film

SELMA: A chronicle of Martin Luther King’s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965. Starring David Oyelowo; PG-13, 128 minutes. Saturday, February 20, 1-3:30 pm, Richard E. Halperin Memorial Library Building.

MOUNT VERNON PUBLIC LIBRARY

Book Discussion

Brian G. Johnson, trustee of the Mount Vernon Public Library, will be leading a book discussion of Richard Wright’s “Native Son” at the library on Monday, Feb. 29.This Black History Month event will examine whether the conditions and circumstances that prevailed during “Native Son” protagonist Bigger Thomas’s time still exist today. 6 – 8 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, contact Nishan Stepak, nstepak@wlsmail.org.

NEW ROCHELLE PUBLIC LIBRARY

Family Workshops: African Dance

Saturdays: January 30 – February 27, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 pm Ossie Davis Theater

Anthony Wooden, Director of Bokandeye African Dance and Drum Troupe returns to the library for another series of free African dance workshops for children ages 7 and up, as well as their parents. This popular series, now a tradition at the library, provides instruction of native African dance, while also instilling an understanding of the rich cultural meanings of the movements, rhythms and dress, African village life, and the role of the extended family.  Registration will take place at the first class. Made possible by the Friends of the New Rochelle Public Library. Free.

Bokandeye African Dance and Drum Performance

Saturday, February 27, 2:00 pm

Bokandeye’s 20th Annual Performance at NRPL! Traditional movements and rhythms of African village life will reverberate throughout the Ossie Davis Theater, and the audience will be swept up by this exhilarating performance by Bokandeye Dance Troupe and students, directed by the fabulous Anthony Wooden. Be sure to arrive early! First come, first-served, to the capacity of the main library’s  Ossie Davis Theater. Made possible by the New Rochelle Downtown Business Improvement District

Exhibit: Strayhorn: An Illustrated Life

February 8 – February 29

This original exhibit of photographs, artifacts, art work and personal items tracing the extraordinary career of musician Billy Strahorn is based on a recently-released book of the same title. Strayhorn: An Illustrated Life, written by A. Alyce Claerbaut and David Schlesinger, and the exhibit, curated by Leslie Demus, Theresa Kump Leghorn, and designed by Jesse Sanchez, celebrates the centennial of the birth of the American jazz composer, pianist, lyricist, and arranger.

Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life Documentary Film and Reception with Glenda Davenport and the Hiroshi Yamazaki Trio

Sunday, February 21, 4:00 pm – 5:30: film; 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm: Music & Reception

As Duke Ellington’s long-time collaborator, Billy Strayhorn penned some of the world’s most definitive jazz standards. Nearly half a century after his death, however, Strayhorn’s musical genius remains unrecognized. In the 2007 Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life documentary, directed by Robert Levi, the mystery behind the complex life of this pioneering composer, arranger and pianist gets uncovered, bringing his rich legacy to light. Following the film, a reception will feature jazz singer Glenda Davenport and the Hiroshi Yamazaki Trio performing a set of standards, including hits of Strayhorn and Ellington.

SOMERS LIBRARY

Check out these children’s book recommendations on Pintrest:

https://www.pinterest.com/somerslibrary/black-history-month/

(TARRYTOWN) THE WARNER LIBRARY

fitzgal2

Gallery Exhibit

Annual African American History Month Gallery Exhibit featuring several local African American artists. This year we are displaying the work of Donald Whitely, Steven Ferri, and Hilary Blackman. Their biographies are available on our website http://www.warnerlibrary.org/fitzgerald-gallery. The exhibit will be up for the full month of February.

(YORKTOWN) JOHN C. HART MEMORIAL LIBRARY

Yorktown Historical Society Program

“History of Slavery and Slavery in the Area” by Mike Kahn, Board Member and Leader of Pines Bridge Monument. Thursday, February 18 at 7:30 pm. All are welcome. No registration.

Live Performance

Sunday, February 21, 2pm

“W.E.B. Du Bois, a Man for All Times” –Written and directed by Alexa Kelly, presented in conjunction with Pulse Theatre Ensemble. This play entertains and enthralls, as it compels the viewer to travel on this near-100-year journey. Brian Richardson portrays W.E.B. DuBois, a black American born just after the Civil War, and 5 years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Du Bois broke many barriers: he attended and graduated from Harvard, studied in Europe, ran for Senator, co-found the NAACP, participated in the founding of the United Nations and saw segregation declared unconstitutional. No registration, doors open at 1:45 pm.

Public Libraries Offer Career Counseling and Life Planning

January 5th, 2016 No comments
Bookmark and Share

clip_image002WEBS Career and Educational Counseling Service will be offering two types of free eight-week career counseling and life planning programs in public libraries throughout the County this winter. WEBS is sponsored by the Westchester Library System.

The first type of program is called a Managing Your Career in Changing Times. It will help adults assess themselves, explore career options, obtain career and educational information, find out about the latest trends in resumes and job search, and develop a career plan.  The program is geared to those who are unemployed, changing careers, reentering the workforce or returning to school. The seminar will be offered at three public libraries: Town of Pelham Public Library on Tuesday evenings, Greenburgh Public Library on Wednesday afternoons and Somers Library on Wednesday mornings. All programs will start in early March.

The second type of program is called Take Charge! Career/Life Planning After 50.  Its purpose is to help adults over 50 assess themselves and plan a direction for the next stage of life.  Options that will be considered include part/time or full/time work, volunteerism, entrepreneurial ventures, and learning and leisure opportunities. These programs will be offered at the Chappaqua Public Library on Tuesday mornings and the Yonkers Public Library (Will Branch) on Thursday afternoons. Both programs are nineteen-hour seminars consisting of an orientation session, eight weekly group sessions and one individual session with a career counselor. They will begin early March.

Individuals can find out about exact dates and times and register for a seminar by calling WEBS at 674-3612 on or after January 11, 2016.

Westchester Library System Names Allison Midgley as Technology Trainer

July 9th, 2015 No comments
Bookmark and Share
Allison Midgley

Allison Midgley

Tarrytown, NY (July 8, 2015) – The Westchester Library System (WLS) recently announced the appointment of Allison Midgley as Technology Trainer. WLS, a state-chartered cooperative library agency, serves Westchester County’s 38 public libraries.

Allison Midgley received her Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts and Education from the University of Dallas, Irving TX. She has nearly 20 years experience in developing curriculum and teaching digital literacy programs, most recently as Technology Coordinator for the David A. Howe Public Library in Wellsville, NY.

“Allison will deliver training to staff of the WLS member libraries on the use of existing and emerging software, database and e-content programs and resources” said Terry Kirchner, WLS’s Executive Director. Her in-depth knowledge of integrated library systems will help WLS to creatively and effectively improve training to support WLS and the member libraries.”

“I am excited to share my passion for learning with library users and staff, says Allison. I am looking forward to relocating from Western New York to Westchester County, with its vibrant and diverse community. I’m curious by nature and I have already started exploring the county’s bike trails, art venues, yoga studios and yarn shops.”

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.

WLS Trustee Institute re Open Meetings Law

June 11th, 2015 No comments
Bookmark and Share

On Wednesday, June 3, a WLS Trustee Institute was held at the Greenburgh Public Library entitled, Everything you always wanted to know about Open Meetings Law (but were afraid to ask) with Robert J. (Bob) Freeman, Executive Director of New York State’s Committee on Open Government.  Mr. Freeman—Bob—has been with the agency since its creation, and he came willing and able to answer all questions on the subject – and he did!

Here are some of the questions that were answered:

Bob Freeman at 6/3/2015 WLS Trustee Institute

Bob Freeman at 6/3/2015 WLS Trustee Institute

  • What is a meeting?
  • What needs to be included in minutes?
  • What is Executive Session?
  • What is a public record?
  • Does everything have to be disclosed for a FOIL request?

The Committee on Open Government’s website is also a great resource.  Not only does it have videos of Bob answering the questions above and many others; but it also has an index where you can look up advisory opinions on Open Meetings Law and FOIL by key phrase.  Yet the best resource of all is Bob himself.  As those who attended the event know, his passion regarding this subject is palpable, and his knowledge and understanding of the spirit of the law is impressive.  He’s written over 25,000 advisory opinions!

In the days following the event, I realize what a special privilege it is to have a State (New York is one of the few) who recognizes the need for Open Government (in the general sense) and its uniqueness to our Country.  With privilege, though, comes responsibility; and I am also realizing the extraordinary responsibility taken on by the library trustees in our County.  Trustees volunteer their time and talents not only to ensure that the resources of their own libraries are being used efficiently towards the library’s goals, but they are the ones who must keep the bigger picture in sight to ensure Open Government and fairness for all in their communities.  I would like to thank the over 300 library trustees in Westchester for their commitment to this unique and vital cause.

Library Advocacy Day 2015

March 13th, 2015 No comments
Bookmark and Share
Library Advocacy Day – February 25, 2015
 A group of 13 library supporters from Westchester joined the New York Library Association’s (NYLA) Library Advocacy Day in Albany on Wednesday, February 25.  The group was made up of directors, trustees, staff, and advocates representing the following libraries:  (Armonk) North Castle Public Library; Bedford Free Library; Eastchester Public Library; Irvington Public Library; Mamaroneck Public Library; Mount Pleasant Public Library; Mount Vernon Public Library; New Rochelle Public Library; Pound Ridge Library District; The Warner Library (Tarrytown); Westchester Library System.
Pictured (L-R): Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti, 37th District, and Chair of the NYS Assembly Libraries & Education Technology Committee; Maureen Petry, Director, The Warner Library/Tarrytown; Pamela Bernstein, Librarian, and Carolyn Gallagher, Head of Children's Services, Irvington Public Library; Patricia Fontanella, Trustee, Westchester Library System & Library Trustees Association of New York State; Elise Burke, Executive Assistant, Westchester Library System; joined by Ric Swierat, Trustee, Mid-Hudson Library System (standing) and Joanne Sold, Chief of Staff for Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti

Pictured (L-R): Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti, 92nd  District, and Chair of the NYS Assembly Libraries & Education Technology Committee; Maureen Petry, Director, The Warner Library/Tarrytown; Pamela Bernstein, Librarian, and Carolyn Gallagher, Head of Children’s Services, Irvington Public Library; Patricia Fontanella, Trustee, Westchester Library System & Library Trustees Association of New York State; Elise Burke, Executive Assistant, Westchester Library System; joined by Ric Swierat, Trustee, Mid-Hudson Library System (standing) and Joanne Sold, Chief of Staff for Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti

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

TalkingPoint-SavingsImage

Our main ask of the legislators was to have Library Aid funded to the full extent of Education Law or $102.6 Million.  This year’s proposed Executive Budget for FY2015-2016 included only $86.6 Million in Library Aid, an amount which reflects levels equivalent to 1997.  The cost of living alone has risen 47% since then!  Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti, Chair of the Assembly’s Libraries and Education Technology Committee, has sent a letter to Carl Heastie, Speaker of the Assembly, and Herman Farrell, Chair of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, in support of additional aid for libraries.

Through the efficient, centralized services provided by the public library systems, like Westchester Library System, millions are saved:

            • Facilitating sharing of library materials across the 38 libraries in Westchester
            • Ongoing maintenance of technology services including computers and wireless
            • Cataloging collection holdings for easier discoverability
            • Centralized purchasing of databases
            • County-wide collaboration and innovation

For those who could not attend Library Advocacy Day in Albany, a postcard campaign was held at the libraries in Westchester.  Over 1,700 postcards were sent to our Legislators.

2015 Advocacy Day Postcard-Image

            • Ardsley Public Library
            • Briarcliff Manor Public Library
            • Bronxville Public Library
            • Chappaqua Library
            • Croton Free Library
            • Dobbs Ferry Public Library
            • Eastchester Public Library
            • Harrison Public Library
            • Hastings-on-Hudson Public Library
            • Irvington Public Library
            • Lewisboro Library
            • Hendrick Hudson Free Library (Montrose)
            • New Rochelle Public Library
            • Ruth Keeler Memorial Library (North Salem)
            • Ossining Public Library
            • Pound Ridge Public Library
            • Somers Library
            • Tuckahoe Public Library
            • Yonkers Public Library
            • John C. Hart Memorial Library (Shrub Oak/Yorktown)

Thank you to this year’s dedicated group of Library Advocates—for all the ways in which you participated!   Library Aid is only 1/10 of 1% of the total State budget, and you helped to make our voices heard!

To quote a recent article by Joe Queenan in March 2015 edition of The Rotarian:

The public library is an indispensable institution that somehow manages to get taken completely for granted. Like the clouds above us, like the birds that fill those skies, it is a glorious creation that is hiding in plain sight. Society pays little attention to it, even though society cannot survive without it. Not any real society.

Let’s not take our libraries for granted.  The deadline for an on-time budget is March 31st, so there is still time to contact your legislator and ask them to sign on to Thomas Abinanti’s letter.  You can also click here for NYLA’s Online Advocacy page to send an email message to our legislators that libraries are an excellent investment in New York’s educational and cultural infrastructure.

Elise Burke
Executive Assistant
Westchester Library System
 

 

 

WLS 55th Annual Meeting – 11/20/2014

December 3rd, 2014 No comments
Bookmark and Share

Librarians, library directors, library trustees, government officials, and friends of libraries gathered on November 20 for the 55 Annual Meeting of the Westchester Library System (WLS) at the Sheraton Tarrytown.

Barbara Morrow, President of the Friends of the Hastings-on-Hudson Public Library, and Sue Feir, Director, Hastings-on-Hudson Public Library, Co-Winners of the 2014 WLS Trustees Award

Barbara Morrow, President of the Friends of the Hastings-on-Hudson Public Library, and Sue Feir, Director, Hastings-on-Hudson Public Library, Co-Winners of the 2014 WLS Trustees Award

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the second WLS Trustees Award. A total of 14 people representing 9 Westchester libraries received nominations for the Award, which was given for a commitment to provide open access to information and resources that foster innovation, inspiration and lifelong learning based on broad impact, innovation and collaboration. This year’s Award was presented to co-winners: Sue Feir, Director of the Hastings-on-Hudson Public Library, and Barbara Morrow, President of the Friends of the Hastings-on-Hudson Public Library.  A number of their accomplishments were highlighted.

Sue Feir:  

  • Spearheading a small yet transformative project to expand the library’s community room;
  • As creative advocate of collaboration, Ms. Feir recast the library as a host facility for school testing, local artist exhibits and free career counseling and fostered synergy between the library and Hastings Farmer’s Market;
  • Deployed the library to meet a public health need and began an annual blood drive, which in partnership with the New York Blood Center, became a regular library event held three times a year.

Barbara Morrow:

  • Organized various events to celebrate the library’s 100th Anniversary as well as a lecture series titled, Dewey on the Hudson—completing the celebration with a bang-up party and marching band through the streets.
  • Stayed on as President of the Friends to oversee new capital campaign, Above and Beyond: Expanding our Point of View, to extend the community room and build an outside deck overlooking the Hudson River.

The co-winners were presented with a check in the amount of $1,000 to the Hastings-on-Hudson Public Library, funded by the WLS Trustees. New York State Legislators Thomas Abinanti [92 AD] and Steven Otis [91 AD] were on hand to congratulate the co-winners; and Westchester County Legislator MaryJane Shimsky [12 CLD] declared November 21st Sue Feir and Barbara Morrow Day.  All of those nominated (as shown below) were recognized for their outstanding contributions:

Nominee Nominated by Library
Robert Cartolano Tracy Wright Eastchester Public Library
Lillian Hecker Patricia Perito Town of Pelham Public Library
Ann Hein Jeffrey Ault Dobbs Ferry Public Library
Haina Just-Michael Emery Schweig New Rochelle Public Library
Brian Kenney Paul Schwarz White Plains Public Library
Jenny Kolesar Jill Davis Hendrick Hudson Free Library (Montrose)
Gary Page Mary Shah Lewisboro Library
Charlotte Schachter & Ruth Shire, Co‑Presidents of the Friends of the Mount Vernon Public Library Carolyn Karwoski Mount Vernon Public Library
Heide Shilstone Elin Sullivan Bedford Hills Free Library
Tamara Stewart Hafeezah Basir Mount Vernon Public Library
Na’im Tyson, PhD Chris Hansen Mount Vernon Public Library

During the business portion of the evening, presided over by WLS President Chris Hansen, the following trustees were re-elected to a 5-year term expiring as of December 31, 2019:  Mary Amato of Yonkers representing WLS District XV [Yonkers]; Hope Furth of White Plains representing WLS District XI [White Plains]; and Dave Donelson of West Harrison representing WLS District VII [Harrison, Purchase].

WLS Report 2013-14WLS Report 2013-14-Highlights

Terry Kirchner, WLS Executive Director, gave an overview of WLS’s accomplishments in 2014, many of which were noted in the distributed WLS Annual Report 2013-14.

One important task of 2014 concerned the Integrated Library System (ILS).  WLS will continue with the current vendor SirsiDynix and further educate staff about open source products. This well thought-out decision represented a huge time commitment by all who participated on the WLS-Public Library Directors Association (PLDA) ILS Committee.  Other key areas for 2015 identified in conjunction with PLDA include:  providing more eContent; supporting program initiatives such as Creative Aging workshops and Makerspace activities; expanded marketing and further promotion of services available at local libraries; enhanced wireless services with printing options; and of course, training for the ILS and exploring open source products.

Keynote Speaker Kerri Willette, New York’s first Empire State Digital Network (ESDN) Manager

Keynote Speaker Kerri Willette, New York’s first Empire State Digital Network (ESDN) Manager

Keynote speaker was Kerri Willette, New York’s first Empire State Digital Network (ESDN) Manager.  Ms. Willette is responsible for coordinating activities of the ESDN, a statewide service hub for the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), which is being administered by Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) in collaboration with eight allied regional library councils collectively working as NY 3Rs Association, Inc.  Ms. Willette gave an overview of the DPLA, which was launched in 2013 with 7.1 Million searchable digital objects, and spoke about what it takes to share data with the DPLA, which is not merely another search engine but a new tool that will help library’s special collections be discovered.  One of the roles of the ESDN will be to contact regional libraries to find out what is being collected and making all libraries aware of how to contribute their content properly.  The DPLA’s progress can be followed via the ESDN website and social media [@NYSdigital]; and Ms. Willette’s presentation has been posted to the WLS website.

WLS Legislator Breakfast – 9/18/2014

September 22nd, 2014 No comments
Bookmark and Share

 

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
Bookmark and Share

 

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

 

Comics Plus: Library Edition is the new digital revolution bringing thousands of digital graphic novels and comics are only a click away!

April 1st, 2014 No comments
Bookmark and Share

We have some fantastic news for you: our library now has thousands digital graphic novels and comics available to read on any web-connected device.  We have recently partnered with iVerse Media to provide you with an incredible collection of titles via their Comics Plus: Library Edition.  This revolutionary digital collection includes every genre you could wish for: fiction, non-fiction, fantasy, thrillers, romance, indie comics, Sunday funnies, and mangaCPLE Standard Logo Web Image.gif

How do you find these books?  Simply click on the Comics Plus: Library Edition logo on our home page and activate your account.  From there you can fill your virtual bookshelf with any title you choose to read.  When you do place titles onto your bookshelf, you will see an orange banner running diagonally across the upper right corner of the cover.  This tells you how many days you have left to read the title.   When the seven days are completed, the book is automatically returned-and you don’t have to do a thing!

Please feel free to browse the collection as we are sure you will discover an entire world of storytelling you never knew existed!  Of course there are hundreds of titles and series that you will recognize:  Adventure Time, Lego Ninjago, Doonesbury, Bleach, Archie, Sonic the Hedgehog, Naruto, Dilbert, Cathy, Garfield, Red Sonja, The Shadow- it is a virtual tidal wave of digital graphic novels and comics.  Among the many publishers we have are Archie Comics, BOOM! Studios, Papercutz, Andrews McMeel, VIZ Media, Ape Entertainment, Dynamite, Graphic Classics and many, many more!

What’s even better is that you can read them from any place you have a web connection and on any device: tablet, pc, smart phone, you can even read them on gaming systems!

Be sure to log in to our Comics Plus: Library Edition collection today and get your collection created!