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

August 5th, 2016 No comments
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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Larchmont Public Library ADA Compliant Bathrooms:  Remove the existing, out-of-date, bathroom in the main Library building and replace with two fully ADA compliant bathrooms.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.”

WLS Trustee Institute re Open Meetings Law

June 11th, 2015 No comments
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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
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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
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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.

Save the Date – #GivingTuesday

November 14th, 2014 No comments
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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
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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
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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.

23rd Annual National Library Week Book & Author Luncheon

March 12th, 2014 No comments
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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
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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.

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

September 26th, 2013 No comments
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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