White Plains Public Library Blog

Veterans’ family members will read selections from stories collected in a new work, On the Homefront. Come on Saturday, November 22 at 2:00 p.m. to be inspired by their stories and learn how you can get involved in telling your own.

The Veteran’s Writing Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Washington, DC, founded by veterans and family members which provides no-cost writing seminars and workshops for veterans, service members, and their adult family members, building an archive of writing by members of the military community.

For more information about the Veteran’s Writing Project visit their website at www.veteranswritingworkshop.org or phone 917-803-2391.

Kathy Degyansky
Assistant Library Director

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On Sunday, October 26, I attended the White Plains Historical Society’s 238th Anniversary Commemoration of the Battle of White Plains at the Jacob Purdy House. Drawn by the promise of reenactors, mulled cider, and the chance to meet some White Plains citizens who are fascinated by history, I arrived before the ceremonies. This gave me the chance to walk around in the Purdy House (whose ceilings are higher than I expected) and talk with soldiers who had set up camp on the property.

Present were members of the 6th Connecticut Regiment, who refer to themselves as a Living History Organization; the 5th New York Regiment, “a dedicated group of living historians;” various members of the White Plains Historical Society, and the public. I witnessed many instances of the regiments living up to their titles as educators. They showed genuine interest and enthusiasm when greeted by a family or child.

Reenactments or commemorations are versions of a practice most cultures share- acknowledging the past through staged performances, dramatic dances, or ceremonial recitations. In White Plains, commemoration of the Battle of White Plains goes back at least as far as 1876. The Library’s Rosch Collection contains photos of a well-attended 100th Anniversary Battle of White Plains commemoration in 1876, at which the Continental Company Guard of Honor to the Governor had its picture taken. The 13-man company was created to honor the 13 colonies who participated in the Revolutionary War and to act as a “reception committee and guard of honor to the Governor of the State and to the invited officials” (John Rosch, Historic White Plains, p.197-8). Commemorating the Battle of White Plains and relative success of the Americans against the British was taken seriously each time a nicely-numbered anniversary came along. The Governor of New York attended the 100th in 1876 and a marker was unveiled on the Bronx River Parkway at the 150th in 1926. In 1933, the city hosted a parade and the reenactment took on a more modern feel, held from the back of a truck.

The study of history is never put to a better purpose than when it is used to educate and enrich people in the present. The living historians and reenactors at the Battle of White Plains commemoration embodied this. It is my hope that the history programming and resources of the White Plains Public Library can achieve the same success. Look for upcoming programs and contact us at anytime with questions, queries, wonderings, or information about local history- you may be able to teach us as much as we can teach you! If you are looking for a place to donate historical materials or want to work together with materials you have, please contact the Local History Librarian.

Photo caption: Continental Company Guard of Honor to the Governor, 1876, Rosch Collection.

Ben Himmelfarb
History Librarian

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Please join us for the Foundation’s Ninth Annual Fall Gala, “Stories to Inspire Us,” on Saturday, November 8, 7:00-10:00 p.m., as we honor Philip I. Kent, White Plains native, outstanding media executive, and generous Library supporter; the Friends of the WPPL, the all-volunteer group that has served the Library for 67 years; and Latino U College Access, a non-profit organization that provides college readiness services to first-generation high school students in Westchester. At the Gala, we will also kick off a year-long 10th Birthday celebration of The Trove, our amazing children’s library. Tickets to this fundraising event are $125, and include a reception with wine and Captain Lawrence beer, bountiful buffet supper, and dessert. The event also features an exciting raffle drawing and a silent auction. For more information and to order tickets online click here, or call the Foundation at 422-1495.

Kathy Degyansky
Assistant Library Director

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Out over the Hudson River, the New NY Bridge (that will replace the Tappan Zee Bridge) is under construction and due to be completed in 2018. In excited anticipation, children in The Trove have built a giant model of the new bridge – all in K’NEX! But, that’s not all. They have gone on to build a K’NEX model of the I Lift NY Super Crane, the giant floating crane that is being used to help build the new bridge. Both are currently on display in The Trove. Be sure to stop by to get a glimpse of these amazing structures!

Over a four-week period this Fall, 24 children in second through sixth grade, with the assistance of 4 teen volunteers, spent their Monday after-school time on this special Trove project. As a team, they worked together to select the individual K’NEX building pieces, assemble and fit together the components, troubleshoot problems and make needed repairs in an efficient and timely manner.

As the young builders proudly received certificates of participation, they knew they had just become a part of local history. Through the process, they had been exposed to critical math and engineering skills and learned the value of teamwork. Having fun was certainly a bonus! For years to come, they will travel over this new bridge and remember the important role they played in the publicity of its construction.

Special thanks goes to Andrew O’Rourke, Public Outreach Administrator of the New NY Bridge Project for inspiration, design expertise and materials used in this effort!

​For more about the project–and more photos!–check out this great article by Janie Rosman in the Rockland Times.

 

 

Terry Rabideau
Children's Librarian

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The Westchester County Department of Social Services is sponsoring an exhibit of photos of children needing loving adoptive homes in their annual Heart Gallery Showcase. The exhibit will be on view through October 10 but the need for homes continues year round. An opening reception will be held in the Library Auditorium on Wednesday, October 9 at 2:00 p.m. Keynote speaker for the event is Darryl McDaniel, a pioneer of hip hop culture and one of the founding members of the hip hop group Run–D.M.C. For more information, contact Paul Tavolacci at 914-995-5303. The reception and exhibit are free and open to the public.

Kathy Degyansky
Assistant Library Director

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Building a computer from parts is much cheaper than buying one readily assembled. At the “Build a High-Powered PC” series of courses, every Tuesday in October at 4:00 p.m. in The Edge, teens will be able to assist in the building of a modern gaming rig. Instruction about microprocessors, RAM, motherboards, power supplies, hard drives, and graphics cards will be taught throughout. If teens wish to build a computer on their own, methods of selecting and purchasing compatible computer parts online will be shown as well.

Registration is not required and all equipment is provided.

Austin Olney
Media Specialist

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On view in the Library Museum Gallery from September 28, 2014 through November 28, 2014, this exhibit features the work of Peter Wood, an English teacher at White Plains High School. His art has been shown in Manhattan, Easthampton, NY and the mid-west. One of his paintings was featured in an exhibit at the Katonah Museum of Art.

All of the books used in his work were re-purposed from discarded items from libraries, schools or private collections. They were reclaimed from garbage and remainder bins and the artist “attempted to breathe new life into them. Essentially, these books have been reborn.” Much of the art intermingles print with paint — both oil and acrylic. “Print is a limited art form; painting is a limited art form, but by co-mingling them. they are less so.”

Mr. Wood is also a writer, playwright, actor and former middleweight boxer. Born in Manhattan, he currently lives in Mount Kisco with his wife, Suhua, and daughter Zoe Makepeace.

An opening reception will be hosted by the artist on Saturday, October 4, from noon to 2:00 p.m. The reception and exhibit are free and open to the public.

Kathy Degyansky
Assistant Library Director

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WEBS Career and Educational Counseling Service is once again offering a free eight-week career counseling seminar for adults this fall called “Managing Your Career in Changing Times”. Call 914-674-3612 for program dates and to register. Places will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

WEBS helps participants 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 nineteen-hour workshop consists of an orientation session, eight group sessions, and one individual session with a career counselor.

The White Plains Public Library is one of five public libraries in the County participating in the WEBS project. Sponsored by the Westchester Library System, WEBS has counseled more than 40,000 adults in the Westchester area.

Kathy Degyansky
Assistant Library Director

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Come and learn about 3D printing and Computer-aided design (CAD) with SketchUp, a free computer application. Participants will have the chance to design an original object and bring it home in physical form via the library’s MakerBot Replicator 2 (3D Printer).

This program will begin at 10:15am on Thursday September 11th in the Edge Media Lab. There is a limit of 10 participants & registration is required.

Austin Olney
Media Specialist

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