White Plains Public Library Blog

We are excited to announce the public availability of thousands of movies, television shows, music albums and audiobooks, all available for mobile and online access through a new partnership with hoopla digitalWhite Plains Library card holders can download the free hoopla digital mobile app on their Android or iOS device or visit hoopladigital.com to begin enjoying thousands of titles – from major Hollywood studios, record companies and publishers – available to borrow for instant streaming or temporary downloading to their smartphones, tablets and computers.

hoopla digital has a simple sign-up and attractive, easy-to-use interface, so it’s easy to get to your listening and viewing experience. There’s also no waiting to borrow popular movies, TV shows, albums or audiobooks. And hoopla digital’s automatic return feature eliminates late fees.

Start enjoying hoopla today, or please visit us on Saturday, January 10 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. when we’ll have staff on hand to show you how to use hoopla either on your device or one of ours.

Nancy Kunz
Adult Services Librarian

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Join New Westchester Symphony Orchestra in a free concert of seasonal favorites including Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride,” Tchaikovsky’s “Waltz of the Flowers,” Williams’ “Greensleeves,” a Hanukkah sing-along and Handel’s Hallelujah chorus.  White Plains resident Raphael Forte, tenor, and conductor Benjamin Niemczyk, baritone, will perform Bizet’s opera duet “Au Fond du Temple Saint.” More information at www.newsymphony.org.

Refreshments following the concert. This program is free but seating is limited. To ensure the comfort and safety of patrons, tickets will be given out 30 minutes before the program starts. Sponsored by the White Plains Library Foundation, 914-422-1495.

The New Westchester Symphony Orchestra (NewWSO) offers amateur instrumental musicians in Westchester County an opportunity to build musicianship in a supportive, non-competitive setting while practicing and performing significant orchestral and ensemble works.

Libby Hollahan
Foundation Executive Director

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Knit a Square for Project Linus in The Edge.
Friday, December 12 at 3:30 p.m.

Come make blankets for Project Linus, a charity that collects handmade blankets for children in shelters and hospitals. Handmade blankets provide the children with not just warmth and comfort, but also the knowledge that someone cared enough to spend time making a blanket just for them. This is a fun way for teenagers to engage with their community and learn a new skill at the same time. No knitting or sewing experience is required; instructions for beginners and materials are provided. Participants will earn two hours of community service.

Kathlyn Carroll
Teen Librarian

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The Library is hosting two workshops in December to help citizens prepare for the unexpected. On December 4 at 7:00 p.m., the American Red Cross will offer “Prepare, Respond and Recover: What to do When a Disaster Strikes.” On December 6 from 2:00-4:00 p.m., the Child Care Council of Westchester will present “What do do in an Emergency” in Spanish.

Governor Cuomo initiated the Red Cross training so that New York citizens are prepared for natural and man made disasters. The Child Care Council of Westchester’s session will help Spanish-speaking parents know what to do when a child becomes ill or injured and provides instruction on what to do in the event of a fire.

Both sessions are free and open to all.

Kathy Degyansky
Assistant Library Director

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The Parent/Child Connection is a 3-part program designed for children from 13 months to 36 months old, with a parent or caregiver. It offers you an opportunity to meet other parents and play with your child in a warm and informal setting. At each session, there will be an expert on hand to answer your questions about your child’s development – speech and language, nutrition, developmental milestones, and more. Age appropriate toys, a craft, songs, and stories all add up to a fun and positive experience for you and your child.

Space is limited, so pre-registration is required, and attendance is limited to White Plains residents. Registration for our next session begins on November 28.  Register for three Fridays in December (12/5, 12/12 and 12/19). The program is held from 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Register in person or by telephone at 914-422-1476.

Deb Gaffey
Children's Librarian

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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