Go ahead, write to me!

I hate to beg, but this time I have to. The Library needs your help in determining its future direction.

We began working on a new strategic plan for the library back in January, conducting focus groups with adults, parents of children from pre-K through 8th grade, and teens. In all, we spoke with over 100 individuals, and learned a lot (I will share some of their suggestions later in the week).

This past Friday, we brought together 50 individuals—business people, leaders of not-for-profits, educators, and library users—to discuss the most pressing issues facing the White Plains community, and how the Library can best respond to these issues. We got some terrific ideas.

Now I need your input, whether you are a regular Library user, infrequent user, or have hardly stepped foot inside the Library. Please respond to these questions:

  • What is the Library doing well?
  • What is the Library doing poorly?
  • What aren’t we doing, that we should be doing?

Send your responses to me, Brian Kenney,  bkenney@whiteplainslibrary.org. It can be a sentence or a ten-page paper. Anonymous or not.

Often times, strategic plans end up getting filed away (or lost on the web site). But I promise, we will use this plan to direct the programs and services that the Library provides to the White Plains community. So let your voice be heard!



Categories: Director's Corner.


  1. Linda Chiu

    One of the things I love about WP is its local library. I don’t even mind when I have overdue fees because I know they’re going towards supporting WPPL.

    The Trove is fantastic; it is a place of joyful reading for children that inspires. I also love your cookbook section because they offer some serious titles for food enthusiasts like myself. Whoever orders the cookbook titles has a good sense of what’s hip and current. Even some of the older titles are such culinary treasures. The library also has a good collection of books about NYC history and I regularly consult the travel books for ideas.

    I think WPPL is doing a superb job and my only nitpicky suggestions would be more titles in the NYC history and travel sections. I highly recommend the Moon series of travel books; they are well-written and also offer “Spotlight” mini-travel guides that are inexpensive, more portable, and highlight one specific area in a country or state. They also have great outdoor travel books.

    If someone could also clarify what “suspension date” means when you’re trying to place a hold online, that would be great. I wasn’t sure what this meant.

    All in all, WPPL is a great library and keeps getting better and better. I appreciate that its librarians are working hard to ensure that we have access to a variety of great books and it’s one of the places I rave about when people ask me about living in White Plains.

  2. Eileen Brown

    Hi Brian,

    I was delighted to see that you are expanding library hours. I thought if anything they would be reduced further. I am a voracious reader and love to stop by after work and pick up a new stack.
    I save hundreds of dollars every year by taking advantage of your extensive collections.

    I’d like to see the library host swap meets for books in certain categories. In particular I’d like an
    opportunity to find new homes for the Regents & SAT prep books I have accumulated over the years.


    Eileen Brown

  3. Hello Chris. Thanks for writing.

    Yes, there are ways that you can use the catalog to search for music. I would speak with one of the reference librarians the next time you are in. Or call Tim Baird, who heads our adult services department, and set up an appointment with him or have him walk you through it on the phone. He can be reached at tbaird@whiteplainslibrary.org or call 914 422 6977.

    Best wishes,

    Brian Kenney
    Library Director

  4. Chris Loud

    To be perfectly candid, I love the library and think that for the most part, you’re all doing a terrific job. Your book selection and interlibrary loan are fantastic. You also have a lot of PBS and other non-fiction films that I like. And the children’s room is beyond words.

    I’m not a teen but I’m thrilled you are working on increasing teen programming/space.

    I guess, if I needed anything else, it would be a better way to figure out your music collection. Unless I know exactly what I’m looking for, that can be difficult. For example, I heard Spanish music at a wedding and I wanted to borrow some. The librarian was very nice, and did find me some Spanish guitar and some Salsa, and told me to look in the world section, but I wasn’t sure what the next step would be. It’s not as easy as when I look for a book on say, finance, and can go to the shelf and look through each book to see what I want. I’m not sure how to do that with music. I’m not sure if there’s a way you can help me either.

    BTW, all of the staff is really great except for one librarian, but I don’t know her name. She always seems annoyed, and I try to avoid her.

    The ability to check my stuff on line and look up where books are is SO helpful. And I also like the displays the staff sets up with materials/books on current themes, etc. It has good parking too!Really, the library is one of the best parts of living in White Plains. I would miss it terribly if I ever moved.

    BTW, we patrons need to know if you have funding problems so we can help. That library calculator thing- where you figure out how much money the library saves you a year- was great. I always try to put my change from fines into the donation jar at check out. And I don’t think of them as fines- I think of them as donations to the library. When you look at them this way you feel good paying them.

    So thanks for all the great service!

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