Monthly Archives May 2020

Virtual Book Club for Teens

Due to uncertainty about large public gatherings this fall, the Battle of the Books (BOB) competition has been postponed until October 2021. We (librarians and BOB coaches Lauren and Kat) are glad this decision has been made in the interest of safety… but we worry we’ll miss our BOB team too much! So, we’re excited to begin a monthly virtual book club for teens. Each month, we’ll read and discuss a book that’s available with unlimited copies on Hoopla. We’ll also keep our BOB skills sharp with Jeopardy games, trivia questions, and maybe even drills to improve our speed on
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Categories: Authors & Books, eNewsletter, Featured, Library News, and Teens.

Pause…and Reflect Writing Workshop

Pause…and Reflect: Stories from Your Side of the Window. Join us for this 8-session online creative writing workshop beginning June 2nd. Through exercises and supportive evaluations, you’ll learn techniques that will help you get at the heart of your stories from the pandemic. At the conclusion of the workshop, you are invited to have your story recorded and preserved on film to show us how, for all the distance, the walls and windows, the lack of touch, we are still intimately connected. Ultimately, these stories will become part of the new collection, Documenting COVID-19: White Plains Experiences, created by Library
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Categories: COVID-19, eNewsletter, Events, Featured, Homepage, and Library News.

Bullet Journaling

A few years ago when I returned to work after maternity leave, I found myself struggling to balance my new full-time jobs: mom and librarian. I’ve kept a bullet journal ever since, allowing me to keep my calendar, to-do list, a running list of questions for my pediatrician, and meeting notes all in the same place. My bullet journal has helped me prioritize work tasks, remember funny things my kids say, and train for a half marathon. While my bullet journal is plain and practical, for many it’s an opportunity to incorporate artistic expression and even mindfulness into daily life.
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Categories: eNewsletter, Featured, Homepage, Homepage Teens, and Teens.

Parenting: Sensory Needs at Home Part 3

Last week I promised a couple more projects good for all children, but particularly for those who need sensory stimulation. These are all going to require quite a bit of parental setup, but are so much fun! Let’s start with balloon sensory toys. You may have some bad thoughts about me while setting this up, but your children are going to love them! Gather balloons (be sure to get the helium grade ones or they will break too easily), a funnel, and various dried goods from your pantry. Good items to use are salt, dried lentils, and flour. Be careful
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Categories: eNewsletter, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

For the Class of 2020

There might not be ceremonies, big parties, caps, or gowns this year, but the Class of 2020 should still be celebrated, and we've got a few things to add to your Make Your Own Graduation toolkit. You'll find commencement speeches by National Book Award-winning author Jesmyn Ward, Admiral William H. McRaven, Abby Wambach, Barack Obama, and other notables in our Libby booklist, To the Class of 2020: We Salute You! Borrow Elgar's graduation classic Pomp and Circumstance, Drew's Famous Graduation Party Music, or some newer favorites at Hoopla, such as Lizzo's Cuz I Love You, 2020 Grammy Nominees, or Drake's
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Categories: Authors & Books, eNewsletter, Featured, Homepage, Homepage Teens, Library News, and Teens.

STEAM at Home: Magic Milk Art

To celebrate International Museum Day (May 18), I decided to experiment with creating magic marble milk using simple household items. Magic Marble Milk is an easy and fun experiment, and the science behind it is really fascinating. If you happen to have watercolor paper, you can cut up the pieces of paper and create little mini portraits of Magic Marble Milk! For this experiment, you’ll need: A deep tray or dish A smaller bowl Milk (whole milk works best) Dish soap Q-tips Food coloring Watercolor paper or regular drawing paper (optional) First, pour a layer of milk into the tray.
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Categories: Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

May Virtual Open Mic

On Saturday, May 30th, the Library will host another Virtual Open Mic. This event will take place from 5:00 to 5:50 p.m. To attend, access Zoom with this link on 5/30. If you submitted anything for our comic or poetry prompts, or for our Documenting COVID-19 collection and would like to share your pieces at the event, please join us. Writing is a solitary activity, and as we are socially distancing it can become even more solitary if we don’t have a place to share our work collectively. In the past I have done readings in Westchester and New York
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Categories: eNewsletter, Events, Featured, Homepage, Homepage Kids, Homepage Teens, Kids, and Library News.

Teen Book Review: Sparrow

Below you'll find a book review of a new title submitted by teens in the Edge. Sparrow by Mary Cecilia Jackson Available as an eBook on OverDrive. Review: This book is about a young ballerina who goes by Sparrow that dates a very popular kid named Tristan in school. She can not believe that this popular kid is into her and enjoys it very much. However, Tristan has a very dark side. Every time he gets angry at Sparrow, he abuses her. Not knowing that she does not deserve this kind of treatment due to the fact that she was
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Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Teens, Library News, and Teens.

Author Event: Astronomer Dr. Julia Kregenow

Dr. Julia Kregenow is an astronomer and Associate Teaching Professor at Penn State University. She will be presenting two programs in May for families related to children’s books she has written and her study of astronomy. You can borrow some of Dr. Kregenow’s books in eBook format from the Library through OverDrive/Libby and Hoopla. Thursday, May 21, 2:00 p.m. Register in advance here. Dr. Kregenow will read from her book Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, I Know Exactly What You Are and lead a family sing-a-long for mixed age groups, singing several different verses from her book and giving additional scientific
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Categories: Authors & Books, eNewsletter, Events, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

Documenting COVID-19:
County Center Photos

Photos of the “Westchester County Center and the temporary hospital across the street,” submitted by Anonymous. “We are ready. The temporary hospital will be operated by the New York State Health Department through nearby White Plains Hospital.” Submit your own experience.
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Categories: COVID-19, Homepage, and Library News.

Parenting: Sensory Needs at Home Part 2

As promised, this week I am giving some more tips for children who need sensory stimulation. Most of these activities require a little bit of prep, but are still fairly easy. Let’s start with items to keep in the house for when children just need a little calming. Good things to keep around include a smooth stone to hold, and a combination lock and/or old keys to manipulate. These items can be held and played with to give children that sensory experience. Other good calming techniques are brushing and pressure. One trick that always works with my son is taking
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Categories: eNewsletter, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

Explore NYC from Home

One of the things I’ve been looking forward to, now that my daughter is older and doesn’t have a daytime nap, is exploring New York City with her. We were planning on starting this spring doing just that – taking the Metro North and having Big Apple Adventures. However, those plans are a bit on hold. Luckily, we live in a time where technology makes many things possible, and while it does not replace actually being somewhere, virtual tours and experiences are aplenty. NYC is filled with museums, art galleries and wonderful sites. Just because you’re safe at home, doesn’t
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Categories: eNewsletter, Featured, Homepage, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Chapter Books

White Plains is a wonderfully diverse community! Parents, children and teens have expressed an interest in titles that reflect the diversity in the community, and Ashley, Kathlyn, and Raquel's “Dive Into Diversity” column will spotlight noteworthy children's and teen titles that are inclusive, diverse and multicultural to fulfill that interest. Ashley's portion is aimed at readers in grades 4-6. Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month is celebrated during the month of May. I had been wanting to read Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly for a while now. It won the Newbery Medal in 2018! It was a potential pick
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Categories: Authors & Books, eNewsletter, Kids, and Library News.

Documenting COVID-19:
Never A Miss Poem

“Never A Miss,” a poem submitted by Gina. “I lost my father to COVID-19. I began to write down what it felt like from the moment we had to leave him at the hospital to 16 days later when he lost his life.” Never A Miss You were never a miss They didn’t know Rushed inside while they waited for more rows Failing miserably on the account of all others Your dignity and pride now tossed aside Unable to speak as voices disappear Pleading for breath but life was so unclear You were never a miss Mind like no other
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Categories: COVID-19, Featured, and Homepage.

Virtual Book Display: Jewish American Heritage Month

President George W. Bush established May as National Jewish American Heritage Month in 2006. The month-long celebration highlights the many contributions of Jewish Americans to American history, and celebrates Jewish cultural heritage. To celebrate, here are some fun and noteworthy Children’s and Young Adult titles. Children's Picture Books: Children’s Chapter Books: Children’s Nonfiction: Young Adult Fiction:  
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Categories: Authors & Books, eNewsletter, Kids, Library News, and Teens.

Hoopla Staff Picks: Folk Music

Possibly our most dynamic resource offered is Hoopla, as it includes a variety of different formats from books to movies and music. In order to highlight some of these, we've written up recommendations of just a few formats you can stream and download with your library card. Below are some folk music recommendations from Adult Services librarian Kristen Thornton-De Stafeno. One of my favorite genres to browse on Hoopla is folk as it encompasses so many styles (there are well over 4,000 titles grouped under the genre); that and I used to host a folk-themed radio show. Below I highlight
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Categories: Featured, Homepage, and Library News.

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Picture Books

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, takes place in May. It celebrates the culture, traditions, and history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Stanford University’s Asian American Activities Center website states that May, “was chosen because two important anniversaries fall during this time: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in the United States on May 7, 1843, and the completion of the transcontinental railroad by many Chinese laborers on May 10, 1869.” To explore the history, traditions, culture and arts of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the Library of Congress has put together a useful
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Categories: Authors & Books, Kids, and Library News.

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month: YA Fiction

Having missed out on Star Trek as a child, I first heard of George Takei about ten years ago when he began posting hilarious memes on Facebook. More recently, he’s been known for his political activism and for sharing his childhood experience in an internment camp during WWII. This is the topic of his 2019 graphic novel They Called Us Enemy. Takei relates the circumstances of his family’s forced removal from their Los Angeles home and the four years they spent behind bars. He tells the story as he experienced it as a child, layered with facts he learned from
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Categories: Authors & Books, eNewsletter, Library News, and Teens.