Posts by Austin, Adult Librarian

Edward Steinberg Photo

Edward C. Steinberg (1942-2018) worked for White Plains from 1970 to the mid-1990s in the Urban Renewal Agency and later as Commissioner of Planning. He helped build the Galleria, the Transportation Center, the Public Safety Building, the Westchester Mall, and the Federal Courthouse. He was also a photographer, and recently his widow donated three of his photographs to our local history collection. One is of the Transportation Center, one shows workers pouring cement, and the other the demolition of a building.  Part of the pouring cement photo is shown below (it doesn’t say what building it was for, unfortunately). Feel
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Categories: Featured, Homepage, and Local History.

English Conversation Group

English Conversation Group Thursdays 2:00–3:00 p.m. Community Room Our English Conversation group returns in February. The Library is offering adults who speak English as a second language the chance to meet and converse in English. This program is free and open to learners age 18 and up who want to improve their English conversation skills. Attendees are welcome and encouraged to bring conversation topics. Refreshments will be provided. No registration required. For more information, contact Austin at 914-422-6922. Grupo de conversación en inglés Los jueves a la 2:00 p.m. La Biblioteca Pública de White Plains ofrece a los adultos que
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Categories: Español, Events, Featured, Homepage, and Library News.

The Construction of the Kensico Dam

Tuesday, January 17th 2:00–4:00 p.m. Community Room Click here to register. James Maxwell, Historian at the Town of Mount Pleasant, will give a PowerPoint presentation on the building of the Kensico Dam. He will start with the original dam built in 1885, continue on to construction of the current one in the early 20th century, and end in the 1970s. The presentation's photos and postcards are from the Mount Pleasant Historical Society's collection as well as New York City's archives.
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Categories: Library News.

Genealogy: Leaving a Legacy

Genealogy: Leaving a Legacy: Telling your Ancestors So Your Family Will Listen Thursday, December 8th 7:00–8:00 p.m. Click here to register for this Zoom program. You have invested countless hours documenting your family tree. Now learn different techniques and methods to tell your ancestors’ stories so they will be passed down and enjoyed by future generations. Presented by Genealogist Sarah Gutmann.
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Categories: Library News.

Daughters of America: Digest of the Day

Recently a member of the local Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) chapter viewed the Local History Room’s file on the DAR.  She noted that the last item in the file belonged to the Daughters of America, not the DAR, and was curious what that group was. The item in question is a 36-page booklet called Digest of the Day, published in 1930 by the Daughters of America’s Martha Washington Council No. 8 in White Plains. According to The International Encyclopedia of Secret Societies and Fraternal Orders, the Daughters of America was “a female auxiliary to the Junior Order of
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Categories: Featured, Homepage, and Local History.

Biography of a House

“Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?” Researching the Biography of a House Thursday, October 27th 7:00-8:00 p.m. Click here to register for this Zoom event. In this presentation, house historian Beth Potter will talk about ways to flesh out the “biography” of a house-not the history of the building per se, but the stories of the people who lived there. Who celebrated birthdays in the living room, what special recipes were created in the kitchen, were any residents in the military – those are just some of the questions that can be answered using newspaper records, church records, etc.
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Categories: Library News.

“Boots on the Ground” Genealogy

Wednesday, September 21st 7:00–8:00 p.m. on Zoom Click here to register. So often people think they hit a brick wall if they can’t find what they're looking for on Ancestry or Family Search. But genealogist Sarah Gutmann will show you there is a world of records waiting to be discovered offline. Learn what is available, where to search, and who and how to ask.
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Categories: Library News.

DeVillo’s New Battle of White Plains Book

A new book about the Battle of White Plains has come out: The Battle of White Plains: Washington and Howe in Westchester by Stephen Paul DeVillo. He is a local historian who has written books on the Bowery and the Bronx River. “I thought the Battle of White Plains deserves a much closer look,” he said in a telephone interview. “So often it’s given short shrift. It was not just a pit stop between the Fall of New York City and the Battle of Trenton.” The conventional view is that the British won the battle since they drove General George
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Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Library News, and Local History.

African American Genealogy with Dennis Richmond

Thursday, June 9th at 7:00 p.m. Click here to register. Yonkers native Dennis Richmond, author of the memoir He Spoke at My School, will talk about the genealogical research he did for his family and provide tips for people on starting their own genealogy projects.   This program is made possible with support from the White Plains Library Foundation.
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Categories: Library News.

TONIGHT: Anti-Asian Hate

Thursday, May 19th, 7:00–8:00 p.m. Click here for the Zoom link. A discussion of past Anti-Asian sentiment in this county up to the present, the causes, and how we can promote understanding. Presenters: William Kaung, Vice President of Advocacy at OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates, Westchester & Hudson Valley Chapter and Tejash V. Sanchala (he/him/his), Executive Director, Westchester County Human Rights Commission
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Categories: Uncategorized.

Political Redistricting

Monday, May 9th, 7:00–8:00 p.m. Click here to register. Every ten years, states redraw their political maps to reflect population changes based on Census data. But often the newly formed districts reflect racial or partisan gerrymandering that strengthen some groups at the expense of others. This program will discuss how to ensure that redistricting allows for equal representation. Presented by David Imamura, Chair of NYS Redistricting Commission and Co-Chair of the Westchester Asian American Advisory Board and William Kaung, Vice President of Advocacy at OCA (Organization of Chinese Americans) Westchester & Hudson Valley.
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Categories: Uncategorized.

Photos wanted: Winbrook, WP malls

Two of the original five buildings in the Winbrook apartments (now officially called Brookfield Commons) have been razed and replaced. The three still in use will eventually meet the same fate. The White Plains Mall will be leveled and replaced by a large residential and retail development called Hamilton Green. And the Galleria Mall, which lost its anchor stores when Sears and Macy’s closed, may be demolished whole or in part for a redevelopment that would dramatically change its appearance. As these buildings which were once fixtures in downtown White Plains disappear, we would like to keep a visual record
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Categories: Featured, Homepage, Library News, and Local History.

4/26: Virtual Trip to Japan

Virtual Trip to Japan: Local Cuisines and Destinations Tuesday, April 26th, 7:00–8:00 p.m. Click here for the Zoom link. Join our one-hour webinar to find out what eastern Japan is like. We will introduce several prefectures from different regions of eastern Japan. We will cover beautiful tourist attractions, regional cultural festivals, and local cuisines both historical and modern. For example, did you know that the tradition of mochi is 400 years old and its dishes have around 300 variations? Come join us to discover a region with a great mix of urban life and nature! This program is supported by
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Categories: Library News.

Genealogy: the 1950 Census

Genealogy: What to Expect from the 1950 Census Tuesday, March 15th 7:00–8:00 p.m. Click here to register. Presented by Alan Steinfeld. After 72 years, the 1950 Census will be made public on April 1st. Come find out why this is a big deal for historians, genealogists, sociologists and the like. This presentation will address these and other questions: What questions did they ask? Why did they keep it private for 72 years? Am I in it and how do I find out? Why do we have a census anyway? This program is made possible with support from the White Plains
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Categories: Library News.

Remembering Jesse Murry

Jesse Murry was a Black, gay art critic, curator and painter. He was born in 1948 in North Carolina and later moved to nearby Greenburgh to live with an aunt. As a youth he spent a lot of time reading at the White Plains Public Library and became friends with the director, Isabel Duncan Clark, who ended up becoming his legal guardian. He studied at Sarah Lawrence College and lived in a White Plains apartment in the 1970s before moving to New York City in 1979. In the last 14 years of his life he wrote for Arts Magazine, taught
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Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage, Library News, and Local History.

Explore Japanese Culture: Fall Harvest

Explore Japanese Culture – Food Series Harvest time – Fall delicacies of Japan Wednesday, October 27th, 7:00–8:00 p.m. Click here for the zoom link. Did you know that Washoku (Japanese traditional cuisine) is registered as an intangible cultural heritage under UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) ? Japanese cuisine and culture reflect the appreciation for the beauty of nature. Japan has four seasons and there are many festivals and cultural events throughout the year. Japanese people often celebrate these events by getting together and enjoying meals using seasonal ingredients. In this webinar, we will explore the cultural events
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Categories: Library News.

October Genealogy Workshops

Benvenuti Italiani! Italian Genealogy Research and Dual Citizenship Wednesday, October 20th 7:00–8:00 p.m. Click here for the Zoom link. Determine if you are eligible to obtain dual citizenship. Find out what documents you need and how to obtain them, including Italian records. Uncover potential roadblocks and resources to get around them. Learn how to get started and what to expect in the dual citizenship process. Sarah Gutmann returns with another informative presentation. Genealogy Research in Cemeteries Tuesday, October 26th 7:00–8:00 p.m. Click here for the Zoom link. Cemeteries often get a bad rap, especially around Halloween. But for the genealogist,
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Categories: Library News.

English Conversation Group

New schedule: Every other Wednesday* 2:00–3:00 p.m. *Note the new day and frequency ESL speakers, come practice your English conversation skills in this fun, supportive virtual setting! Feel free to bring your own conversation topics. For more information on joining, click the date(s) you would like to attend: September 29th October 13th October 27th A key element to learning a new language is to practice, and our English Conversation Group (ECG) provides exactly that opportunity. If you speak English as a second (or third, or fourth!) language, you're welcome to come and converse with other people, both language learners and
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Categories: Events, Featured, Homepage, and Library News.

Explore Japanese Culture: Sushi

Food Series Wednesday, August 11th 7:00–8:00 p.m. Click here for the zoom link. Did you know there are many kinds of sushi in Japan? Do you know why wasabi and ginger are served on the side? From its origins to how it has become a celebratory dish of choice, to its evolution in Japan, we will show you sushi in all its forms. We will also show how you can prepare some forms of sushi easily at home. That’s right, you can be a sushi chef right at home! Come join us to learn all you need to know about
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Categories: Library News.

The Westchester County Jail Riots of 1981

Thursday, July 8th 7:00–8:00 p.m. Click here to register. Jails and prisons that offer little in the way of rehabilitation. Drug laws that unfairly target people of color. These conditions plague today’s criminal justice system. Forty years ago, they were also the focus of complaints by Westchester County Jail inmates, leading them to stage an unprecedented uprising. Seth Kershner, a researcher at the University of Massachusetts, discusses the July 1981 uprising at Westchester County Jail–three riots in three days that caused one million dollars in damage. Although inmates hoped to amplify complaints about racism in the county’s criminal justice system,
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Categories: Library News.