Posts by Brian Kenney, Library Director

Book ‘Em 2020-2021

Join us as we discuss the best-reviewed crime fiction of 2019. Did the critics get it right? Book ‘Em meets from 2:30-3:30 p.m. over Zoom. Click the date(s) you're interested in to find out how to attend. To request or check out a title, click on your preferred format. September 16 Attica Locke: Heaven, My Home Library Collection: Print, Large Print, and CD Audiobook OverDrive & Libby: eBook and Audiobook Texas Ranger Darren Mathews is on the hunt for a missing child. October 7 Ann Cleeves: The Long Call Library Collection: Print, Large Print, and CD Audiobook OverDrive & Libby:
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Categories: Authors & Books, Book Discussion, Director's Corner, Events, Featured, Homepage, and Library News.

We’re Open!

We’re excited that the Library has reopened. This is an important milestone as we work towards re-establishing full library services. Right now, the Library is open for you to browse, borrow, and enjoy our wonderful collection. To implement state and federal guidelines, and support the Library’s COVID-19 Best Practices Policy, only a limited number of patrons can access the Library at a time. We have taken many steps to modify the Library facility in response to evolving best practices. We also have introduced a rigorous cleaning program, and will reserve times throughout the day to close and clean. Here’s How
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Categories: COVID-19, Director's Corner, Featured, Homepage, Homepage Kids, Homepage Teens, Kids, Library News, and Teens.

July Book ‘Em Mystery Book Group

Join Library Director Brian Kenney for two mystery discussions in July. July 8 2:30-3:30 p.m. Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart. Based on the true story of one of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs. Please borrow the eBook through Hoopla. July 22 2:30-3:30 p.m. Stone Cold Heart by Caz Frear. “Engrossing…exceptional characters…a satisfying mystery with a fraught cliffhanger.”—Publishers Weekly. Please borrow the eBook through Hoopla (Audiobook and eBook available).
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Categories: Authors & Books, eNewsletter, and Library News.

WLS on Systemic Injustice

WLS Stands with NYBLC and BCALA in condemning violence and racism towards Black people and all People of Color. The Westchester Library System condemns both the recent violence and the systemic injustice against Black people and people of color in the United States. We are committed to anti-racist practice and will use our skills and resources to advance the production of knowledge for social justice. We stand in solidarity with the New York Black Librarians Caucus (NYBLC) and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA). Read the NYBLC statement and BCALA statement to learn more.
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Categories: Director's Corner, eNewsletter, Featured, Homepage, Homepage Kids, Homepage Teens, Kids, Library News, and Teens.

Cancellation Updates

Program Cancellations: Check back here for updates All Programs and Events Suspended through March 31st As a precaution to help limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and support the City of White Plains' efforts to promote social distancing, the White Plains Public Library has suspended all programming and events through March 31. The Library will remain open during our regular hours. The Westchester Library System is suspending all loans between libraries for the foreseeable future. We believe this is in the best interest of our staff, patrons and the public health of the County. This means our patrons will no
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Categories: Events, Featured, Homepage, Homepage Kids, Homepage Teens, and Library News.

A Major Improvement to Our Overdrive Platform

If you read eBooks or audiobooks using Overdrive, then there are some changes underway. Until recently, each public library in Westchester had its own Overdrive account. So too did the Westchester Library System (WLS). So if you were a White Plains cardholder, and were searching for a title, you had to check both our White Plains account and the WLS account. This week, the Overdrive collections from the 38 public libraries in Westchester, along with the WLS collection, have come together to share our digital books and become, effectively, one collection. Why is this a good thing? It means that
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Categories: Featured and Homepage.

Visiting the Library: What to Expect

The renovation of the first floor is nearly done. All of our collections have moved back to the first floor. Only the computers remain on the second floor, and they’ll be moving downstairs in the next week or so. Next we need to finish the Community Room and the Café—and have a party to celebrate! Check back in January for the opening date for the Café. Questions? Call 914-422-1480 before you visit.
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Categories: Renovations.

White Plains Library Foundation Receives Major Gift

A gift of one million dollars to the White Plains Library Foundation will enable the White Plains Public Library to complete renovations of its first floor and construct The Hub, its new library for adults. The Hub—sure to be a popular destination in downtown White Plains—will provide a new, attractive venue for learning and relaxation, with room for reading, studying, and collaboration, access to improved technology, new community meeting areas, and a Café & Friends’ Bookstore. “This tremendously generous gift underscores how much the White Plains community values its Library,” said White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach. “The City is proud
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Categories: Featured and Library News.

We're Almost Back to Normal

With the opening of The Edge on December 14th, phase one of the renovation is almost done. So what’s new? First off, the book drop on the exterior of the building, has re-opened, and will remain open 24/7/365. That was the one part of the renovation that made people the unhappiest, so it’s good to have it back. Thanks for your patience! Two, we have moved the Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction, and Graphic Novel collections back to the left-hand side of the building, past The Edge. You will also find the New Book section, located at the beginning of the
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Categories: Homepage and Library News.

Library Construction Update

Our new teen library, The Edge, is progressing right on schedule. Attendees of our gala got a sneak peek on November 2—some photos are included here—but anyone coming into the library can get a glimpse of The Edge from the lobby. By now, all the infrastructure is finished, and the next two weeks will be spent installing the furniture, including the shelving, and setting up the technology. Late in November, we expect the “great wall” to come down and the fiction collection—along with the new books—to move back to the Martin Luther King side of the building. What about the
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Categories: Director's Corner, Homepage, and Library News.

Our new customer service policy. Why bother?

You've seen them in banks, stores, and on consumer websites. But why would a library bother creating a customer service policy? For the same reason that any organization that works with the public has adopted one: to let its customers know how they can expect to be treated, in this case, by the White Plains Public Library. It also provides library staff and managers with clear benchmarks for how we should perform, from the state of the library building (a clean facility in good repair) to every single customer interaction—whether online, on the phone, or in-person. But most importantly, a
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Categories: Director's Corner, Featured, Homepage, and Library News.

Libraries And E-Lending: The 'Wild West' Of Digital Licensing?

(This article originally appeared on npr.org on December 27, 2012 by NPR Staff.) Have you ever borrowed an e-book from a library? If the answer is no, you're a member of a large majority. A survey out Thursday from the Pew Internet Project finds that only 5 percent of “recent library users” have tried to borrow an e-book this year. About three-quarters of public libraries offer e-books, according to the American Library Association, but finding the book you want to read can be a challenge — when it's available at all. Brian Kenney is the director of the White Plains
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Categories: Director's Corner, Featured, Homepage, and Library News.

A Plan for the Library's Future

Interested in where the White Plains Public Library is headed the next few years? Then take a few minutes to look over our strategic plan. Many people in the White Plains community helped out with this plan, whether through interviews, focus groups, informal advice, or our morning-long planning retreat in May. Again, a big thanks to everyone for his or her time! A strategic plan is like a road map; it outlines the directions we will be taking, and the actions we need to take to reach our goals. This strategic plan covers the next three years, and is closely
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Categories: Featured, Homepage, and Library News.

Tomorrow: J. K. Rowling’s New Book

Thursday, September 27 is undoubtedly the most anticipated day in publishing this year, as J.K. Rowling’s new book, The Casual Vacancy, hits stores and libraries. We’ve ordered twenty copies, which our distributor reports were shipped yesterday—so we should have them ready to circulate tomorrow. Ten copies are available to be reserved, while the other ten will be in our new book area, circulating on a “first come, first served” basis. Unfortunately, Rowling’s publisher, Hachette/Little, Brown, won’t license new ebooks to libraries. Is the book any good? We haven’t a clue, as the book has been heavily embargoed and there are
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Categories: Featured, Homepage, and Library News.

A Plan for the Library's Future

Interested in where the White Plains Public Library is headed the next few years? Then take a few minutes to look over our strategic plan. Many people in the White Plains community helped out with this plan, whether through interviews, focus groups, informal advice, or our morning-long planning retreat in May. Again, a big thanks to everyone for his or her time! A strategic plan is like a road map; it outlines the directions we will be taking, and the actions we need to take to reach our goals. This strategic plan covers the next three years, and is closely
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Categories: Director's Corner, Homepage, and Library News.

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
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Categories: Director's Corner.

Lights, camera, action!

If you are a teen—or know a teen—with an interest in acting in or creating a video, then we’ve got a terrific program for you. The library is sponsoring a video production class that will produce a public service announcement. The class includes an opportunity to write the script, select the actors, shoot and edit the video, integrate music, and finally watch the final cut at a red carpet graduation ceremony. Sponsored by a grant from The Allstate Foundation to the White Plains Library Foundation, this video production class is open to all students in grades 9-12. Click here for
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Categories: Library News.

Go on. Text us.

We all know someone—in fact, you may be one of these people yourself—who would far rather text than talk. We used to associate texting with young people (and, in fact, teenagers who text average 60 messages a day). But now it seems like everyone is texting, from the bored executive stuck in a meeting to the harried cook who wants his or her spouse to pick up tomato sauce on the way home. So it’s no surprise that libraries are now offering information services via text—just as back in the day we integrated the telephone and then email. With nearly
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Categories: Director's Corner.