Posts by Brian Kenney, Library Director

Magazines on Libby & OverDrive

Library patrons now have access to over 3,000 magazines titles digitally through OverDrive or the Libby App. All you need is a library card from the Westchester Library System to access them. For information on getting a library card, click here. We've also curated some lists to help you get started, including Popular titles, Cooking, Crafts, Design, Fashion, Music, Sports, and more. You can read the magazines on a smartphone, iPad, or computer. When you see an article you want to read, click on it and you'll be prompted to Read the Article. This opens up the article, making for
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Categories: Authors & Books, Director's Corner, Featured, Homepage, and Library News.

Goodbye AcornTV

I hope you got plenty of use out of AcornTV, because effective May 14 we will no longer offer it. The decision wasn't ours; apparently Acorn decided they no longer wanted to be in the library market. This is one of the downsides of the digital world. Unlike a print book, or a DVD, libraries don't own the eBooks and streaming content they offer. Typically, we can only lease them. Which makes us vulnerable to whatever decision a vendor might make. If you were a fan of AcornTV, this is a good time to get to know another streaming service,
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Categories: Featured, Homepage, and Library News.

Library Reopening April 29th

To read this text in Spanish, click here / Para español, haga clic aquí. We are very pleased that the Library reopened on Thursday, April 29th. A huge thanks goes to all of our patrons for their patience as we navigated this past year. Some facts about our service updates: We reopened with the exact same level of service we offered over the summer: Patrons are welcome to browse the first floor collections and check out material. The Trove is open for 45-minute appointments, three families (no more than four people per family) at a time. Call (914) 422-1476 or
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Categories: COVID-19, Director's Corner, Featured, Homepage, Homepage Kids, Homepage Teens, Kids, Library News, and Teens.

Stand Against Racism

This year, the Library is a sponsor of the YWCA's annual campaign Stand Against Racism. The theme is “Racism is a Public Health Crisis,” something we all witnessed this past year and which has been driven to the forefront of our national consciousness partly by the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and racial injustice. Understanding and addressing systemic racism from a public health perspective is crucial to eliminating racial and ethnic inequities, and to improving opportunity and well-being across communities. You can show your commitment to eliminating racism by participating in this year’s Stand Against Racism campaign in several different ways.
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Categories: Director's Corner, Events, Featured, Homepage, and Library News.

Grab & Go Suspended

On February 23rd, we learned that a library staff member has tested positive for COVID-19. We are being as cautious as possible, and because of this, we are suspending our Grab & Go service until March 8th. The Library is still available for telephone reference services, and all of our online programs will continue as scheduled. Our book drop will not be available until March 8th. There are no fines for late materials at this time.
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Categories: Library News.

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, Director's Corner, and Library News.

Browsing Suspended, Grab & Go Continues

In response to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Westchester County, the Library is suspending browsing in the building. This means there will be no access to our first floor collections or the Trove beginning Friday, November 27. We will continue to offer reference services via phone, text, and email. Our Grab & Go services have changed. To utilize Grab & Go pickup services, place items on hold through our catalog and you will be notified when they are available. Give us a call at 422-1490 when you are heading to the Library and we will place your items
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Categories: COVID-19, Director's Corner, Featured, Homepage, Homepage Kids, Homepage Teens, Kids, Library News, and Teens.

medici.tv for Classical Lovers

If you love classical music, then you probably feel that the Library has been giving you short shrift. And you're right. As the circulation of our Classical CDs has continued to decline, we've invested less and less in that area. With the result that even fewer Classical CDs circulate. It's a vicious cycle. Fortunately, medici.tv–a streaming website–should go a long way to remedying this situation. Described as “the closest thing to a classical Netflix” by The New York Times, medici.tv offers a dazzling collection for classical music fans. Warning: it's hard not to get lost–for hours!–sampling medici.tv's holdings. There are
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Categories: Director's Corner, Featured, Homepage, and Library News.

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.