Posts by Brian Kenney

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.