“I’ve been with the Library for nine wonderful years, full of renewed facilities, new programs and services, and, best of all, new books! While I appreciate all the Library offers, I have a special passion for book discussions, and facilitate Book ‘Em, a monthly crime fiction discussion group. You can usually find me at the Welcome desk weekdays 2-3:00 p.m. Before coming to White Plains I worked as editorial director of Library Journal and School Library Journal, and before that was with the Brooklyn Public Library. I try and spend as much time as I can on the Outer Cape.”
Kathy Degyansky is the Assistant Library Director of the White Plains Public Library. Before coming to White Plains, Kathy was the Executive Director of the Southwest Florida Library Network and from 2002-2010 was the Assistant Director of Programs and Services at the Queens Library. She lives in Queens with her husband and naughty cat, Sassy.
Tim has been the Manager of Adult Services since 2011. After earning his MLIS from McGill University, Tim left the Great White North to work at the Baychester Branch of NYPL in Co-op City. Next came a short stint at the Mid-Manhattan Library of NYPL before joining the White Plains Library in 1999. One of Tim’s roles for the Library is serving on the Mayor’s Youth Board where he has developed a close relationship with the White Plains Youth Bureau. Tim’s wife Z is also a librarian in Westchester, Manager of the Crestwood Branch of the Yonkers Public Library, and they met in library school in Montreal! If you do not see Tim at the Welcome or Hub Desk, you can find him on the slopes of Whiteface, paddle boarding in the Long Island Sound with Z, playing bridge, or playing Paddle Tennis at the Metropolis Club. Tim’s favorite band is AC/DC and his favorite movie is Strange Brew [Take off, eh!].
Kristen Thornton-De Stafeno earned her Master of Science in Information Science from UAlbany in May 2017 and started as the Marketing Librarian here in White Plains two months later. Kristen got her start in libraries in 2013 when she began working as a part-time circulation clerk at the Pleasant Valley Library—it was while working there that she decided to pursue a career in libraries due to her passion for promoting equatable access to information and her first-hand knowledge that libraries have the ability to change lives. When not working behind the scenes on marketing content, you can find Kristen at the Welcome & Hub desks, co-hosting our monthly Poetry Slam, or assisting with one of our other adult programs. In her free time Kristen enjoys going to concerts and rewatching Vincent Price's filmography.
After working for the White Plains Board of Education for almost 3 years, Mary came to the White Plains Public Library in December 1990, as a clerk typist in the circulation department. Mary is currently the Head of Circulation. She also took on some added responsibilities helping out in the collection development department. Mary has 3 adult children, 2 sons and 1 daughter; and 6 beautiful grandchildren, 5 girls and 1 very special grandson ranging in ages from 14 years old – 4 years old.
Ibi Holden has worked at the library for the past 16 years. She works as a library clerk in the circulation department. In her spare time she likes to spend time with her family/friends and enjoys quiet nights at home. Ibi resides in New Rochelle with her husband and 2 sons.
“I have been working at the White Plains Public Library for over 10 years in the Circulation Department. I enjoy listening to audiobooks on my commute to work. My favorite book so far has been Me Before You by Jojo Meyes. On my days off I like to relax and hangout with my friends and family. On the weekends, I also enjoy watching movies and going out to eat at different local restaurants.”
Sandra Stewart began working at WPPL in 1993. She worked about 2 years in the Trove before joining the Circulation Department. She loves working at the Library because she gets to meet interesting people and she enjoys spending time with her co-workers. Sandra's hobbies are reading, movies (action), and cooking.
Madhu Sundriyal has worked at the Library since 1999. She began part-time and became full-time after about 2 years. Madhu has very much enjoyed her time at the Library through all these years. Being a resident of White Plains has strongly contributed to this. She says it “feels good to be able to help neighbors and people who have been visiting the library for years.” Seeing her own daughters grow up while visiting the library has also made it a huge part of her family’s life. Madhu says she has seen many bright children grow up before her eyes as they visited the library throughout their youth and believes it has played a positive role in the lives of both children and adults.
Christiane worked in book publishing in New York for many years before getting a library degree at SUNY Albany. She has been at the White Plains Public Library for decades—first as a Reference Librarian and book selector and then as Head of the Collection Management department, which acquires all books and AV materials. In the past years she has also coordinated the Library's Wellness programs on Reiki, meditation, you name it. An avid reader and swimmer, she enjoys most of all helping library patrons and colleagues.
“A White Plains native, I've spent almost my entire life living here and watching the City evolve to where it is today. After college, I worked for seven years as the Test Materials Quality Control Engineer at the Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers where I eventually became known as the resident PC guru. Seeing at the time where those new-fangled personal computers were headed, I decided on a career change and started working for Prodigy Services Company providing technical support helping to introduce members to their first ever online experience. Over the next 15 years as Prodigy went through corporate changes, I was laid off, rehired and relocated twice, once to Tennessee and once to Texas. I eventually worked as an application developer specializing in applications for the company intranet and also to support a call center environment, the latter leading me to learn much about the development and implementation of expert systems.
Returning to White Plains in 2004, I was fortunate enough to end up in my current role here at the Library where I very much enjoy accommodating the technology needs of staff and patrons alike. While it's a constant challenge keeping up with so many different aspects of technology, I welcome the on-going mental exercise it provides. As for my interests, I suppose they're somewhat atypical: light & sound brain stimulation, meditation, biofeedback, psychic phenomena, physics (quantum and otherwise), holistic medicine, religion and philosophy, holography and fractals. I also enjoy dabbling in artwork and writing. Although I enjoy the written word very much, I find little time to sit and read anything but technical blather. It's a shame when I find myself surrounded by so much to read with so little time to do so. The same can be said of all the latest VR, 3D and other tech “toys” we have here at the Library with which I'd love to spend time. As far as recreation goes, my passion is paddleball, a definitive NYC sport. Weather permitting, I play once a week at Orchard Beach.”
Austin Olney is the Digital Media Specialist at the White Plains Public Library, teaching patrons to be digitally literate and providing them with technology skills necessary for the modern world. Receiving his Master’s Degree of Science in Education from SUNY Cortland in 2011, he earned a New York State Social Studies teaching certification and later A+ (Plus) Certification from CompTIA IT Industry & Association. Austin has experience teaching in a variety of educational institutions, and enjoys applying advanced technology skills to actively engage students with diverse backgrounds and learning styles. He currently lives in Poughkeepsie, NY, with his wife and daughter…and another baby on the way!
After receiving his MSIS from UAlbany, Josh started his professional career as a Teen Librarian in NJ before becoming the Youth Services Supervisor at Utica Public Library, and then the Manager of Youth Services here in White Plains. He’s very interested in how play is the most effective way through which children learn, as well as how pop culture and games can be integrated into library programs and services to create engaging and interesting activities. Josh has been married to his amazing wife for over fifteen years and they have an absolutely wonderfully cool young daughter. He’s a fan of graphic novels, action adventure movies, board and card games, and is a supporter of Liverpool FC. You’ll Never Walk Alone!
Raquel Cavalcanti received her MLS from Rutger's University eons ago. She started her career in Children's Services at NYPL working at various branches in Staten Island and the Bronx. She loves interacting with the littlelest library-goers in Mother Goose and Trove Time, and really enjoys finding that “perfect book” for the kids in the Trove. When she is not working, she likes to travel with her family. Recently, she greatly enjoyed participating in the Day of the Dead celebrations in San Diego, CA and even more recently enjoyed a trolley car rendition of Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol in Salem, MA. She really likes cozy mysteries, cats, and freshly-baked goodies.
Erik Carlson started his Library career as a YA Librarian in the Washington Heights Branch of NYPL in 2007. He worked at NYPL in different branches for four years before coming to White Plains in 2011. Since starting at the White Plains Public Library, Erik has built a community for teenagers in the Library by improving the Nonfiction, Fiction, and Graphic Novel collections. He also started weekly programs for teenagers and a teen advisory group. Erik assisted in designing plans for the Edge and the Media Lab, deciding on purchases for some of the equipment and resources available now. These days you can find him in the Edge during the afternoon, keeping a watchful eye on the teens, playing card games, and answering a variety of questions.
Tata Cañuelas is devoted to sharing programs that celebrate holidays and explore cultural diversity. She has planned programs for such well-known holidays as Groundhog's Day and St. Patrick's Day. She has established and grown connections in the community, and with them has presented creative events introducing Day of the Dead, Chinese New Year, and Diwali to the broader community. Tata brings passion and enthusiasm to her programs and looks forward to sharing them with Westchester's families. She earned her MLS at Queens College. Tata loves to travel, watch movies, read (especially cookbooks), cook, and eat.
Kathlyn Carroll is a YA librarian, working with teens in the Edge. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, she began her library career as an undergraduate working in a college library. She earned her MLIS degree in 2012 from Florida State University. She joined the Edge team in December 2013, one week after the Edge's grand opening. She feels lucky to have fun at work, and still can't quite believe that her job involves coaching book trivia teams, sewing, playing card games, and joking with teens.
Ashley is a lifelong lover of libraries – she was taken to her hometown library many times as a child and has worked in them since her high school days. She is passionate about early learning and teaching caregivers techniques to make their children book lovers as well as putting excellent and diverse stories into the hands of the youth. Ashley has lived in New York for her whole life and has no plans to leave! On the weekends, she likes to see Broadway shows, visit museums, and enjoy delicious meals while reading. She loves the beach, board games, and superhero television shows as well as films. You’ll most likely find her being really excited about seeing a dog or enthusiastically discussing the New York Rangers since they are her favorite sports team.
Lauren Lichtenthal was born into the library world. Her mother has been with the Westchester Library System since before she was born. As an act of teenage rebellion, she decided to get her Masters Degree in Education instead of Library Science. After teaching for ten years, she finally made her way to library land by getting her Library Science degree from The University at Buffalo. She spends her time outside the library reading, relaxing, and spending quality time with her husband and four year old son.
Caroline Reddy was born in Shiraz, Iran and moved to the United States when she was eight years old. She fell in love with stories after reading The Last Unicorn and Boy's Life. She has a Master of Arts in Writing from Manhattanville College, an MLS from Queens College and a background in Education. Caroline has been involved in a variety of writing communities including For the Love of Words and Immigrants & Exile. Her work has been published in Breadcrumb Magazine and The Literary Oak Review. She is interested in developing the notion of Writing Boxes to motivate young patrons to tell their own unique stories in a fun way. Some of her favorite books include: Paradise, A Tale for the Time Being, Catching the Moon, Speak, Boy's Life, As I Lay Dying, LOTR, Vinyl Princess, Ghost World and Persepolis. Caroline also enjoys live music and is interested in the healing arts–she holds a certification in Reiki III.