This Week on Martine


News from the White Plains Public Library

Come Join in the Conversation!

I’m proud that our Library has a long history of helping people learn English. We have a great partnership with Westchester Community College that provides formal instruction in English at several different levels as well as times throughout the week.

But we also offer English Conversation Groups to give English learners a much-needed chance to practice English in a supportive environment. The groups are led by librarians as well as volunteers, and we try and keep each group to six or fewer participants.

The goals of the program are simple: to get people talking and to have fun. Leaders typically prepare a topic or two (what’s your favorite meal? what has surprised you the most about life in the U.S?) and maybe a brief reading or two. We don’t spend a lot of time teaching or correcting—just helping people along and keeping the conversation flowing.

Participants come from all over the globe. Many are in White Plains for work or education, others are accompanying a spouse whose career has brought him or her to Westchester. The program can help new arrivals feel less isolated, and provide them with an opportunity to make friends.

But the program is just as rewarding for the leaders, and many of our volunteers have participated for years. English Conversation Groups are offered on Monday and Thursday from 2-3 p.m., and if you want to explore volunteering as a conversation group leader, get in touch with Assistant Director Kathy Degyansky.

Brian Kenney

We're There (Almost...)

The Foundation is in the very final stages of fundraising for the Hub, our new and improved first floor. If you haven’t been to the Library recently, come by and take a look! Thank you to everyone who has made contributions of all sizes to support this transformative project. Based on activity over the past few weeks, the Hub is fast becoming a popular destination that will add vitality to downtown White Plains for years to come.  

This project was funded through a unique public - private partnership:  A $1 million commitment, received through an anonymous gift to the Foundation was matched by $1 million in funding from the City of White Plains. The Foundation committed to raise an additional $500,000 for the Hub and we’re over 90% of the way towards our goal! Thank you, White Plains and beyond!

Naming Opportunity

The Foundation has received generous Named Gifts for various areas throughout the first floor including five of the six conference rooms along the back wall of the Library. A number of donor plaques were installed last month and there’s more to come. If you’d like to be a part of the Hub for decades to come, a named gift of $15,000 for the last available conference room is a wonderful way to celebrate your family or organization, or to honor a loved one.

 “It’s the best deal in town” said a local philanthropist who’s familiar with the pricing of named gifts throughout the tri-state area, “and improving a public library is one of the most consequential investments people can make these days.”  For more information about named gifts, please contact Nancy Rubini, WPLF Executive Director at 914-422-1495 or
Join your neighbors and help complete the Hub Campaign! If you haven’t contributed or if you’d like to increase an earlier gift, it’s not too late to donate today by clicking here or by mailing a check to the address below. Gifts of $1,000 and above will be acknowledged on a permanent plaque near the lobby, coming soon.

How to Hygge

Do you Hygge?  Winter is the perfect time of year for it.  According to Meik Wiking, Hygge is a Danish/Norwegian word that roughly translates to "coziness of the soul, taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things, the absence of annoyance...or cocoa by candlelight."   Good books, along with warm woolens and hot cocoa, lend themselves perfectly to the art of Hygge.

The Little Book of Hygge:  Danish Secrets to Happy Living
by Meik Wiking
[158.1 W]
Examines why pastries, sweaters, candles, and time spent cozily chilling with friends make Danes happier than most people.

How to Hygge:  The Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life
by Signe Johansen
[646.7 J]
The basics of hygge explained, from "Keep it Simple," to "Kinship, Conviviality, and Openness," "Healthy Hedonism," and "Go Outside."  Includes recipes for comforting yet healthy entrees and decadent cakes.

Scandikitchen Fika & Hygge:  Comforting Cakes & Bakes from Scandinavia With Love by Bronte Aurell [641.5948 NORDIC A]  
Recipes for delicious sweet Nordic baked treats to enjoy while you're hygge-ing, such as Kladdkaka (sticky white chocolate cake), Hallongrottor (small raspberry treats), and Kanelbullar (real cinnamon buns).

Happy as a Dane:  10 Secrets of the Happiest People on Earth
by Malene Rydahl
  [158.1 R]
Why do the Danes consistently at the top of the Happiest People lists?  Is it their work-life balance?  Hygge?  All is revealed in this slim paperback.

The year of living Danishly : Uncovering the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country
by Helen Russell
[948.9506 R]
When her husband gets a job at Lego, a British journalist leaves London for rural Denmark and samples Danish living.

Marque su calendario

El próximo miércoles, 24 de enero a las 6:30 p.m. la Biblioteca ofrece Ayuda con la preparación de impuestos, un My Money Workshop ofrecido en colaboración con Infante Immigration Connection, Inc. La presentadora Yolanda Infante ofrecerá información básica que le ayudará a preparar sus impuestos. Un programa en español de 2 horas de duración.

Next Wednesday, January 24 at 6:30 p.m. we're offering Tax Time for a Successful Future, a My Money Workshop offered in collaboration with Infante Immigrant Connection, Inc. Presenter Yolanda Infante will provide the basics in helping you prepare your taxes. This program is presented entirely in Spanish.

Photo of the Week

Left: A sushi roll, snake, Pikachu and more from our Which Craft? Wednesday: Sculpey Time program in the Edge. Photo by staff.

We want your photos! In each issue of This Week on Martine we will feature one patron submitted photo that was taken in White Plains. To submit your photography for a chance to be featured, visit our photo submission page, upload one of your photos and fill out our form with a short description of the photo and your name.
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