This Week on Martine


News from the White Plains Public Library

AARP Tax-Aide is Back!

One of our most popular programs is returning: the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide offers free, individualized tax preparation for low-to moderate-income taxpayers—especially those 50 and older. Volunteers are trained to assist you in filing certain tax forms and schedules, including the Form 1040.

The program, which begins Tuesday, February 5 will be offered on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 am to 3 pm on a first come, first served basis in the Community Room on the first floor.

You will need to bring your important documents with you; here’s a list of what to have with you.

Interested in other locations? This locator will help you identify other organizations in Westchester that host the service.

Brian Kenney

Mark Your Calendar: Spanish for Beginners

This Spring we will once again offer a popular beginner level class in Spanish. The emphasis will be on spoken Spanish, and the course is designed for students with little or no knowledge of the language. Participants will be introduced to simple, everyday usage of vocabulary, grammar, and conversation in an active, participatory and fun environment.

Classes meet Mondays from 7:00-8:45 p.m., starting Monday March 5. Registration is required. To register, visit our online calendar or the Reference Desk. Space is limited. Due to its popularity, this class cannot be repeated. There is no waiting list.

Instructor Naicy Petrill is a native of Peru. She currently teaches Spanish at Westchester Community College and holds a NY state teaching certificate for Spanish.

Non-fiction for Reluctant Readers

Becoming a reader can be tough, and not everyone follows the same trajectory in learning to read. One factor that can help–and this is where libraries come in–is to find engaging books that will match a child's interest. Below is a list of high-interest books from the Trove, but if you know a teen who needs encouraging in reading, take a look at the Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers–many of these titles will be in the Edge.

How to Survive Anything: Shark Attack, Lightning, Embarrassing Parents, Pop Quizzes, and Other Perilous Situations (Gr 4-9) by Rachel Buchholz, illustrated by Chris Philpot, YA 646.7 B
Tweens can take a break from middle school drama and social politics to enjoy an easy read on surviving the jungle, a desert island, a pop quiz and more. Engaging illustrations combined with an edgy middle-school tone promises to swiftly draw-in the most reluctant tween reader.

Drawing in reluctant readers in is easy once you know their passion. After a few targeted questions you will find subjects in this National Geographic Kid's "Everything" series (J 629.892 S) sure to spark interest. Find subjects as varied as robotics, sports, money and more  with eye-catching graphics.

Have an eight year old who loves superheroes but is a reluctant reader? Try Meet the Marvel Super Heroes by Scott Peterson. The short chapters are accessible to late bloomers in 3rd and 4th grade and feature cool bits of inside information on everyone's favorite Marvel heroes.

Any recent copy of the Guinness Book of World Records is sure to get reluctant readers flipping through the pages in fascination and reading without their even knowing that they're reading! Daring Dogs (J 636.7 M) features records such as the longest tongue - this title is taken by a St. Bernard in South Dakota with a tongue that's 7.31 inches long!

Design Thinking in the Edge

Starting next Monday, January 29, teens in the Edge can begin learning design thinking with Extraordinaires on the last Monday of every month. Extraordinaire's Design Studio "is a fun way to learn design thinking principles and empathy," says Edge librarian Erik Carlson. "Participants are given a character and learn about them through images. Then, working in groups or individually, teens come up with designs, simple or complex, that will help make the character's life easier. At the end of each session everyone shares their design with the rest of the class."

There are plenty of characters and challenges, so make sure to stop by the Edge next Monday at 4:00 p.m.!

This Week in White Plains

It might feel too cold to dream of that sweet summer sunshine, but it's just the right time to start planning your child's summer camp activities! Saturday, February 3 is the White Plains Recreation and Parks Summer Camp Fair. While you meet and talk to camp directors and staff, your kids can enjoy a magician show at 11:00 a.m., popcorn and crafts. For additional information, call (914) 422-1424.

Honoring Ursula K. Le Guin

Iconic American author Ursula K. Le Guin died this week in Oregon at the age of 88.   Described by the New York Times as "an immensely popular author who brought literary depth and a tough-minded feminist sensibility to science fiction and fantasy," Le Guin leaves behind a large and diverse body of work as well as many fans, among them fellow writers.   Neil Gaiman tweeted "Her words are always with us.  Some of them are written on my soul.  I miss her as a glorious funny prickly person, & I miss her as the deepest and smartest of the writers, too."

In honor of Le Guin's passing, and in celebration of National Science Fiction Day (January 2nd), we're checking out her work–see our in-library Le Guin display, on the first floor, near Fiction–and are are adding some new Science Fiction and Fantasy titles to our To Be Read piles.  

by Andy Weir

In Artemis, the only city on the moon, a 20-something smuggler who dreams of joining the Extravehicular Activity Guild and leading tours on the moon's surface finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy involving a crime syndicate.  

City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty
The first book in a trilogy set in 1700s Cairo, Egypt,  “this lyrical historical fantasy debut brings to vivid life the ancient mythological traditions of an Islamic world...Chakraborty’s grasp of Middle Eastern history, folklore, and culture inspires a swiftly moving plot, richly drawn characters, and a beautifully constructed world that will entrance Fantasy afficionados.” –Library Journal

by Nick Harkaway

Harkaway, the son of John Le Carre, has written a detective story set in the near future that is a "beguiling, multilayered, sprawling novel that blends elements of Philip K. Dick-tinged sci-fi, mystery, politics, and literary fiction in a most satisfying brew."  –Kirkus Reviews

Iron Gold: Book 4 of the Red Rising Saga by Pierce Brown
The story begins ten years after the last book in Brown's popular Red Rising Trilogy ends and marks the beginning of a new series set on Mars.  When asked why he wrote it, Brown remarked:  "To be honest, I was curious. Not just about what happens to an empire once it has been broken, but what rises from the ashes. What happens to rebels once they take on the mantle of rule. Authority is a pressure cooker of responsibility that twists and hardens." –Entertainment Weekly

Red Clocks by Leni Zumas
"In this work, billed as a Handmaid's Tale for the new millennium, women in an Oregon fishing town struggle with issues of freedom and identity in a grave new world where abortion and in vitro fertilization are banned. Single-mother Ro wants a baby, talented student Mattie is pregnant without recourse, mother-of-two Susan faces a failing marriage, and Gin brings the plot together when she's arrested for practicing homeopathy." –Library Journal

Writing Workshop for Families of Veterans

The adjustment for American veterans returning from war extends to their families. “My late father, David Rust, was a member of the ‘Flying Tigers’ that flew dangerous missions over China and Myanmar [Burma] during World War II,” says Irvington-based telecommunications consultant Julia Rust. “I was born after he was discharged from the Air Force, but everything about him until his death in 2014 was influenced by the war—the way he moved, the way he drove, who he was.”

In 2014, Rust and David Surface, director of Veterans Writing Workshop (VWW), organized the first writing workshop for family members in partnership with Family Services of Westchester. “I was a participant in the first workshop we held, and I learned a lot by writing about my dad,” she says.

Families of Veterans Writing Workshop will lead a 10-week program at the Library starting on Tuesday, January 30, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. Funding comes from Poets & Writers and the New York State Council on the Arts.

“I have found the workshops to be very moving and therapeutic,” says Rust. “We help family members tell their stories using writing exercises that get to the root of memory and open up creativity. Most compelling to me are those who never knew their fathers.”

At the program’s conclusion on April 17, the participants’ writing will be published in an attractive print anthology, and they will have the opportunity to share their writing at a public reading.

For further information and to register for the workshop, contact Julia Rust: (914) 629-4016;

Steve Cohn

Photo of the Week

Left: Winter Morning over White Plains. Photo by Sebastián Guerrero.

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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