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Beyond Books

The next generation of learning at local libraries



Laptime for Pipsqueaks is a popular activity at Bedford Hills Free Library.

Did you know that you could check out a fishing rod, guitar, or ukulele from your local library? Learn Photoshop or a new language? Take a parenting class or make a quilt? Bedford’s three libraries have evolved into different kinds of gathering spaces, each geared toward the very different populations they serve.

Bedford Hills Free Library
“As public libraries become less a place to store books and more about interpreting information, our job is to educate our constituents about what is available and how to use it,” says executive director Mary Esbjornson. “Bedford Hills has a large immigrant population, mostly Latino, putting us in the unique position of helping them develop literacy skills and become part of our community.” Children and family programs are the cornerstone of any library, and studies have proven that libraries play a key role in early literacy. Bedford Hills enlisted an ESL teacher from one of the elementary schools to reach out to parents of new students, inviting them to “Welcome to the Library” workshops, where they had a tour and learned what the library had to offer.

“Children can get their first library card at age five, so we made a little ceremony out of presenting it to them,” Esbjornson says, noting that the library is building its collection of bilingual storybooks and Spanish novels, and has hired a part-time bilingual staffer. Beyond literacy, the library wants to become a parenting resource. “The Child Care Council of Westchester makes parenting programs available to libraries for free, and in December will be holding our first program in Spanish. We want to be the destination for parents of children five and younger—after all, early literacy starts from birth!”

Bedford Free Library 
The building is more than 100 years old, with three decorative fireplaces and lots of inviting nooks for reading, but the technology is decidedly 21st-century modern. “It used to be that people would go to libraries primarily for research or to take out books,” says director Ann Cloonan. “Now people can download audio and ebooks to their phone, Kindle, or Nook. We have public access computers, technology and coding classes, and a mobile printing service: you email us plane tickets and the like and we’ll have them ready within two hours.” Cloonan credits the extensive Westchester Library System (WLS) for the library’s vast and varied offerings: 753 programs last year for adults, young adults, and kids.

“A small library like ours would never be able to offer all that on our own,” she says. “WLS even has sewing machines that libraries can request for classes, and we had a very popular class making quilts out of kids’ old t-shirts.” This is part of a growing trend of “maker spaces,” where people come to learn traditional skills, such as knitting and sewing. Admitting that hers is not a quiet library, Cloonan wants everyone to feel comfortable there, and they do: Students take the bus after school to hang out with friends, do their homework, or meet with a tutor; adults enjoy writing workshops and author series; little ones flock to story times and craft activities.  

Katonah Village Library 
Library director Mary Kane agrees the maker spaces are the future. “Instead of just books, libraries are becoming ‘libraries of things’ where people gather to learn something new.” Like how to build a doorbell or burglar alarm in a snap circuit class or create custom stickers with the new vinyl cutter. The most exciting ‘thing’ at Katonah is a 3-D printer where patrons can create a design, turn it into a digital file, and then print out something tangible.

“We had the kids make fidget spinners,” says Alana Shizume, the resident tech whiz. “I threw in some trigonometry to make sure angles were correct—we want them to have fun, but learn some basic engineering at the same time.” The 3-D printer isn’t just child’s play. “A plumber came in needing a small part,” Shizume recalls. “Rather than replacing the entire mechanism for $200, he designed the part he needed and printed it out. The best part is, if the part breaks again, we can just print out another one!” 

Helping seniors bridge the digital divide is another important area for the library. “People who aren’t comfortable going online come here, and we download tax forms for them,” Kane says. “We can also help with retrieving passwords and accessing voice and emails.” Not everything is high tech or typically found in libraries. Patrons in Katonah can borrow fishing rods and reels, guitars, and ukuleles, and get music lessons for free too! 


@ YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY
OverDrive: downloadable audiobooks and eBooks;
Freegal: downloadable music;
Hoopla: movies, TV, music albums, eAudiobooks, eBooks, comics, and graphic novels;
PressReader at Home: full issues of thousands of top newspapers and magazines 

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October 2018

Taconic Opera celebrate its 21thseason with another exciting event in October, bringing together two of the most popular one-act operas ever composed:  Giacomo Puccini’s Gianna Schicchi...

Cost: $32-$67; $7 senior discounts; $15 students all seats; family of 4 (any age) $85

Where:
Yorktown Stage
1974 Commerce St
Entrance on Veteran's Road
Yorktown Heights, NY  10598
View map »


Sponsor: Taconic Opera
Telephone: 855-886-7372
Contact Name: Dan Montez
Website »

More information

Tickets are on sale now for The Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation's presentation of Christmas Bingo: It's a Ho-Ho-Holy Night, an interactive, hilarious comedy about a...

Cost: 30.00

Where:
Rogers Park Middle School
21 Memorial Drive
Danbury`, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation
Telephone: 203-501-7424
Contact Name: Wendy Ann Mitchell
Website »

More information

Evocation of light is ever present in the romantic and experiential landscapes of Ira Barkoff. His recent works convey the spontaneity and the maturity of the artist’s hand and dedication to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: 1953
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

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On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

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Gunn Memorial Library in Washington, CT is pleased to welcome back literary scholar Mark Scarbrough as he leads a five week course The Soul Ajar: An Emily Dickinson Literature Course.  The classes...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »

More information

You’ve been hearing about energy efficiency, come see how it can make financial sense for you. Attend this session to meet with the Energy Coach and learn about financial assistance programs...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bedford Hills Community House
74 Main Street
Bedford Hills, NY  10507
View map »


Sponsor: Bedford 2020
Telephone: 914-302-7300
Contact Name: Lauren
Website »

More information

Tickets are on sale now for The Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation's presentation of Christmas Bingo: It's a Ho-Ho-Holy Night, an interactive, hilarious comedy about a...

Cost: 30.00

Where:
Rogers Park Middle School
21 Memorial Drive
Danbury`, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation
Telephone: 203-501-7424
Contact Name: Wendy Ann Mitchell
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Tickets are on sale now for The Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation's presentation of Christmas Bingo: It's a Ho-Ho-Holy Night, an interactive, hilarious comedy about a...

Cost: 30.00

Where:
Rogers Park Middle School
21 Memorial Drive
Danbury`, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation
Telephone: 203-501-7424
Contact Name: Wendy Ann Mitchell
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

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The Mental Health Association of Westchester (MHA) is thrilled to present An Evening of Conversation and Music with Modern Warrior LIVE on Wednesday, October 24th at the Chappaqua Performing Arts...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Chappaqua Performing Arts Center
580 Bedford Road
Chappaqua, NY  10514
View map »


Sponsor: The Mental Health Association of Westchester
Telephone: 914-265-7511
Contact Name: Connie Moustakas
Website »

More information

This one-hour workshop presented by Scott Ahrens from the NY Department of Financial Services includes a presentation, Q&A session and helpful brochures and takeaways on: Filling out FAFSA...

Cost: Free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Tickets are on sale now for The Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation's presentation of Christmas Bingo: It's a Ho-Ho-Holy Night, an interactive, hilarious comedy about a...

Cost: 30.00

Where:
Rogers Park Middle School
21 Memorial Drive
Danbury`, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation
Telephone: 203-501-7424
Contact Name: Wendy Ann Mitchell
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

On Wednesday, October 24, 1:00-2:30 pm, Bruce Museum Registrar and Curator Kirsten Reinhardt will speak about the Museum’s collection of Navajo textiles, from Native American weaving traditions...

Cost: Free for Museum members and visitors with paid admission

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-505-9897
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Wednesday, October 24th at 4:00 PM. Open to all ages. Free and no registration required. Decorate Halloween cookies with icing, sprinkles, and candy. Come in costume! Co-sponsored with the NS...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Wednesday, October 24th at 7:00 PM. Ages 12 and up. Make a paracord bracelet for yourself or for a friend (the holidays will be here soon). Hosted by Gabriella. For questions, you can email the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Facilitated by Nina Bertolino This program will meet every other Wednesday from 10:30 - 12:30 on the following dates: September 12th & 26th, October 10th & 24th, November 7th & 21st, December 5th...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

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Book Talk & Signing with Photographer William Abranowicz ​ Long time Bedford resident and photographer William Abranowicz will share insights about his new book, American Originals in his...

Cost: 20.00

Where:
Historical Hall
608 Old Post Road
Bedford, NY  10506
View map »


Sponsor: Bedford Historical Society
Telephone: 914-234-9751
Contact Name: Sophia Bernier
Website »

More information

In this talk, Barbara Paul Robinson will discuss her latest book, Heroes of Horticulture: Americans Who Transformed the Landscape, which chronicles the stories of eighteen iconic pioneers of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Westchester Community College
75 Grasslands Road
Gateway Center
Valhalla, NY  10595
View map »


Sponsor: The Garden Conservancy
Telephone: 845-424-6500
Website »

More information

Tickets are on sale now for The Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation's presentation of Christmas Bingo: It's a Ho-Ho-Holy Night, an interactive, hilarious comedy about a...

Cost: 30.00

Where:
Rogers Park Middle School
21 Memorial Drive
Danbury`, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation
Telephone: 203-501-7424
Contact Name: Wendy Ann Mitchell
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join us for an evening celebrating Italian culture! You won't want to miss this spectacular evening, Italian style! Antipasto, Buffet Dinner Italian-style, Wine, Music, Entertainment,...

Cost: $40

Where:
Church of the Assumption
131 Union Avenue
Peekskill, NY  10566
View map »


Telephone: 914-737-8872
Contact Name: Mary Mancini

More information

Tickets are on sale now for The Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation's presentation of Christmas Bingo: It's a Ho-Ho-Holy Night, an interactive, hilarious comedy about a...

Cost: 30.00

Where:
Rogers Park Middle School
21 Memorial Drive
Danbury`, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation
Telephone: 203-501-7424
Contact Name: Wendy Ann Mitchell
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Friday mornings from 10:30 to 12:30. Free, no registration. Open to adults and older teens. Participants are asked to bring their own supplies in, but some basic supplies will be provided by the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Show More...
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The Evnin Rising Stars program is an incubator for leaders in classical music performance. Along with Pamela Frank, distinguished artist/mentors cellist Timothy Eddy and pianist...

Cost: $25, $40 Free tickets for students 18 and under!

Where:
Rosen House Music Room
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Rd
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
Telephone: 914-232-1252
Website »

More information

Tickets are on sale now for The Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation's presentation of Christmas Bingo: It's a Ho-Ho-Holy Night, an interactive, hilarious comedy about a...

Cost: 30.00

Where:
Rogers Park Middle School
21 Memorial Drive
Danbury`, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation
Telephone: 203-501-7424
Contact Name: Wendy Ann Mitchell
Website »

More information

Looking for a new lampshade? Interested in a free office supplies? How about a Lego set? It's all here for the taking at Bedford 2020's Take It Or Leave It Shed! If the thought of more...

Cost: 0

Where:
Take it or Leave it Shed
Bedford Hills Train Station Parking Lot
Bedford Hills, NY
View map »


Sponsor: Energize Bedford
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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