Westchester Library System

Empowering Libraries Empowering Communities

aka WLS   |   ELMSFORD, NY   |  http://www.westchesterlibraries.org

Mission

For 60 years, WLS has served as a provider of services for the 38 public libraries of Westchester County. One of NY State’s 23 library systems, established under the State Department of Education Law in 1958. WLS’ mission is to improve library services, to reduce libraries’ cost through economies of scale and to ensure that all residents have library access on site or virtually 24/7. WLS is supported by funds from member fees, federal, state and county government, foundations, corporations, and individuals.

Ruling year info

1966

Exeutive Director

Mr. Terry L. Kirchner PhD.

Main address

570 Taxter Rd

ELMSFORD, NY 10523 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

13-1882114

NTEE code info

Libraries, Library Science (B70)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2019, 2018 and 2017.
Register now

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

This profile needs more info.

If it is your nonprofit, add a problem overview.

Login and update

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Community Outreach Programs

WLS outreach services are managed by the Department of Public Information and Engagement, which works to connect underserved and unserved communities to local libraries and the library system. Target audiences include low-income families, immigrants, those with low print- or digital literacy, and those with a cognitive or physical disability. We also work to connect institutionalized adults, i.e., those in hospitals, and nursing homes, as well as those currently in or returning from a correctional facility.

Several programs specifically reach older adult populations. These include: Senior Benefits Individual Counseling Services (Medicare and related benefits counseling), Senior Law Day programming (legal and financial education and counseling), and Music and Memory at the Library (at home care for those with dementia). We also offer on-demand consultation on enrollment and use of the NYS Talking Book and Braille Library and mobile devices to help patrons “Read for a Lifetime.” A pilot program, Vision Labs for visually impaired adults launched in July 2020 in partnership with member library, Yonkers Riverfront Library and supported by a generous grant from the Field Hall Foundation.

WLS public outreach services continue at its pre-pandemic pace now with social distancing in place. For example:
● Senior Law Day Workshops: Senior Law Day has transformed the service platform from in-person, one-on-one engagement with subject experts to live webinars almost weekly and will be doing so in the months to come. The programs are recorded and posted to the Senior Law Day Collaborative website, managed by WLS which also offers the opportunity to ask a question of the team of more than 150 professionals supporting the collaborative—attorneys, financial planners, geriatric care managers, and more.
● Senior Benefit Individual Counseling (SBIC):
The year began with the usual steady flow of counseling at nine library sites located throughout the county. At the beginning of March, we made the decision to suspend in-person activities to protect our volunteers and the seniors they serve during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since we have always offered remote counseling through a phone and email helpline service, the SBIC Helpline became our main counseling medium. Public Medicare presentations and Medicare Minute presentations will be delivered online, by phone and disseminated through our senior center contacts. We have leveraged our large volunteer force to help the library system promote information about the Census, as well as up-to-date sources for information related to the Covid-19 and senior support services.
● The COVID-19 pandemic has added many layers of additional stress to individuals’ lives and there has been an increased interest in programming that helps relieve this stress. WLS Director of PIE Elena Falcone has tapped into this interest and has been working with member libraries to provide virtual Breath-Body-Mind (BBM) programming to the public and to work with member library staff to build in BBM practices into their professional activities. WLS is further building capacity for local BBM instruction across County service sectors, including the member public libraries. All programs will of course be virtual using Zoom technology.

For more information on WLS Outreach Programs visit: https://www.westchesterlibraries.org/services-programs/

Population(s) Served
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people

As a cooperative library system, WLS supports 38 independent public libraries among the diverse communities of the county. WLS empowers its member libraries and the communities served through:
• Cost saving efficiencies through cooperative and centralized services.
• Access online and through system–wide delivery to WLS’s member library extensive collection of 5.3 million items, including e-books, print books, audiobooks, music, DVDs, magazines, maps, pamphlets and more.
• A technology network serving all 38 public libraries – one of the largest technology networks in the county.
• Professional development and staff training for libraries and their boards, building stronger libraries in every community.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Westchester Library System’s (WLS) mission is rooted in the values of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The ultimate goal of WLS is to ensure the availability of programs, services, resources, and information that help individuals reach their full potential. To that end, WLS provides ongoing training and professional development for library directors, staff, and library trustees fostering best practices in library services, community engagement, and fiscal responsibility. Additionally, WLS offers robust, community centered outreach programs collaborating with libraries, community agencies and nonprofits to serve the County’s most vulnerable populations.

a. As a cooperative public library system, WLS offers its member libraries cost efficiencies for the purchase of equipment and technology, robust training for library staff that includes leadership development, staff and management workshops and program development. A shared delivery system and online catalog enables system-wide availability of books and materials for all card holders.
b. A strong central outreach program offers robust programming for vulnerable populations, including seniors, youth-at-risk, low literate adults, adults seeking new job skills and transitioning into the workplace, including those who were recently incarcerated.
c. During the COVID-19 pandemic, WLS quickly pivoted to work with libraries, nonprofit partners and Westchester County to continue Complete Count 2020 activities, support individual libraries in efforts to continue library services and to provide digital access to those in need. Additionally, WLS initiated staff and public programs to help individuals cope with the uncertainty, anxiety and technology challenges of the pandemic.

Strong leadership, fiscal responsibility, and a dedicated, knowledgeable staff are the foundation for WLS’s capacity and sustainability. WLS is governed by a 15 member board of trustees each representing a “library district” within the County. An active Public Library Directors Association (PLDA) represents all 38 member libraries and makes recommendations on critical library services.

Financials

Westchester Library System
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Westchester Library System

Board of directors
as of 2/25/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Susan Murdoch

Catherine Draper

Attorney

Karen Zevin

Market Researcher/Data Analyst

Jonathan Marshall

Library Advocate

Edris Scherer

Business owner

Bernie Seiler

retired/publishing

Sean Ryan

retired/technology

Susan Murdock

psychologist

Wes Iwanski

VP Technology/Downtown Travel

Maureen LeBlanc

former Assistant VP Federal Reserve

Andrea Bober

Citibank

Denise Serra

Senior Manager, Plan/IRS Qualifications Technical Services/Mutual of America

Karen Kelley

Consultant Heath Care

Julie Worthy

Attorney

Francis Okelo

Former Ambassador and UN Special Envoy

Joseph Puglia

retired, Yonkers City Schools Superindent