All About Armonk

North Castle Daily News

Click to Free Kindle eBooks with Your Library Card

September 15, 2014
In just a few moments you can borrow, check out and transfer eBooks from the North Castle Library.

• Go to and click the Audio/EBooks link
• Sign in and enter your library card # and PIN, then click
• Select a book and click borrow
• Enter your library card # and PIN, Click Sign In
• Click Confirm and Download
• You will be re-directed to
• Click Get Library Book
• When prompted, sign into your Amazon account
• The title** will be transferred wirelessly to the Kindle or you may have to register your Kindle device

** Note that certain titles must be transferred via USB. These titles will provide you with a link describing the transfer process.

Library Director Ends His Chapter at North Castle

June 11, 2014
Effective June 6, Scott Jarzombek has resigned his position as Library Director at the North Castle Public Library to assume a terrific new job as Executive Director of the Albany Public Library.

"Leaving North Castle was a very difficult decision, it's a director's dream to have such a supportive community and talented staff. I am grateful for the time I spent at NCPL,” says Scott Jarzombek of his North Castle Public Library experience.

"We will miss Scott greatly but we thank him for all that he did over the last year in leading our library team and helping improve our library. He is very deserving of this significant promotion,” says Sean Ryan, President of the North Castle Public Library Board of Trustees. "Scott made many changes that have helped us better serve our community. He has set us on an excellent course that our staff and Trustees are eager to build on."

North Castle Public Library

Armonk • (914) 273-3887
19 Whippoorwill Road East • Armonk, NY

North White Plains • (914) 948-6359
10 Clove Road • North White Plains, NY

North Castle Library Services for Children and Youth - Books and Beyond
Meet Megan Dean - Supervisor of Youth Services
By Nomi Schwartz

May 22, 2014
Big changes have come to the North Castle Library, but in the best library tradition, they have been accomplished skillfully and without a lot of noise. With the introduction of new library director Scott Jarzombek nine months ago, many plans formulated over past years have been implemented and new ideas have been developed.

The staff is committed to promoting the library as an essential “third place” in the community -- neither work nor home, and unlike the mall or the grocery store, a non-commercial option in which people can meet, relax, and discover new ideas. Libraries serve these functions for all ages, according to Jarzombek, but for the youngest patrons, the library can be an enormous factor in guiding children both toward early literacy and lifelong learning.

For Megan Dean, North Castle Library’s Supervisor of Youth Services, there are innumerable ways to attract and engage children and teens at the library. Dean aspires to build both literacy skills and instill a love of reading for babies through teens. The seven-year veteran of North Castle Library was originally the head of the children’s department, but through library restructuring her role has expanded to include young adults. Dean considers the library very fortunate since there is a well-rounded staff for the new conjoined department, including a part-time children’s librarian, two children’s library assistants, and a number of specialists contracted to run specific activities.

The Children’s events listed on the Library’s calendar, available at the, demonstrate the scope and variety of programs Dean and her staff coordinate. At least one activity is scheduled six days a week from Bounce the Baby and Mother Goose Story Time for infants to age 4, to craft programs and math games for school-aged children. Mommy and Toddler Yoga is scheduled twice a week.  A new program for teens focusing on getting ready for college is in the works.

Most of the programs for the younger children feature music -- singing and rhythm are essential to encouraging early literacy, Dean says. “Children learn many new words through songs and rhythmic singing gives young children an understanding about how language and reading sounds. And it’s participatory and lots of fun.”

Participation is essential to the success of all library programs, and Dean and staff have increased participation greatly over the years. She credits flexibility as one reason most sessions are packed. “We don’t enforce any strict age limits for the programs, sometimes parents or caregivers can’t come on certain days or at certain times,” she explains. “It’s ok for a 3-year-old to attend a Bounce the Baby program and play with a toy while listening to the songs.
Sometimes children accompany younger or older siblings to programs and we make them welcome, although the program may be structured for a younger or older age group. We have discontinued registration for specific days and programs.”

Dean is no stranger to coordinating activities among children of different ages - she grew up in the nearby hamlet of South Salem the second eldest of six children. She notes that her youngest siblings are only slightly older than her young adult readers and can contribute valuable opinions and recommendations for reading lists. Her two children, boys aged 10 months and 3 years, give her ample opportunities to try various approaches to early literacy and to gauge reactions to some of the 150 to 200 books she reads each year. She also brings her experience of working in an urban setting in the New York City Public Library System. When not reading, working, or spending time with her family, Dean is rediscovering her passion for distance running. She plans to run a half-marathon in Lake Placid in June.

Under Dean’s supervision, the Children’s area has revamped the physical space to allow more room for activities and discovery. All materials for early childhood are now located near the entrance so young children can access them immediately. The Library has continued to build its large DVD and audiobook collections and offers many kits including CDs and books. Computers with programs for early literacy are available mainly for younger children since by grade 4 most come with their own devices.

Once their children enter the school system, parents are confronted with enormous time-management issues, Dean notes. “Kids are so scheduled with sports and after school programs, we are happy to be able to offer our craft programs and Lego Club on Friday afternoons when things are a little less rushed. We’re always here to offer help with assignments, and doing one of our favorite parts of the job, recommending the right book.”

Dean didn’t always dream of being a librarian. She wasn’t even a huge reader as a child. That helps her understand how important it is to make connections with all kids, even some of the more reluctant readers and to find ways that the library can become a significant part of their lives. She credits a convenient time slot in her Library School schedule and an “amazing teacher” for her introduction to the fascinating world of children’s literature.

“We have to get away from people thinking of the library as “that shhhh place,” she laughs. “That place doesn’t exist anymore. The library is not a playground, but it is a place for fun. And it is not just a house where books are stored. Our Library goes way beyond the book.”

Preventing Children’s Access to Weapons

May 12, 2014
New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, the Million Mom March, and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America are co-sponsors of a free community event: “Kids & Gun Safety” on May 14 at the North Castle Public Library in Armonk from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

New York State’s proposed child access prevention (CAP) law, A8293--requiring the safe storage of weapons where children may be present--will be discussed. The bill, “Nicholas’s Law,” is named for 12-year-old Nicholas Naumkin, who was shot and killed in December 2010 by a friend playing with his father’s unlocked and loaded gun. Nicholas’s Law will help reduce unintentional shootings–as well as suicides–among children.

The following guest speakers will appear as the panel of the "Kids & Gun Safety" discussion:

Arthur L. Caplan, PhD, who is a renowned bioethicist and global leader in medial ethics and is the founding head of Bioethics at NYU Langone Medical Center. Caplan is a recipient of the 2014 National Science Board's Public Service Award.

David Buchwald, New York State Assemblyman, is a co-sponsor of Nicholas's Law.

Justin Wagner, Vice President of the Board of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, is a candidate for New York State Senate.

Lastly, Nita Lowey, US Congresswomen of the 17th Congressional District.  

“Without a child access prevention law, there’s a big gap in New York State’s gun safety policy,” says Leah Gunn Barrett, Executive Director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence. “Nicholas's Law is all about responsible gun ownership—and it will help ensure that gun owners take responsibility to be sure their guns are kept out of the hands of children.”

New Yorkers Against Gun Violence is a statewide advocacy group working to reduce gun violence through advocacy and education designed to encourage action, influence public opinion and lead to policy change. With a primary focus on New York State, the organization also advocates at the local and national levels for sensible laws, policies and practices that protect New York State residents from gun violence. 

Library Services Extend Beyond Four Walls

May 10, 2014
The North Castle Library is exploring to extend its wireless service to downtown Armonk. The Westchester Library System (WLS) provides our local libraries with internet service. The backbone and knowledge is there, says Library Director Scott Jarzombek, who is working with WLS to provide the internet support beyond the library. WLS’s bandwidth is more than ample to support Armonk’s public demand for internet service.

“This is one of those projects,” Jarzombek says, “that we can’t say no to.” To extend the Wifi service from the library will require the cooperation of a public-private partnership between the Town and a downtown private property owner. Private property must be used in order to position the network’s hardware, allowing for an extension of the wireless connection. Private money is being sought to support the financial aspect of the project.

The plan is to do it in stages, says Jarzombek. Stage one would be to extend the service to the most popular and in-demand hotspot of Armonk’ s Main Street. If that is successful, they will consider a second stage that would extend the wireless service to the Hergenhan Recreation Center on Maple Avenue and perhaps beyond into portions of the neighboring Wampus Brook Park. But Jarzombek says he is not sure if he wants to see wireless service in the park because people might want to turn off their electronic devices while in green spaces.

There is a demand for wireless internet connections even when the library is closed. The library’s wireless service is available 24/7 and people can be seen parked in the parking lot connecting to the Library’s network service after hours.