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White Plains Library Director Set to Retire

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Under Sandra Miranda’s leadership, White Plains Library became the first library in Westchester to offer patrons internet, an online archive of the library’s catalogue, and downloadable digital and audiobooks. Miranda, the library's director, will be retiring on Nov. 12, after 22 years of navigating the library through rapid technological innovation.

“I’m proud of all the online services we’ve been able to develop,” said Miranda, a former Ossining resident, whose transitioning to a new home in Pennsylvania after her retirement begins. “I walked through the doors here in 1989 and there were these big green books called ‘The Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature.’ I knew how frustrating and laborious it was to use those huge index books to look up where an article was. Then you’d have to go haul your butt up to the reference desk and say, ‘Do you have this?’ And they’d say, ‘No.’ So I knew it was going to change.”

Those changes came first in 1994, when White Plains Public Library synched its computers to the internet. The “beauty then came,” when libraries subscribed to magazines and periodicals online, according to Miranda. In 2005, e-books were added to the White Plains Library’s repertoire. Now, library cardholders are entitled to three free downloads from Sony’s library via Freegal and can access Live Chat Tutoring on public school and library computers.

From day one, Miranda eyed the third-floor space, thinking its potential went well beyond being used as storage. She was inspired by a fellow librarian’s speech about libraries function as a family space around 1998 , and began planning The Trove, a children’s library that was unveiled in 2005.

Libby Hollahan, the executive director of the Library Foundation, called The Trove “the embodiment” of Miranda’s “passion and creativity” for all the projects she’s undertaken at the White Plains Library. “She had a beautiful vision for a beautiful place and then it became even more than that,” said Hollahan. “It’s really helped families and kids develop a love for reading together.”

Miranda has been busy renovating a cottage in Pennsylvania, where she will move after retiring. She plans to travel, garden, and continue reading.“One of my first retirement purchases is going to be an iPad,” said Miranda. “As a matter of fact, I thought I’d get the new Steve Jobs book.”

Brian Kenney will be joining the library as the new director on Nov. 14.

The White Plains Library is hosting a goodbye gala in Miranda's honor on Nov. 5 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Proceeds will go towards funding The Edge teen library. For more information call Libby Hollahan at (914) 422-1495.

Do you know Sandra Miranda? Do you have any favorite stories or memories with her to share? Join the conversation below.

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