Thursday, August 17, 2017

Learning a Language Just Got Easier

Pronunciator, an online language learning product that provides instruction for all ages in over 80 languages, is now available to Library cardholders.  With its wide range of features, Pronunciator replaces Mango, our previous online offering, and is made possible by the Friends of the Library.

Pronunciator provides instruction for learners ranging from beginners to those seeking advanced conversational skills. For structured learning, Pronunciator includes eight-week interactive courses at all levels that offer five days of study each week consisting of one to two 30-minute sessions per day.  For those who prefer to customize their own learning, Pronunciator makes it easy to select areas of focus such as core vocabulary, essential verbs or conversational practice along with the flexibility of mastering a language by topics of interest.  When using a microphone-enabled device, feedback on pronunciation skills is available.

Also included are units specifically geared toward both early learners (3 to 6-year-olds) and young learners (7 to 12-year-olds) and for those seeking to master vocabulary targeted toward travel, workplace or English as a second language.   Download lessons with apps for Apple and Android phones and tablets for access on the go.  Pronunciator also offers a wide range of special features such as movies, music and poetry to enhance study.  

Contributed by Dorothy Pawlowski, Head of Adult Services

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Why One at a Time?

Your family has taken out lots of books for Summer Reading, and now it is time to return them to the Library. You station yourself at the return slot, and the sign instructs you to drop in one item at a time and wait for the green light before proceeding.  What’s up with that, you sigh, as you look at the huge stack of items in your tote bag?

All materials sent through the slot go on to a conveyor belt and are checked in electronically using a Radio Frequency Identification tag, then sorted automatically by category. This system helps us to get items back on the shelves for the next user quickly with the least amount of handling by staff.
 It can only process one thing at a time, which is why each item should be sent through separately. Jumbles of multiple items put through the slot together cannot be distinguished and are passed to the end of the belt, where they must be handled manually.

Please note: The new Kindle Fires for kids must be returned directly to the Children’s Services desk.  We ask also that certain oversize volumes be brought to the Circulation Desk, as they can jam and be damaged in the sorting mechanism (you will find special instructions located on the cover).  

Friday, August 4, 2017

It's Definitely Not your Grandfather's Library

Sure, we have 100,000 books and other traditional library materials available for check-out.  We do scores of storytimes and other programs each year designed to aid in early childhood literacy skills development, and dozens of old-fashioned book discussions.  We offer familiar reference and readers’ advisory service and now-expected technology access.  But at the Ridgefield Library, there is always something completely unexpected on the horizon as well, all intended to bring the community together to read, discover, question, connect and thrive.  Mark your calendar now for some of the more exciting and unusual offerings coming in the next few months (more details about all will be publicized as event dates draw near, or visit or our Facebook page for updates).

August 11 & 12 – the 3rd Annual RidgeCon celebration of pop culture

August 21 – Activities at the Library and in Ballard Park on the rare occasion of a solar eclipse.  Along with Parks and Rec, we will be organizing safe eclipse viewings, educational presentations, crafts, games, music and more.

September 15 & 16 – Love your Library (LYL) returns, bigger and better – and featuring a teen playwriting contest and an 18-hole mini-golf course created in the Library!

Hope to see you at these events, or any day, at the Library!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Congratulations Are in Order

We are pleased to extend warm wishes and heartfelt thanks to the following members of the Ridgefield Library family:

To Ginny Canfield and Kirby Klump, winners of the Friends of Connecticut Libraries Individual Achievement Award for their tireless work fulfilling Internet sales orders for the Friends of the Ridgefield Library since 2014.  In that time, they packaged and shipped 12,521 items that netted over $156,000 the Friends can use to support Library programs and services.

To Circulation Clerk Megan Klein, who has left the Library to finish up the student teaching requirements for her Masters in Library Science; to shelver Fran Walton who has been promoted to take Megan’s place; and to long-time volunteer Anne Kain who has taken up Fran’s shelving duties.

To Bob Whitton and Mary Mann Smith, who are retiring from the Library Board at the completion of two, three-year terms of service.  Each was an invaluable part of the team that made our New Ridgefield Library a reality, and they will be missed.

To Karena Landler and McKinley Walsh, the Library’s 2017 Ridgefield High School interns, and all of their classmates, on their graduation and move onwards and upwards to college, career and other adventures.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Art in the Lodewick Children's Library

You may notice several new familiar faces in the Lodewick Children’s Library the next time you visit. Thanks to a grant from the Ridgefield Woman’s Club, we have added artwork depicting some of our favorite characters from children’s literature to the walls. Not only did we want to add more visual interest and recognizable friends for children to enjoy, we wish to continue exposing children to art, creativity, and visual information, essential components of their literacy development.

The Library continues to offer opportunities for children to create and experiment with new mediums, stretch the limits of imagination, and nurture new skills. Recently, children created art inspired by Caldecott Award-winning illustrators. This summer they are enjoying the Cardboard Challenge and Art at the Aldrich. Families can also borrow a museum pass and get acquainted with the work of historical and contemporary artists.

Another new addition to the Children’s Library is an empty frame, to be filled on a rotating basis with art created by your children. What better way to encourage creative expression than to celebrate their accomplishments by showcasing their visual inventions? Ask the Children’s Library staff for details and start creating!

“Creativity is contagious, pass it on” - Albert Einstein

Contributed by Children's Services Library Assistant Sonta Frindt

Friday, July 7, 2017

Introducing Kindle Fires for Kids

Just in time for summer leisure time - the Ridgefield Library is pleased to bring you six Kindle Fires for Kids! Released in June, this new Kindle tablet is available to our patrons at the Children’s Services desk. These supplement the LeapPad devices we have had available for some time.

There are four Kindle Fires available for in-house use in the Children’s Library, and two that can be checked out and brought home! One Kindle Fire can be checked out per family for 7 days with a current Ridgefield Library card.  They cannot be reserved or renewed and must be returned to the Children’s Services desk. For in-library use, you will need to leave keys or other valuables as collateral.

Each of the Library's Kindle for Kids is equipped with Amazon’s FreeTime Unlimited which offers unlimited access to over 13,000 kid-friendly books, educational apps, games, movies, and TV shows from top brands like Disney, Nickelodeon, PBS, Amazon Originals for Kids, and a child-safe web browser. There are three age profiles for children to use: Ages 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.

Stop by the Lodewick Children’s Library to bring Bumbersnoot or Bilbo (yes, your children’s librarians named them) home with you! 

Contributed by Head of Children's Services Kristina Lareau

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Self-Check Now Even More Convenient

In response to popular demand, we have moved one of our self-check stations into the Lodewick Children’s Library for the convenience of parents and caregivers who wish to check out their selections while a child is attending a program.  This is also a boon for those with curious children who tend to wander off while mom or dad are checking out, as it keeps the whole family safely together inside the Children’s Library until they are ready to leave.

Two self-check kiosks remain in the Bossidy Commons near the Circulation Desk, and there is also one on the Upper Level, to accommodate those using the Main Street door to come and go.

It’s easy - all you need is your Ridgefield Library card. Scanners electronically read Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags in the books, so you don’t even need to locate and scan the barcodes and can process a stack of several items at a time.  Please note that you will still need to go to the Circulation Desk to clear up fines or lost items or to pick up a reserve item. Ask a staff member for a quick introduction, and then check yourself out!