Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Celebrating your Friends

What perfect timing!  October 19 through 25 is National Friends of Libraries Week and also happens to be the week of the annual fall used book sale held by the Friends of Ridgefield Library. Taking place for the first time on the Lower Level of the new Ridgefield Library, the sale begins on Friday the 24th and runs through Monday the 27th, with thousands of attractively priced titles in all categories, from children’s favorites to cookbooks.

Proceeds from book sales allow the Friends to sponsor some of the Library’s most popular activities. During Friends of Libraries Week these include the monthly Poetry Discussion (focusing this month on World War I era poet Wilfred Owen) and the seasonal intergenerational program Reading is a Family Affair.  Children in grades 3 - 5 together with an adult are invited to a very special book discussion following a pizza dinner.  Register at the Children's Services desk and receive a free copy of the book “Because of Winn Dixie” by Kate DiCamillo, courtesy of the Friends. 

Details of the book sale and more about the Friends can be found at  Take a look, come to the sale, and thank a Friend during their special week!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Celebrating Arts and Humanities this Month

National Arts & Humanities Month (NAHM) is a coast-to-coast collective recognition of the importance of culture in America, organized by Americans for the Arts and taking place this year in October. It is designed to encourage all Americans to explore new facets of the arts and humanities in their lives, and to begin a lifelong habit of active participation in the arts.

The Ridgefield Library is here to help you with your journey, whether you are an elementary school student who wants to share your love of all things magical in our Harry Potter Club or a senior citizen who wants to learn more about Wilfred Owen or T.S. Eliot with our monthly poetry discussions. To start, The Big Read this month and next offers an exciting line-up of arts and humanities events at the Library and other venues around town. We also have a full schedule of author talks, art exhibits, writers’ networking groups, book discussions, concerts and more. You can browse the special new reading rooms for Literature and the Fine & Performing Arts or take advantage of thematic displays and booklists prepared by our staff to add context and background to events being hosted by Ridgefield’s many fine cultural organizations.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Big Read Is Here!

If you are like most Americans, you probably read “The Great Gatsby” in high school or saw one of the star-studded Hollywood movies that have been based on Fitzgerald’s tale of the pursuit of the American Dream. Here’s your opportunity to gain a new appreciation for this masterwork by participating in Ridgefield’s Big Read this fall. The kick-off of the project will be a swinging performance by the Cab Calloway Orchestra at the Ridgefield Playhouse on October 10th, followed by a keynote lecture on the 19th at the Library with Maureen Corrigan, NPR book critic and author of the newly released “So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures.”  Through October and November, some two dozen local organizations and businesses will be presenting related events that will give Ridgefielders an opportunity to immerse themselves in the literature, art, politics, fashion, entertainment and social movements of the 1920s.  And, of course, everyone is encouraged to read the book and come to one of numerous discussions at the Library and elsewhere.

Pick up a brochure at numerous venues around town or check the updated schedule of events at, where you can see a full list of sponsors and partners.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Banned Books Week

Throughout the country, teachers are sending out their lists of required readings, and parents are beginning to gather books. In some cases, classics like "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," "The Catcher in the Rye," and "To Kill a Mocking Bird," may not be included in curriculum or available in the school library due to challenges made against them.
Since 1990, the American Library Association's (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom has recorded more than 10,000 book challenges. A challenge is a formal, written complaint requesting a book be removed from library shelves or school curriculum. The most challenged and/or restricted reading materials have been books for children.  Challenges are not simply an expression of a point of view, they are an attempt to remove materials from public use, thereby restricting the access of others. For children, decisions about what books to read should be made by the people who know them best—their parents!

In support of the right to choose books freely for ourselves, the ALA and the Ridgefield Library are recognizing Banned Books Week this week. It is an annual celebration of our right to access books without censorship. Why not take part? Read an old favorite or a new banned book this week. Stop by the Ridgefield Library to learn more and check out a banned book!

Contributed by Teen Services Librarian Geri Diorio

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Get “Outside the Lines” with the Ridgefield Library

“Outside the Lines” is a national initiative taking place September 14-20 to get people thinking – and talking - about libraries in a whole new way.  In recent years, libraries have changed into dynamic centers for engagement to accommodate the growing needs of their local communities.  Nowhere is this more true than here in Ridgefield.

To start with, we have our marvelous new building.  But that is only the beginning.  Throughout the week we will be highlighting on site and online the many ways the Ridgefield Library contributes to creativity, culture and curiosity in Ridgefield.

We’ll go “outside the lines” of traditional print with International eBook Day and Teen Tech Thursdays.  We’ll explore the creative arts with a Ridgefield Folk concert and an opening reception for the new watercolor exhibit in The Gallery. We’ll go around the world with Fulbright scholar Eva Lee’s account of her research in Tibet and travel in time as author Todd Brewster talks about his new book on Abraham Lincoln. We’ll create common ground locally with Project Resilience, the Ridgefield Playhouse, RVNA and other partners.

Stop by or tune in on social media to go “outside the lines” with us, this week and throughout the year.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Celebrating eBooks

Thursday, September 18th has been designated the first International Read an eBook Day.  According to Pew Research, the popularity of eBooks is increasing, and in 2013, 28 percent of adults 18 and older read at least one.  
In recognition of this celebration, the Library will be hosting an open house in the Donofrio Family Technology Center to help Ridgefield Library cardholders get started with OverDrive, the Library’s eBook platform.   Whether you’ve never tried downloading an eBook or haven’t done so in a while, drop-in anytime between 1 and 4 PM when staff members will be waiting to answer your questions and offer assistance.

OverDrive eBooks can be accessed and read on a computer and on most smartphones, eReaders and tablets.  OverDrive has added many new user friendly features including OverDrive Read offering the option to easily download and save an eBook in a browser or “see book, read book.”   The Kids Collection and Teens Collections enable easy searching for age appropriate selections for every member of the family.   And, as more publishers make their eBooks available, the selection of titles continues to grow. 

If you can’t make it on September 18th, our staff is always ready to answer your eBook questions.

Contributed by Dorothy Pawlowski, Head of Adult Services

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Passport to Connecticut Libraries

From September 2nd through September 30th, the Ridgefield Library will be participating in the first Passport to Connecticut Libraries program.  Sponsored by the Connecticut Library Association in support of Library Card Sign Up Month, the program is modeled on the state’s popular Wine Trail Passport Program.

Here’s how it works.  Anytime, on or after September 2, ask for a passport at one of the Library’s service desks.  You’ll also receive a list of the over 80 participating libraries.  Visit any one and show a valid library card to have your passport stamped and to receive a small gift.   At the end of the month, hand in your passport at any participating library to be entered in two drawings, one for Most Libraries Visited and a Random Drawing for all participants.   The drawings will be for two adult prizes of $150.00 and two children’s prizes (for those under 18) of $100.00.

Your Ridgefield Library card can be used to check out items in any of these libraries, plus you’ll have a chance to explore the unique treasures each has to offer.  Any items checked out at another library can be returned to the Ridgefield Library.   For more information visit Happy exploring!

Contributed by Dorothy Pawlowski, Head of Adult Services