Thursday, October 20, 2016

Reading Across Generations

For many years, the Library has offered the popular Reading Is a Family Affair intergenerational book discussion several times a year, thanks to the support of the Friends of the Library. Children in grades 3-5 and a parent or other adult read a book together and then come to the Library for discussion and enrichment activities – plus a pizza supper! Last year we expanded this program to middle schoolers and their families as well.  Stay tuned for announcement of titles and dates for 2016-2017.

A recent addition to our annual calendar for teens and adults is Books Building Bridges, an initiative that brings together Ridgefield High School students and adults for book chats, lectures and other activities.  This year’s title, selected by the students from the reading list for the English curriculum, is Ken Kesey’s “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Scheduled activities include a lecture on October 27th by Dr. Mark Schenker of Yale College and discussions for adult and student readers on November 1st and 2nd. Copies of the book are available for borrowing at the Circulation Desk.  Please join us to gain a fresh perspective on a 20th century classic.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Hurrah for our Friends!

October 16-22 has been declared this year as National Friends of Libraries Week.  Here at the Ridgefield Library, we think a single week of recognition is not nearly enough. Every day, we give thanks for all the ways in which the Friends of the Ridgefield Library support our library.  Everyone who walks into our building benefits from materials, programs and special services made possible only through the generosity of the Friends, mostly by virtue of their indefatigable efforts as sellers of used books. Twice yearly onsite sales (coming up October 14-16 and October 21-24) have been joined by robust year-round online sales via their storefront at They even hold pop-up sales on the lawn during community events such as Summerfest.  All told, they fund over $40,000 worth of grant requests from the Library administration each year – all for activities that are not covered in the organization’s annual operating budget.  They also have made extraordinary major gifts in support of the Campaign for the New Library and other one-time needs.

You can support their work by patronizing the book sales (onsite and online), becoming a member of the Friends, or volunteering to help with their projects. Learn more about the impact and the activities of the Friends of the Ridgefield Library at

Thursday, October 6, 2016

On the Road with the Ridgefield Library

I’m getting ready for a vacation trip to Canada, and the following services from the Library have been a great help.
  • A dedicated section of travel books and DVDs, covering destinations around the world, has hints for where to go and what to do.
  • I can brush up on my French with language learning materials on CD and accessible online with Mango.
  • Luckily, my travel documents are in order, but if I needed passport processing, the Library is a very convenient and friendly alternative.
  • A long train trip will allow me to catch up on months’ worth of The New Yorker downloaded through Zinio without having to haul a lot of paper copies around.
  • Thanks to eBooks from Hoopla and Overdrive, I will be able to keep up with book group assignments, again without carrying weighty tomes.  With selections like Vanity Fair and Huck Finn, this can add up to a lot of pounds of baggage!
  • Lists prepared by the library staff have given me some great ideas for themed reading.  A pamphlet on “Crime in a Cold Climate” has some perfect suggestions for a trip to Canada!

Wherever you may be traveling, make the Library your first stop!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Challenging Reading

What books are in your Top Ten?  If your list includes “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” or Mark Haddon’s “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” or John Green’s “Looking for Alaska,” you may be surprised to learn that these titles are also on the list of books challenged, restricted, removed or banned in schools and libraries in 2015-2016, according to the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom.  You will find these and many others this week in our display in observance of Banned Books Week 2016.  Each year, along with the ALA, the Association of American Publishers, American Booksellers for Free Expression, the National Council of Teachers of English and other organizations, we use this occasion to celebrate the right to explore ideas and to express ourselves freely without censorship.

Since the first Banned Books Week event in 1982, many thousands of titles have been challenged, including those by 21 Nobel laureates and winners of nearly every literary prize.  They include children’s picture books and beginning readers; young adult titles; classic as well as contemporary adult fiction; science, memoir and other non-fiction; graphic novels and poetry. Stop by this week, pick up a displayed book and stand up for your right to read.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Welcoming our New Teen Services Librarian

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Erica Gauquier as the Library’s new Teen Services Librarian. She replaces Geri Diorio, who has moved on to become Assistant Director of her hometown Stratford Library.

During her undergrad schooling, Erica studied Psychology and Social Work, preparing her for what she knew would be a career in providing services to children and young adults. Realizing she wanted to become a librarian, she received her Master’s degree in Information and Library Science from Pratt Institute in 2010. Erica has been passionately engaged in young adult librarianship ever since.

Erica began her career at Darien (CT) Library, bringing teens in the community new and innovative programs while establishing lasting relationships with many of them.

It is now her great pleasure to become immersed in the Ridgefield community, bringing that same love and passion for youth services to her own town. She is full of exciting ideas and also looks forward to hearing from 6th through 12th graders in town about what they would like to see at the Library. You can find her in the Ellis Family Teen Center of the Ridgefield Library or contact her by email at She looks forward to meeting you!  

Thursday, September 15, 2016

New Access to an Old Favorite

Consumers Union has checked out some 155,000 products in their test labs since 1936. These include the highfalutin’ and the ho-hum. Sports cars and sneakers. Computers and corn poppers. Cognacs and colas. CU's engineers and technicians eyeball, heft, measure, weigh, taste, use, and abuse those products. They take them apart, leave them out to weather, drop them, crash them, and put them through accelerated-wear tests to assess their durability. All this to determine the best, and sometimes worst, products for all of us to use.

For many years, the Ridgefield Library has offered Consumer Reports monthly magazine and annual index. This heavily used resource has been a boon to redecorators, those with ailing appliances, those needing new cars or suggestions for good used cars and a multitude of things from computers to insect repellent.

Now we are very happy to be able to provide online both Library and home access to this great service. You will find the trusted articles, ratings and even more on the Library website   Click the Catalog and Collections button and choose Magazines and Newspapers. Keep your Ridgefield Library card handy as the barcode is needed to log in, and read your way to great products and services in the comfort of your home!

Contributed by Adult Services Librarians Victoria Carlquist and Christie Mitchell

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Falling into Fall @ the Library

Sunday hours are back!  Beginning September 11 and running through the school year, the Library will be open on Sundays from 1:00 to 5:00 PM. 

Registration is now open for fall preschool storytimes and after-school activities, including book discussions, Maker groups, crafts, music programs, and even yoga for youngsters.  Most regular programs begin the last week of September. Sign-up may be done online at  Stay tuned also for information about “specials” on school holidays and other occasions. And, of course, drop-in favorites like Mother Goose and storytime on Saturday morning continue most weeks.

Seasonal series like the Ridgefield Folk concerts and ARTalk lectures pick up again in the fall.  Check our event calendar at so you don’t miss these very popular offerings. Many of these are sponsored by the Friends of the Library, whose fall used book sales are on tap for mid-October.

The Library and Ridgefield High School are looking forward to the 3rd year of their joint Books Building Bridges intergenerational reading program.  This year’s title is “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey.  Grab your copy, and start reading, or re-reading, this classic and watch for details of book chats, scholarly lectures and more.