Thursday, August 27, 2015

Announcing Alice

It has been 150 years since the publication of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll (aka Charles Dodgson), and we can’t resist!  Our staff is smiling like the Chesire Cat as we put together a roster of Alice-related activities this fall for all ages.  We will start with a field trip on October 7th to the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City, where we will tour their special exhibit “Alice: 150 Years of Wonderland, ” guided by exhibit curator Carolyn Vega. The culmination of our adventures will be a presentation on November 22nd by author Gregory Maguire called “Green Witches, White Rabbits and Wild Things,” in which the author will talk about his own novel “Wicked,” his new book “After Alice” and his friend Maurice Sendak.

In between you can enjoy scholarly lectures, a book-to-film comparison, a Mad Hatter tea party, book discussions for children and for adults, and much more, in a series we are calling “Curiouser and Curiouser.”  If you are curious about Alice or the man who created her, please join us for our journey down the rabbit hole, sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Watch our website for full details, coming soon.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Opportunities for Lifelong Learners

Ridgefield students head back to school soon, but youngsters are not the only ones who can expand their horizons with new academic challenges.  In addition to our myriad scheduled programs, we invite adult Ridgefield Library card holders to explore two self-paced options for lifelong learning.

Thanks to the Friends of the Library, we continue to add to our collection of “Great Courses” audio CDs, featuring popular and highly respected teachers from the best colleges and universities in the country.  Each set consists of a complete series of course lectures, along with printed study guides.  Recent additions include 1066, After the New Testament, Art of War and Skepticism 101.

The Library has also served as a “meet-up” site for several Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs.  This summer several dozen people, from preteens to senior citizens, gathered each week to view and discuss excerpts from a course entitled “The Rise of Superheroes and their Impact on Popular Culture.”  Those who missed taking the full course online will have another chance, when it is repeated starting August 12th.  Stay tuned for announcement of future opportunities to join with fellow scholars to take part in MOOCs on literature, art history or other topics.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Test Taking @ the Library

Due to the huge growth in distance learning all around the world, many more students of all ages are earning degrees and certificates without ever setting foot on campus.  But they often do still need a secured and supervised setting for taking exams.  That’s where the Ridgefield Library comes in.

We have long done proctoring for exams on an ad hoc basis, but the increase in demand has prompted us to establish a formal policy, and also a modest fee for this service. We are pleased to be able to support our patrons’ educational aspirations, but we want to make sure that the test taking environment we provide conforms to the requirements of the institutions of higher learning involved.

A $25 charge will now be assessed for each request for exam proctoring.  The Library will supply a room in which to take the exam, and a computer if required. Proctoring is available only during regular Library hours Monday through Saturday and subject to staff availability.  Reservations must be made at least 5 days in advance.

The full proctoring policy can be found on the Policies page at  For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact the Adult Services department at 203-438-2282 x12004.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Attention social media mavens!  The Ridgefield Library now has a presence on Instagram at ridgefieldlibrary.  With Instagram’s emphasis on visuals, you won’t find a lot of words here.  What you will see in the coming months will be pictures of crafts completed in children’s and teen programs, objects printed on our 3D printer, cover art from book group selections and award winners and much more.  Our account was activated just in time to capture the action at last weekend’s Comic Con, including a parade of superheroes (and a few villains). 

If you are not familiar with Instagram, watch for notice of introductory sessions offered periodically in our Tech Topics program series.

If you like your social media with more words, look for our Facebook page, where you can find interesting articles about the future of books and libraries, event announcements and even the weekly Library Lines column.  This is a great way to share news about Library activities with friends and neighbors who might be interested.  And we welcome your comments.

For fast updates, follow us on Twitter at ridgefieldlib. This is where we post breaking news and reminders about weather closings, program schedules and more.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Last Chance to Be Part of the Community Mural at the Ridgefield Library

The Community Mural is an original artwork on the wall of the Gallery on the Lower Level of the new Ridgefield Library where you can commemorate your family name, your business or organization, an honoree, a favorite book or other personal message. Many Ridgefielders have already participated in this great opportunity, and at this time the mural is almost completely full!  The artist, Marcia Simha, has created a new section between bookends on top of the current bookcases.  Book spines or silhouettes for this new section are now available … but only until Labor Day.  After that time, the mural will be complete.
If you would still like to participate in this beautiful mural, you have a few more weeks to do so!  Donation levels starting at $150 receive legacy recognition on personalized book spines or silhouette images with nameplate - or both. If you are interested in the new section of the Community Mural, please call Laureen Bubniak at 203-438-2282 Ext. 11029; visit or stop into the Library to pick up a mural form and return it by September 7th.  

Contributed by Director of Development Laureen Bubniak

Friday, July 17, 2015

Summer Reading Is Not Just for Children

As of this writing (on July 9th), we are nearly halfway through the 2015 Summer Reading Program, and the numbers are adding up.  So far, 1157 school-aged children, 330 teens and 86 adults are registered in our online logging program and recording their reading and reviews.  Readers can sign up anytime and continue to participate through August 8th, so go to today and get started.

We particularly urge adults to take part, to help demonstrate to younger readers the lifelong joy and value of reading. To make it easy, all of our monthly book discussions (except the poetry group) meet through the summer.  We know you are reading, so make it count!  At the Ridgefield schools, teachers and staff have issued a challenge to their students, with the results to be compared and celebrated when school starts in the fall. You can do the same with the children (or grandchildren) in your life. 

Some families have readers participating at the children’s, teen and adult levels.  If yours is one, come in together and let us take your picture for our gallery of superheroes.  After all, Every Hero Has a Story – let us share yours!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

What We Learned @ the Library

For five weeks this spring we worked at the Ridgefield Library as part of the Ridgefield High School senior internship program. During our time there we have discovered a multitude of things about the Library, the most surprising of which was the extensive amount of programs offered at the Library. Currently the Library provides over 300 different programs for the public; so there is truly a program for everyone. Furthermore, while we often take the opportunities offered at the Library for granted, the sheer amount of effort that goes into running a library is outstanding. Each book is individually cared for and placed on the shelf; each program necessitates the time and attention of several different people in order to make it a success.  Moreover, the Library makes a significant effort to reach out to the public and provide Ridgefielders with experiences that enrich and enhance their understanding of the arts as well as literature. To illustrate, we were surprised to learn that the Library provides a forum for musicians and artists to showcase their work for free. The Library stands as an institution for the community to gather and delve into the arts and sciences. 

Contributed by Isabel Stoddard and Sophia Davis are 2015 graduates of Ridgefield High School and recent interns at the Ridgefield Library.