Friday, January 30, 2015

LearningExpress Library

LearningExpress Library is an online resource providing comprehensive test preparation, academic skills improvement resources, and career and occupational information for students in grade 4 through adult learners. It offers practice tests, exercises, skill-building courses, eBooks, and information you need to achieve the results you want at school, at work, or in life.
·         Boost academic skills in core subjects such as math, reading, writing, vocabulary and social studies and more.

·         High school students have access to practice tests for PSAT/NMSQT, SAT, ACT, and AP exams. Tests are timed and scored with correct answers provided. Tutorials are recommended based on your score. Other exams include CLEP, ACCUPLACER, GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT and PCAT.

·         Learn about careers and prepare for occupational exams such as the PSI Real Estate Salesperson exam, the Praxis and ParaPro Assessments for teaching, EMT, Firefighter and ASVAB exams. Also included are exams for air traffic controller, civil service, commercial driver’s license, cosmetology, culinary arts, dental assisting, Homeland Security, law enforcement, nursing, pharmacy technician, physician assistant, plumber, veterinary technician, and more.

Start at then click on Research & Reference, then Databases A-Z. Log in with your Ridgefield Library card. For more information, please contact Adult Services.

Contributed by Adult Services Librarian Christie Mitchell

Thursday, January 22, 2015

New Card Designs for the New Library

The Ridgefield Library now offers an array of colorful designs from which card holders may choose.  The newest styles were drawn from the design contest held by the Library in anticipation of the opening of its new building. The winning designs were selected by leaders of the town’s arts community from 80 total entries in five age and experience categories.  The designs have been adapted from the original artwork to fit standard library card specifications and all come with a convenient accompanying keychain card. You can see the choices at the Library or on our website at

The five winners are: Hailey DeWalt (K-5th grade); Catherine D’Jay (Middle School); Sandra Carpenter (High School); Elizabeth DiSalvo (“Adults”); and Michelle Fisher (Professional Artists). Congratulations to all, who were recognized at a special ceremony at the Library in December.

Those getting new cards may choose any of the new or existing styles at no charge.  Existing cardholders may switch to one of the new designs for a nominal $1.00 charge. The "red bird" card designed by Jamison Odone is also still available, at the new price of $1.00. Please bring your existing card with you if you wish to transfer your account to one of the special edition cards. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Keeping your New Year’s Resolutions

Whatever your resolutions for the New Year, the Ridgefield Library is here to help you fulfill them. 

Improve your computer skills.  Our Atomic Training web-based instructional programs offer video training on hundreds of the most commonly used applications from Microsoft, Apple, Google, Adobe and more.  All you need is your Ridgefield Library card number to sign on and improve your job or personal productivity skills. 

Take care of yourself so you can take better care of your family.  The Noreen L. Papa “Mothers Life your Live” Fund brings to the Library programs and resources promoting women’s health and wellness.  Check our event calendar for upcoming activities.

Read more.  With 5 monthly book discussion groups focusing on genres from mysteries to poetry, the Library can give you the incentive needed to pick up those books you have been meaning to read. New readers are always welcome!  Or check out Books & Breakfast, the monthly gathering where Library staff and patrons share what they have been reading recently. 

Get more out of reading with your children.  Our new Conversational Reading initiative offers hands-on workshops and take-home kits to help you get the most out of time spent reading together with the youngsters in your life.

Friday, January 2, 2015

What’s New for the New Year @ Your Library

We are always on the lookout for fresh ideas to keep your library experience exciting and relevant.  Here are just a few of the new things you can look forward to at the Ridgefield Library in 2015.

  • ·         Acceptance of passport applications, starting later in the winter – don’t forget to pick up a travel guide while you are here doing the paperwork!
  • ·         The Library will serve as a meet-up site for a new MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on art history – a follow-up to our very successful experiment with the Fiction of Relationship course last year.
  • ·         New classes on CAD programming and 3D printing, plus availability for patrons to bring their own designs and projects to the Library for 3D printing.
  • ·         A three-part series called Law through Film that uses award-winning films and expert moderators to stimulate conversation about important social and legal issues
  • ·         Wireless printing capability from laptops and other devices
  • ·         More drop-in programs for youngsters.  Look for Nature Explorers for ages 3-5 and Music & Movement for ages 2-5 on Wednesdays starting in January.
  • ·         New reading lists for many of our monthly book discussion groups.

Have a Happy New Year, and stay tuned for details of these projects as the seasons unfold.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Keep Coding, Ridgefield!

Computer Science Education Week is over, but we are still coding!  Our Hour of Code initiative kicked off with an array of technology programs in conjunction with the global movement reaching tens of millions of learners in 180+ countries. The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics, from age 4 to 104.

In addition to events at the Library, the Ridgefield Public Schools introduced all elementary and middle schoolers to the Hour of Code last week.  With the support of the school district, the Ridgefield Education Foundation and the Friends of the Library, we are extending this effort to allow both youngsters and others to keep coding at the Library or on their own through the end of January.  During the school vacation break, the Library will host additional programs and open lab time, so students will be able to finish up the projects they started in school and explore further.  The project will wrap up on February 7th with a day of celebration, with prizes, demonstrations and much more.

To get started, go to and select a project for your age group.  You can also follow the links to log your lines or hours of code as you go and earn one raffle ticket for each hour completed.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Getting to Project Gutenberg

Have you heard about Project Gutenberg? It is the oldest provider of eBooks, founded in 1971 by Michael Hart, who wanted to be able to store, search and retrieve what was in a public library. He began digitizing public domain texts and making them easily searchable. At this time, Project Gutenberg offers more than 46,000 books, for free, to anyone who has access to a computer or tablet or ereader. These books are from bona fide publishers, and they have been digitized and proof read by a corps of volunteers. Because all the books offered are in the public domain, they tend to be older titles. “Pride and Prejudice,” “The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn” and “Moby Dick” are examples of the most popular books on the site.

Ridgefield Library users now have an easier time searching for these classics since Project Gutenberg ebooks are now included in our catalog. For example, when searching for Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness,” the Library catalog now shows that book is available in print, as a downloadable ebook from Overdrive, and as a downloadable ebook from Project Gutenberg.  Gutenberg books are not limited in how many people can check them out at the same time, so these titles, often found on high school reading lists, are available to as many patrons as want them in ebook format.  Just stop by the Adult Service Desk if you need help downloading them onto your device of choice.

Contributed by Teen Services Librarian Geri Dioro.  

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Introducing the New Head of Children's Services

The Ridgefield Library recently welcomed Gayle Pulley as Head of Children’s Services. Ms. Pulley will be responsible for the daily management of the dynamic and busy Lodewick Children’s Library. Her experience includes 16 years as an elementary and high school librarian. Before coming to the Ridgefield Library, Ms. Pulley was the district librarian at the Eldred (NY) School District. Ms. Pulley received a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and earned her graduate degree in Library Science and a teaching certification from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. She recently relocated to Stamford with her husband David, Assistant Superintendent at Southern Westchester BOCES. They share 5 children and are proud grandparents of their three granddaughters. She enjoys traveling, researching family genealogy, and reading a wide range of genres. Ms. Pulley is excited to be part of Ridgefield’s vibrant library and to provide enriching experiences where children come to the Library to discover and choose books they want to read. She feels fortunate to have the opportunity to share in nurturing a child’s love of reading and developing literacy skills. She will work closely with long-time Children’s Library staffers Mary Beth Rassulo, Diane Antezzo, Christine Miller, Kathy Cherniavsky and Ann Victor.

Contributed by Head of Children's Services Gayle Pulley