Thursday, October 30, 2014

Reading Together Workshops


“Conversational Reading” is the theme for new parent-child reading together workshops at the Ridgefield Library.  Conversational Reading is about finding meaning in a story by asking questions and talking about the stories children are reading.  Families with children in Kindergarten through 4th grade can learn skills to create thought provoking conversations about books they read together with their children.  Parents can learn how to help their children express themselves and their reactions to literature. Questions that require speculation, pondering and prediction enhance children’s understanding of the story and their ability to relate their own experiences.  


The workshops, the first set of which are scheduled for November and December, begin with a delicious pizza dinner for all, followed by an engaging book discussion. Library staff will share techniques for creating thoughtful questions.  Attendees will receive a favorite picture or chapter book to read and discuss at home, together with “Reading Together,” a book by Diane Frankenstein which is a wonderful resource for creating discussions about children’s literature.   Space is limited in the workshops. Participants need to register on the library’s online program calendar, where you can find more details about each workshop.

Contributed by Children's Program Coordinator Diane Antezzo

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Holidays Are for Reading

Halloween is only weeks away and a slew of holidays are right behind it.  So it’s no surprise that every fall the publishers herald a new generation of holiday literature! Holiday books are a special way to celebrate the traditions and atmosphere that we associate with all the festivities. They can enhance your children’s enjoyment and appreciation as they eagerly count the days to their favorite celebration.  In the Lodewick Children’s Library, our holiday books are kept in their own aisle year round, each major holiday shelved in a separate section.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas are obviously well represented but we also have Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year, Groundhog Day and many more! Children’s holiday DVD’s are also in the same aisle, shelved together for easy access and quick browsing. The nonfiction books can add a new recipe to a feast or a craft to boost the decorations. In an effort to preserve the quality of book selection for as long as possible, we do limit the holiday books that may be checked out to three per family. So come comb the shelves for old classics, like Clement Moore’s “Twas the Night Before Christmas” and Eric Kimmel’s “Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins” or, better yet, discover some new family favorites! 

Contributed by Kathy Cherniavsky, Acting Head of Children's Services

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 www.ridgefieldlibrary.org.  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 www.ridgefieldlibrary.org, 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.