Thursday, April 17, 2014

Libraries Change Lives: Declaration for the Right to Libraries

In celebration of National Library Week May 13-19, we offer the following summary of the Declaration for the Right to Libraries introduced by the American Library Association.  A full version and a link to add your signature to the Declaration may be found at

“In the spirit of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we believe that libraries are essential to a democratic society. Every day, in countless communities across our nation and the world, millions of children, students and adults use libraries to learn, grow and achieve their dreams. In addition to a vast array of books, computers and other resources, library users benefit from the expert teaching and guidance of librarians and library staff to help expand their minds and open new worlds. We declare and affirm our right to quality libraries -public, school, academic, and special – and urge you to show your support by signing your name to this Declaration for the Right to Libraries.

·         Libraries empower the individual.
·         Libraries support literacy and lifelong learning.
·         Libraries strengthen families.
·         Libraries are the great equalizer.
·         Libraries build communities.
·         Libraries protect our right to know.
·         Libraries strengthen our nation.
·         Libraries advance research and scholarship.
·         Libraries help us to better understand each other.
·         Libraries preserve our nation’s cultural heritage.”

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spring Is Nutmeg Book Award Time

It’s April, and that means it is time for the children of Connecticut to vote for the Nutmeg Book Award winners! Connecticut’s own book award encourages children in grades 4-12 to read quality literature and to choose their favorite from a list of nominated titles.  Traditionally the Ridgefield Library invites Ridgefield students to stop in at the Library and vote for their favorite Nutmeg nominee. But since we will be closing down for several weeks to move into our new building, and we don’t want students to miss the opportunity to vote, we have a new way for you to participate. The Ridgefield Library has put Nutmeg Award ballots online. You can see a link to them on our webpage, if you stop by our Facebook page, or if you follow us on Twitter.  Students who are not voting at school are encouraged to vote online using our ballot. Please only vote once, either at school OR online. The winning books will be announced on May 15. Also happening in mid-May will be the introduction of a new Nutmeg Book Award level. The Elementary level offers books for the youngest readers, students in grades 2 through 4. Spring is Nutmeg Book Award time!

Contribute by Geri Diorio, Teen Services Librarian and Head of Children's Services

Thursday, April 3, 2014

April Celebrations - and Remembrances

April is the time for some of our favorite occasions – National Library Week, National Volunteer Week and National Poetry Month.  To celebrate all three at once, we offer the following poem, which was composed by Ann Jepson, Ridgefield Library friend and Friend extraordinaire who passed away last week.

Elegy on the Obsolescence of Libraries

This morning
I was reminded of that smartest
and most social of farm animals,
the pig --
how in the days of the family farm
a little before feeding time
they would line up at the trough
in anticipation of the feast to come,
boars, sows, piglets
all waiting for the gate to open
and the morsels to flow,
rinds, peels, breakfast’s wake-up grounds,
noon’s lunch, last night’s dinner,
a sleepless night’s snack, celebration’s sweets,
all the rewards of man’s abundant repasts.

So when I went to the library
ten minutes before opening time
and saw that smartest and most social of the primates,
the human --
man, woman, child
waiting in anticipation for the doors to open
to peruse or check out
cd’s, dvd’s biographies, memoirs, fiction,
nonfiction, poetry, newspapers, magazines,
travel books, computer programs,
all the rewards of the race’s reveries,

I thought - Naysayers,
we will be here,
waiting at the trough,
for some time to come.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spring Cleaning!

Here at the Library, we are doing a lot of spring cleaning to get ready for our move back to 472 Main Street in April.  We’ll even be having another giant tag sale to dispose of items in our temporary facility we will no longer need.  But we are still able and willing to assist in your spring cleaning efforts in several ways.

The Friends of the Library are happy to accept used book donations for their spring book sale, coming on May 2 through 5 at Yanity Gym.  Items in good condition may be dropped off at the Library’s 21 Governor Street location during open hours.  Please check the donation guidelines at and remember to pack your books in boxes that are easy for our volunteers to lift and carry.

The Library can also help you clear off your driveway and make your property look at its spring best by accepting donations of used cars, boats and other vehicles.  It is fast and easy and earns you a tax-deduction, while supporting the Library’s operations.  More information on this convenient program is available at

Now all we need is spring weather!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Looking Forward to Summer Reading

It’s only the first day of spring, but here at the Library we are already well into planning for Summer Reading.  Here are a few highlights you can look forward to.

In celebration of our new building, our Summer Reading theme will be “Discover...the Ridgefield Library.”  Local artist Paul Siegel is creating a special work of art for the poster, which will feature a “Where’s Waldo” style cut-away drawing of the new Children’s Library, and summer readers will be encouraged to go on a treasure hunt to find the many exciting things featured in the drawing.

For the first time, we will be offering a Summer Reading opportunity for youngsters aged two to five.  Parents will read with or to their pre-schoolers and fill out a game card to earn a prize.

To help children create accounts and track their books, hand out prizes and encourage more reading, the Library will be looking for approximately 50 middle and high school volunteers, each of whom can make a significant time commitment (16 to 20 hours between June 23 and August 9). For more information contact Geri Diorio at the Library or at

Friday, March 14, 2014

Take our Photo-A-Day Challenge

During the month of March, for those who are teens, or those who are teens at heart, the Ridgefield Library is offering a Photo-A-Day Challenge. On the New Ridgefield Library’s Facebook page, you’ll find a bright green photo offering daily “prompts” – ideas to inspire you. Take a photo of your interpretation of the suggestion and share your photo using social media.  You can use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr, your own blog…the choice is up to you! But when you share your photo, please add the hashtag #ridgefieldlibpix so that the rest of us who are playing can follow along and see all the photos inspired by the prompt. Today’s prompt is “throwback,” will you photograph something that takes you back to good memories? Tomorrow’s is “upside down,” will you be literal or figurative with that one? Ringing in the month, the prompt was “lion or lamb” and one photo showed a rather adorable pet cat, definitely a lamb, not a tiny lion. Want to play along, but concerned about forgetting a day, or two, or twelve? No big deal, you can play catch up, or just start up again from today’s date. The idea is to inspire creativity and have some fun!

Contributed by Geri Diorio, Teen Services Librarian and Head of Children's Services