Thursday, May 31, 2007

Summer is coming, and so are summer hours at the Ridgefield Library. June 10th will be the final Sunday we are open until Labor Day. Our schedule will be Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 AM to 6 PM, Tuesday and Thursday from 10 AM to 9 PM and Saturday from 9 AM to 5 PM. And, of course, our “virtual library” remains open 24/7 for your convenience at Check your account, ask a reference question at InfoAnytime, reserve a book or research almost any topic – any time of day or night, all year long.

What else will summer bring to the Library? First and foremost will be our Summer Reading Programs for children, teens and adults, which all begin on June 25th and run through August 4th. This year’s theme is “Read around the World,” and there are many special programs with a multicultural flavor planned for all ages. There are plenty of fun incentives for the youngest participants and great raffle prizes for teens and adults, so you’ll want to stock up on good books (or audiobooks or magazines) and start reading right away. Stop by the Library or visit our website for all the details.

To help you get your reading journey off to a fast start, the Friends of the Library will be holding a special Summer Reading Book Sale during the first week of the program. Visit them under the tent on the Library lawn June 28th through 30th for your pick from thousands of children’s books and “pocket” paperbacks – perfect for the beach or to tuck into a suitcase.

Many of our other popular ongoing programs will continue through the season, in air-conditioned comfort. Join us for monthly book discussions, matinee and evening movie screenings, drop-in Saturday story times, and much more.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Are you just wild about Harry (Potter, that is)? Then you not alone! Advance orders for the 7th and final volume in J.K. Rowling’s series have already reached 1.5 million copies on Amazon alone. Locally, Books on the Common has 300 books on order and has scheduled a special late night party leading up to the official release at 12:00 AM on July 21st, and the Library has purchased a record 40 copies.

The final outcome of the saga of Harry, Ron, Hermione and company is being kept a closely-guarded secret. Libraries and booksellers have to sign a confidentiality agreement before we can even order copies. But you can get out your quill pen or fire up your computer and tell the world what you think will happen by entering the Library’s Harry Potter Creative Writing Contest. In one to three pages, write what you think the final scene will be and turn it in, with a completed entry form, to the Library by 6 PM on June 18th. Our distinguished panel of judges includes Children’s and Teen Services Librarian Geri Diorio, Ellen Burns from Books on the Common, Celia Frost from the Ridgefield High School English department, Claire Carlson (a former Library staffer and aspiring children’s book author) and Beth Duff (a free-lance writer who also works at the Library). One winner will be picked based on creativity, grammar, style and originality in each of three levels: Elementary, Middle School and High School. Prizes are a free copy of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” from Books on the Common. Winners will be announced at the Library’s Farewell Harry Potter Party at 1 PM on June 28th, where we will also have trivia contests, magic tricks and much more fun for those in Grade 3 and up. Don’t miss all the fun as the clock ticks down to the “witching hour!”

Thursday, May 17, 2007

May 17th was one of those days when the Ridgefield Library was truly a refuge from the storm for over 1,800 people who came here seeking all manner of assistance following the previous day’s severe weather. With nearly half the town still without power, the Library was packed to the rafters with folks using library computers, accessing our wireless network, doing homework and seeking entertainment. We helped people look up phone numbers they had stored only in inaccessible computer files, suggested books to read in the absence of television and videogames, and provided somewhere to work for scores of students whose classrooms were closed. Library staff held impromptu story times, made arrangements to expand computer access, rearranged the furniture, and did everything else they could to accommodate the overflow crowd. While it was sheer luck that the Library avoided many of the headaches others experienced (loss of electricity, blocked driveways, etc.), we are doubly glad that we were able to be here to help others in the community. If you were at the Library last Thursday, we’re glad we could be of service. If you weren’t, stop by soon to see what you are missing!
Many thanks to all the Ridgefield residents who took the time to complete our recent “Library Listens” survey. Nearly 600 people responded, about one-third filling out paper surveys and the rest taking advantage of the online version on our webpage. We have begun the process of analyzing the data, and these results will provide important input to our ongoing process of planning for the Ridgefield Library of the future. Also very interesting but harder to quantify are the extensive comments that many people added. The Library board and staff will be reading these notes carefully as well, and we appreciate the time and thought that went into these detailed responses.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

We are very pleased to introduce the newest member of the Ridgefield Library staff, Trevor Gladwin, who has taken on the position of full-time Library Assistant in the circulation department. Actually Trevor is not truly new to the Library, having served as a shelver since fall 2004, but has been promoted to fill the opening left by the departure of Martin Blasco. He joins a dedicated and very busy department including supervisor Kate Turner and assistants Phyllis Campbell, Beth Duff, Jane Ernst, George Lohman and Florita Nickel.

British by birth, Trevor moved to the United States in April 2001. He is thrilled to be living in “the home of country music,” one of his greatest passions. The other loves of his life include his daughters, Kayley (21) and Emma (18), cooking, and libraries. “My library card is my next most important possession, next to my passport,” proclaims Trevor, and he is an avid user of library services, in Ridgefield and elsewhere in Connecticut.

Trevor brings to his new job a background as a business analyst in the computer industry. While Trevor’s facility with technology, familiarity with library systems, great customer service attitude and attention to detail are obvious assets, the Library is still trying to figure out how to take best advantage of his other skills, from landscaping and golf course maintenance to Asian cookery!

Trevor is an avid reader and consumer of popular culture, who ranks Oriah Mountain Dreamer as his favorite author and poet and “Frida” as his favorite movie. Those who get to know him understand why his favorite song is Tim McGraw’s “The Cowboy in Me!” We invite all Ridgefielders to stop by the Library’s Circulation Desk and greet Trevor soon.