Thursday, June 28, 2007

Have you ever considered having lunch at the Library? No, we haven’t opened a cafĂ© or invited Chez Lenard to set up shop on the lawn. And normally we do not allow food and drink to be brought into the Library. But this summer we are offering several lunchtime programs that combine two favorite activities – eating and reading!

Nutmeg Nibblers is a long-standing summer offering for children going into grades 4 through 6. From now through July 31st, voracious young readers can satisfy their cravings for good food and good books, as they meet each Tuesday from 1:00 to 2:00 PM to discuss books nominated for the 2008 Nutmeg Intermediate Book Awards. Bring a lunch and any other books you want to share, and join us in the Children’s Program Room for chat, crafts and chow! Nutmeg Nibblers is a great way to get a jump start on reading all 10 of the Nutmeg-nominated titles, which will be voted on in January. Stop by Children’s Services to register and to pick up a copy of the selected book for the week.

For adults, we are pleased to welcome back Professor Joanne Dobson, who will be reprising last summer’s popular Mystery Lovers’ Brown Bag Lunch gatherings. With this year’s theme of “Adults Read around the World,” the focus will be on contemporary international mystery writers. The first discussion on July 13th will focus on Northern authors, and the second on July 27th will concentrate on authors from Southern climes. There is no need to register or to read anything before the discussions; just come along and share some of your own favorite international mystery authors. Sessions run from noon to 2:00 PM in the Dayton Program Room. Bring your lunch, and the Library will provide lemonade and cookies!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

School’s out, and where are you going to go? The Library, of course, but beyond that we recommend the great institutions included in our museum pass program, sponsored by the Friends of the Ridgefield Library. Excited by the recent movie “Night at the Museum,” youngsters are looking at these educational institutions with different eyes. We can’t get you in after hours, but with the Library’s museum pass program, your family can take advantage of free or discounted admission to many destinations in Connecticut that promise a terrific experience for all ages. Particularly popular with kids are the Beardsley Zoo, the Discovery Museum, the Institute for American Indian Studies, the Stamford Museum and Nature Center, the Children’s Museum in West Hartford, Norwalk’s Maritime Aquarium, the Mystic Aquarium, Peabody Museum of Natural History, Roaring Brook Nature Center and Stepping Stones Museum for Children. The newest offering is made available as part of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection’s “No Child Left Inside” initiative and is good for free admission to any state park or forest and to any museums located in a state park.

Attractions at these institutions include dinosaurs, dolphins, archeological sites, nature trails, planetarium shows and scores of cool interactive exhibits and activities. Pick up a Museum Pass brochure at the Library for more details and web addresses that will get you to listings of current special exhibitions and events. <>

Passes for all of these locales can be found in Children’s Services, may be borrowed for three days and can even be reserved up to 7 days in advance. Ask at the Information Desk for passes to the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford and Ridgefield’s own Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art. Pass privileges vary, and some seasonal restrictions and other limitations apply, so be sure to read the small print before loading everyone in the car.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Cell phones – they are ubiquitous, they are obnoxious and, for some people, they are indispensable. What is a “quiet” place like the Library to do in the face of this explosion of constant communication?

Realizing that many people do need to be reachable for work or family purposes, we have designated two locations in the Library, one on each floor, where cell phone use will be permitted. These are the lobby on the second floor at the top of the stairs (between Children’s Services and the Fiction Room) and the lobby of the Dayton Program Room (when it is not being used for a program). And, of course, there is always the great outdoors, at least in good weather!

We ask that all cell phone users turn their phones off or to silent mode prior to entering the Library. This will avoid an unexpected ring tone disturbing those who are trying to concentrate. If you do receive a call, or need to make one, please restrict your conversation to the designated areas. Not only will this spare those around you from having to listen to the details of your personal life, it will protect your privacy as well.

With so much activity crammed every which way into our building, it is very difficult to separate loud and quiet activities. Seventy percent of respondents to our recent “Library Listens” survey agreed that better “zoning” for noise control would improve the library experience. This is just one of the issues the Library staff and Board are hoping to address as we continue work on the design of our proposed building expansion. In the meantime, please help us by following the new cell phone guidelines. Thank you for your cooperation!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The following comes from the Library's Adult Services Librarian, Dorothy Pawlowski.

June marks the annual celebration of Audiobook Month at the Ridgefield Library, a way to acknowledge the added dimension listening to books brings to our busy lives.

<>The world of audiobook listening continues to evolve. Sadly for some, books on cassette are being phased out, so that we can no longer purchase many new selections in this format. Books on CD are now the primary way that audiobooks are offered by vendors. Since at any time over 70% of the books on CD owned by the library are checked out, we will continue to focus on growing this collection. For popular new audiobooks, we suggest placing a reserve, since many of these titles are checked out within hours of when they reach the library shelves. Our staff will be happy to assist in placing a hold, or you can do so by accessing our catalog online. <>
<>Any audiobook aficionado knows the narrator can make or break the listening experience. Pick up a copy of our list of “Golden Voices,” narrators who have been chosen for their achievements in spoken-word recordings, and please let us know if you’ve particularly enjoyed an audiobook performance so we can share recommendations.
Consider trying a downloadable audiobook, the newest format for listening. Over 1,600 titles are always available to Ridgefield Library cardholders to download from our website. Intimidated by trying another new format or frustrated by an initial attempt to use this service? We’d like to get you hooked on this exciting new way to listen to audiobooks. Adult Services Librarian Dorothy Pawlowski would be happy to set-up a one-on-one tutorial, or arrange for the loan of an MP3 player pre-loaded with an audiobook of your choice.
<>During the month, the Ridgefield Library will be featuring a display of the various formats for audiobook listening. Stop by, we’d love to hear from you.