Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Back to School

It’s back to school time in Ridgefield! Is your family ready to take advantage of everything the Library offers to help you meet your educational goals this year?

Library cards are now needed to use the Library’s computers as well as check out books, so make sure every student in your household has one handy and up-to-date. To make this easier, we are offering streamlined registration procedures and free replacement cards during National Library Card Sign-Up Month in September. Every person who signs up for a new card or renews an expired card during the month will be entered in a drawing for a Ridgefield Library book bag full of goodies. Parent signature is required for applicants under 17, so pick up a form today and get your young scholar off to a good start.

Bookmark the Library’s website ( on your home computers. Of particular interest to students will be our list of remotely accessible research databases arranged by topic and InfoAnytime, a 24/7 virtual reference service.

Reference works are now interfiled with regular non-fiction books in Children’s Services, so all the materials on a subject are easy to peruse in one spot.

Large print and audio versions of many contemporary and classic novels can be of assistance to reluctant or transitional readers. This includes nearly 2,000 titles downloadable for playing on a PC or mp3 player (sorry, not compatible with Apple or iPod).

Come to one of our Parents Back to School tours, on Saturday, October 6th from 10 to 10:30 AM or Monday, October 22nd from 2 to 2:30 PM. Children’s and Teen Services staff will give you a personal introduction to these and many other resources that may come in handy when those tricky homework assignments start to appear. Call 438-2282 x1024 or e-mail to sign up.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Magazines Now More Accessible

It was recently suggested to us that the Ridgefield Library could do more to make magazines available to readers in our community. Subscription prices continually increase, and not everyone wants to spend such exorbitant amounts on something as ephemeral as a newsweekly or lifestyle monthly. In response, we have made all back issues of periodicals, from Adoptive Families to Zoobooks, available for borrowing. Previously, numerous publications were restricted solely for use in the Library. With the advent of full-text online versions, we no longer need to keep the hard copies for reference in order to be able to access the important information they contain.

We continue to reserve the current issue of all magazines for use on the premises, to make sure that as many people as possible can enjoy it while it is “hot.” Once the next issue arrives, however, this and all older issues can be taken out and brought home to browse at your leisure. We retain up to 3 years worth of back issues, so you will have plenty of gardening advice, cooking tips, book reviews, learned articles and home decor ideas at your fingertips.

All in all, the Library subscribes to some 250 magazines in print format for all ages and tastes, from Sesame Street to Electronic Gaming Monthly to Kiplinger’s Retirement Report. In addition, online indexes provide access to the full text of over 1700 periodicals, including many that are too specialized or expensive for a modest-sized public library to purchase independently. This not only expands the scope of publications we can offer, but sophisticated searching capabilities help find that elusive article read once upon a time but only partially remembered. So whether you are doing scholarly research or just searching for a recipe, you can look to the Ridgefield Library’s magazine offerings for free and fast assistance.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

As you get ready to turn your calendar to September, be sure to mark down these dates and tips from the Ridgefield Library.

· Labor Day closing. We will be closed on Monday, September 3rd for the Labor Day holiday.

· Sunday hours. Starting on September 9th, we will resume Sunday open hours, from 1:00 to 5:00 PM.

· Storytime registration. Sign-up for the fall session of pre-school storytimes and after school programs will take place September 4th through 10th. Familiar favorites such as Terrific Twos will be joined by some exciting new offerings, so be sure to drop by Children’s Services to register and pick up a full calendar of events. Programs will begin the week of October 2nd.

· Fall adult programs. September will see the return of Ridgefield Folk, more AuthorTalks, a new Pen to Paper memoir-writing workshop, a photography workshop with Don Bruen, the first of a new line-up of Portraits in Motion living history dramatic performances, and the latest in our World Views series featuring filmmaker Sas Carey. Add our usual films, book discussions and art exhibits, and there will be plenty to keep everyone busy through the fall. Check for details.

· E-newsletters. We will be starting up a special edition of our e-mail newsletter especially for members of area book clubs. Sign up on our website or at any desk for this occasional update of new releases, additions to our Book Club Corner collection and news of author events (you can also choose from a number of other topical newsletters, focusing on children’s events, music, movies and more).

· E-mail notification. Get in gear for the busy fall by signing up now to receive via e-mail overdue notices and notification of reserve books ready for pick up. You get more timely information about these transactions, and the Library saves time and money on mailings. Check at the Circulation Desk for details.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The 2007 Summer Reading Program is “in the books.” A grand total of 1,018 youngsters, 185 teens and 241 adults completed 32,819 books in just six short weeks. Grade schoolers were the most voracious, going through an average of 27.75 books each; teens weren’t far behind at 22.44 average. Even with the new Harry Potter counting as multiple books due to its 700+ page length, that’s a lot of reading! While adults on average read far fewer books each, the number of participants nearly doubled in just the third year of Adult Summer Reading.

And all those youngsters were anxious to talk about what they had read, logging in 2,890 visits to the Children’s Summer Reading table, for an average of 102 visits per day (up 23% over last year). Scores of volunteers young and old listened to all those reports and dispensed 776 posters, 605 certificates for ice cream sundaes at Deborah Ann’s, 332 book bags and 269 Toy Chest gift certificates at various reading levels. A whopping 448 passport photos on display in the stairwell recognized those who truly got into the spirit of our “Read Around the World” theme.

Teens and adults submitted hundreds of reviews to share with fellow readers, many taking advantage of the new online review/entry form. Teens also earned prizes from Piccolo Pizza, the Ridgefield Playhouse and Deborah Ann’s, along with chances on weekly raffles. Adult participants were entered in weekly drawings for beautiful themed baskets created by librarian Lesley-Anne Read, with contributed goodies from Stop & Shop, Trader Joe’s, Venice Restaurant, Parma Market, Wild Ginger, Southwest CafĂ©, Chez Lenard, Thai Pearl and Ridgefield Hardware.

As always, the Friends of the Ridgefield Library provided the primary support for our entire Summer Reading Program, underwriting printing costs, some incentives and the many special performances and other events that kept the Library hopping day and night. Thanks to all who made Summer Reading Program 2007 such a huge success!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

This week we introduce the 2nd new person who has joined the Ridgefield Library Board of Directors this summer. Beverley Rogers moved to Ridgefield in 1993 and fell in love with our town. Ridgefield was so very different from Brooklyn, New York, where Bev grew up. Bev is an attorney with offices in Ridgefield and White Plains, New York. She graduated from Pace University School of Law in 1998 and was admitted to practice law in Connecticut and New York. “My first job out of law school was working for an attorney in Stamford. I worked for him for almost two years and decided I’d be happier working for myself. I was right.”

When Attorney Rogers considered whether to open her practice of law in White Plains or Ridgefield, her decision was fairly easy. “I loved living in Ridgefield. I thought that since Ridgefield was a great place to live, it would probably be a great place to work. I was active in the community and having my own practice gave me flexibility in my daily schedule. I am co-president of the Ridgefield Discovery Center, a nature and historical organization in Ridgefield, and I am also on the Board of Directors of the Ridgefield VNA.

“I am very pleased to have been appointed a member of the Board of Directors of the Ridgefield Library. I look forward to working with the library’s director, Chris Nolan, my colleagues on the board, and the library staff as we focus on how best to meet the needs of our patrons in the future. I hope everyone in town will help support the library as we expand our facilities. The library is one of Ridgefield’s treasures, and I look forward to helping preserve it and its importance to our community in the future.”