Thursday, October 25, 2007

Director of Adult Programs Lesley Lambton supplied the following:

The Ridgefield Library was the scene of much laughter, and a few tears, on Saturday mornings during September, as a group of aspiring writers took part in a memoir writing workshop. At each of the four sessions, English professor and author Joanne Dobson led participants deep into their past to reveal stories that more than proved Mark Twain’s observation that, “There was never yet an uninteresting life… Inside the dullest exterior there is a drama, a comedy and a tragedy.”

The group enjoyed the experience so much they decided to continue meeting and working together. The Memoir Writing Group now convenes on the first Saturday of each month from 10 to noon in the Library’s beautiful History Room. Each session includes writing prompts with twenty minutes of writing time, sharing and critique. If you are interested in joining, call 438-2282 (x1013) for more information, or just show up with a notebook and an open heart on Saturday, November 3.

In addition to the Memoir Writing Group the Library also hosts the Ridgefield Writers Guild, a networking group that meets on the third Tuesday evening of each month at 7 p.m. This group also welcomes new members keen on improving their craft and increasing the chances of seeing their work in print. The Guild recently had a very successful reading at Starbucks where members read from a diverse range of material including excerpts from hot-off-the-press novels to polished poems and passages of non-fiction. Their next meeting takes place in the History Room on Tuesday, November 20. Call Ellen at 438-1432 for more information.

Look for more writing workshops throughout 2008 as the Library celebrates the town’s 300th anniversary with a number of exciting programs fulfilling our mission to provide a place for Ridgefielders to “exchange ideas and grow.”

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Don't Leave Any Child Behind!

As fall storytimes continue, we thought it was time for a reminder about our policies regarding leaving children alone in the Ridgefield Library.

For Mother Goose and Terrific Twos, the answer is easy- these programs are intended for the child and adult to participate together. However, we cannot accommodate siblings who don’t meet the age guidelines for any given program, so appropriate arrangements must be made for older or younger children.

Storytimes for 3 to 6 year olds are designed for the child alone, but we require that an adult remain in Children’s Services throughout the session. Youngsters often experience sudden problems requiring adult attention, from a need to use the restroom to a simple attack of shyness. Library staff cannot abandon a room full of children to attend to one who needs special care or has to leave the room. It is important for the safety and happiness of all concerned that an adult caregiver for each participating child be near at hand. Waiting adults may explore the handy parenting collection, use public computers in Children’s Services featuring the Internet, take advantage of our building-wide wireless access, chat with other parents or caregivers, or use this brief child-free period to consult with a librarian to find books about potty training, starting school, or the many other challenges of childhood.

Library policy prohibits leaving any child under 6 in the building unattended at any time. Library staff have many duties to perform and cannot be expected to watch out for a particular child. Responsibility for a child’s safety and well-being rests with the parent or caregiver. As a matter of fact, state regulation deems it a crime to “abandon” a child under age 12 in any public place. We hope that all parents and caregivers will exercise good judgment to ensure that the library experience remains a positive one for their children.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Parents Back to School Tour

Do you remember doing homework back when you were in grade school? If you have a school-aged youngster, you know that the landscape has changed considerably. What you may not know is all the ways the Ridgefield Library can help your child succeed in school. Parents of students in grades 3 through 8 are invited to come to the Library on Monday, October 22nd from 2:00 to 2:30 PM for a “Parents Back to School” tour.

· Remember the endless shelves of reference books like the Reader’s Guide to Periodicals, which required painstaking searching of the index in every volume to uncover information on a topic? At the Ridgefield Library, most of these have been replaced by electronic databases that search multiple indexes at once, search on keywords as well as esoteric approved subject headings and even offer full text of most articles.

· You probably relied on pen and lined paper, supplemented occasionally by poster board covered with photos cut out of old National Geographic magazines. Now kids are expected to submit their assignments neatly word processed or even organized into a PowerPoint presentation – easy to accomplish at the Library, where many available computers are equipped with Microsoft Office software and access to the Internet for pictures of that elusive mammal or celebrated author.

· In the old days, you could only get help from a reference librarian by going into your library during limited hours. Today, your children can get assistance from trained professionals on the phone, via e-mail and by logging onto InfoAnytime, a 24/7 virtual reference service – and, of course, they can spend time in person with our helpful staff 58 hours a week, including Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons.

Contact Children’s Services at 438-2282 x2002 or at to sign up for this informative session - we promise to have you out in time to meet the bus!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

LOL @ your Library during Teen Read Week

Here's a posting from Teen Services Librarian Geri Diorio.

We hope that local teens will be laughing and reading as the Ridgefield Library celebrates the tenth annual Teen Read Week (TM)
, October 14 – 20, 2007. We’ll join thousands of other libraries, schools and bookstores across the country who are encouraging teens to celebrate this year’s theme, "LOL @ your library®." Teen Read Week (TM) is the national adolescent literacy initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), the fastest growing division of the American Library Association. This year’s theme encourages teens to read humorous books and graphic novels just for the fun of it. (For those who aren’t up on the jargon, LOL is text message shorthand for “laugh out loud.”)

Today’s teens seem to have less and less free time, and there are increasingly more activities for them to take part in during what little leisure time they do have. That is why it’s important to encourage teens to set aside some time to read. Studies show a regular reading habit increases reading proficiency, and one of the most important ways teens acquire the habit is by watching adults they respect.

Parents of teens are encouraged to celebrate Teen Read Week (TM) at home. You might give books or magazine subscriptions to your teen as a gift. You could share your favorite books with your teen. Perhaps you could set aside time each week for the family to read together. Teens are encouraged to come to the Ridgefield Library during Teen Read Week to check out the humorous books we’ll have on display, attend the laugh out loud Will Ferrell figure skating film screening on Friday, October 19 at 4 PM, or stop in any time during the week to tell Teen Services Librarian Geri a clean joke and thus “earn” a piece of candy. One joke per person per day, please! We always look forward to seeing Ridgefield teens at the Library, and we hope to see them all during Teen Read Week (TM).