Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year's Library Resolutions

Happy New Year! May we suggest a few resolutions that will be easy to keep, with the help of the Ridgefield Library?

  • Make sure every member of your family can enjoy the Library with his or her own card. Our colorful new card design by Jamison Odone makes having a library card even more special for kids and adults alike.

  • Set aside quality time each week with your family at the Library, to read, attend a program or work on homework. With 58 open hours a week, including Tuesday and Thursday evenings, all day Saturday and Sunday afternoon, it is easy to find your special time.

  • Enrich your reading experience by sharing your thoughts with others. The Library offers 4 regular book discussion groups for adults, 3 for teens, 3 for children and even one for families to enjoy together – plus more informal opportunities to share like the monthly Books & Breakfast meetings and summer Mystery Lovers Brown Bag Lunches.

  • Go green, by signing up for e-mail notification of overdues and holds.

  • Sign up for Library ELF and eliminate late books and overdue fees by receiving advance notice of when items are coming due.

  • Add some art to your life by visiting our monthly exhibits of photography, paintings and more in the Dayton Program Room.

  • Look to the stars with the Ridgefield Library during the International Year of Astronomy. Our Visions of the Universe exhibit (on display early April through early June) will be a central part of the townwide commemoration of 400 years of learning about space since Galileo first turned his telescope on the heavens. A full schedule of exciting activities at the Library and elsewhere will be coming soon.

  • Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter so you won’t miss any of the fun @ the Ridgefield Library in 2009.

Practical Programs to Improve your Life

What comes to mind when you think of the Ridgefield Library? Somewhere to get great books for leisure reading. A resource for homework assignments. A spot for free magazines, movies and more. Perhaps a place to satisfy a long-held curiosity about history, foreign languages or great books.

But do you think of the Library as a center for useful instruction in the practicalities of modern life? In the month of January alone, the Library is offering a number of programs designed to help you cope in a busy and ever-changing professional, family and personal environment. Please check our website at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org for more details on these and upcoming programs.

Start on Saturday, January 10 from 9 AM to noon, when the Ridgefield Action Committee on the Environment (RACE) and Boy Scout Troop 432 team up with the Library to help you “Cut the Catalogs and your Carbon Footprint” by removing your name from all those pesky mailing lists.

On Thursday the 15th at 8 AM, join Fred Rhines, president of On Track Staffing, for a seminar titled “Recharging your Job Search Plan for 2009,” co-sponsored by the Library and the Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Rhines’s timely presentation will be informative and also allow you to assess the steps you are taking as you look for a new career opportunity. Library staff will demonstrate the many resources available to aid you in this process. Registration is required for this session by contacting the Chamber at (203) 438-5992 or jkouroupas@ridgefieldchamber.org.

Also on the 15th, at 7 PM, a panel of experts from the National Association of Professional Organizers will share tips on how to get and stay organized. Who wouldn’t benefit from some help in this area?!

Future programs being considered include estate planning and life transitions like adoption and retirement; other suggestions are welcome!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Holiday Time @ the Library

Things are hopping at the Ridgefield Library, but we’re taking a little break for the holidays. The Library will be closed on Wednesday the 24th, Thursday the 25th and Thursday, January 1st. We will also close early at 3:00 PM on New Year’s Eve. Do join us during our regular hours on Friday the 26th (10 AM to 6 PM), Saturday the 27th (9 AM to 5 PM) and Sunday the 28th (1 PM to 5 PM) and again starting January 2nd. There will be few activities on tap over the holiday period, but we welcome visitors to Monday and Saturday drop-in storytimes and Friday Flicks. There will also be a special winter program for ages 4 and up on Monday the 29th at 2 PM, featuring a marionette performance of “The Snow Maiden.”

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the many visitors who have made the Ridgefield Library such a special and busy place throughout 2008. It hardly seems possible that it has been a whole year since we began the town’s 300th anniversary observance and the Library’s celebration of Ridgefield readers and writers. Although the official commemoration is over, you can still visit the Ridgefield Authors Blog on our website, attend one of our ongoing writing workshops and AuthorTalks or participate in our many book discussion groups. Ever-improving technologies may facilitate searching for a book in our catalog, researching an author in an online database or even checking out your selections at our self-check counter. But libraries such as ours continue at the core to be places where people come together to celebrate the written word. As we look to 2009, the Ridgefield Library’s mission remains as relevant and vital as ever: to be an intellectual and cultural center for Ridgefield, offering a supportive, welcoming environment that encourages all to read...to discover...to question...to exchange ideas...to grow.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Shop Ridgefield

“Shop Ridgefield – Your Purchase Makes a Difference” is the slogan for a new initiative launched by local merchants. One of the reasons they cite for the importance of supporting local businesses is the support they in turn provide back to the community, with many contributing substantially to various non-profit organizations in town. The Ridgefield Library has been the fortunate recipient of this generosity over many years, and we would like to echo the “Shop Ridgefield” sentiment.

Local businesses have made cash contributions to our annual appeal, supplied in-kind goods and services, sponsored programs, provided refreshments for events and much more. Here is a sampling of some of the most notable ways they have contributed in recent years.

• Books on the Common not only hosts Ridgefield Library Days each year and contributes a percentage of sales that weekend to the Library; it also partners with the Library to bring to town authors such as Frank McCourt and to make books available for purchase at our AuthorTalk series.
• The Toy Chest, Deborah Ann’s Sweet Shoppe and Piccolo Pizza have been long-time sponsors of the Summer Reading Program, providing treats that have tempted thousands of children and teens each year to keep on reading.
• Carnall Insurance and Chez Lenard are regular sponsors of the annual Camp Snooze 4th grade sleepover at the Library.
• Over 20 businesses contributed items for the fantastic raffle basket prizes for our adult Summer Reading Program last summer.

Nearly 50 local businesses are listed in our annual report of supporters for 2007-2008 (check our website for the full list). Their support is crucial to the Library’s ability to bring you the programs and services you enjoy. If you have benefited from this generosity, please visit these establishments this holiday season and show them how much you appreciate their involvement in the community.

Recycling Expands @ the Library

Long before the current “green revolution,” libraries were the original recycling centers. While some people do wish to own some printed materials for a variety of reasons, libraries make it possible for one or just a few copies of newspapers, magazines and books to be used by dozens or even hundreds of people over their lifetime. Building and sharing such a community resource has always made sense environmentally (less impact from production and disposal) and economically (requiring a minimal investment per person for access to a wide range of materials).

For some time, the Ridgefield Library has made extra efforts to dispose of such materials when they are no longer needed in an environmentally responsible way. Through an arrangement with Hudson Baylor Corporation, we are able to recycle at no cost to us most of our paper waste, from a tattered paperback book that is losing its pages to the cardboard packaging in which our new acquisitions are shipped to out-of-date newspapers.

Now we are expanding our recycling program to include additional materials, and we need your help. Visitors to the Library will notice new clusters of containers with separate sections for different types of trash: paper, glass, plastic, metal and “waste”, i.e. non-recyclable materials like candy wrappers. These are located at several convenient locations around the building to make it easy for library patrons to dispose of their own trash appropriately. Please feel free to ask staff for assistance in locating the nearest containers and with any questions about what should go in which bin.

And now for the best part – with a proper recycling system in place, we will be changing our policy as of January 1st to allow visitors to bring in beverages in closed containers. Stay tuned for more on this in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Plan Ahead for 2009 at the Library

Here are a few tips for planning ahead for 2009 at the Ridgefield Library.

  • Registration for winter storytimes and after school programs is taking place in Children’s Services December 2nd through 8th. Programs, from Mother Goose to Terrific Twos and beyond, start the week of January 5th. Stop by for a full calendar.

  • Our Critics’ Circle and AM Book Groups will be announcing their selections for the first half of 2009 next week. New members are always welcome, so pick up a list at the Library or check www.ridgefieldlibrary.org.

  • Are you part of a community book group? The Library is happy to make arrangements to get you multiple copies of your discussion titles, but advance planning is essential. We recommend submitting your requests at least one month before you need copies in hand. Consult with our staff now about your choices for early 2009.

  • Do you have health or physical limitations that make it difficult to get to the Library? Now is the time to sign up for our new Homebound Delivery Service before the snow flies and your mobility is even more restricted. Call Dorothy Pawlowski at 438-2282 x1003 to register, and volunteer drivers will deliver books and other materials right to your door.

  • 2009 is the International Year of Astronomy, and the Ridgefield Library is playing a big part in observing this landmark occasion. We have been chosen as one of only 40 libraries nationwide to host “Visions of the Universe,” an exhibit created by NASA and the American Library Association to commemorate the 400 years of exploring and learning about space since Galileo first turned his telescope on the heavens. Under the guidance of local astronomer Dr. Heidi Hammel, there will be dozens of activities this spring throughout the community. Stay tuned for details!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Website Survey Underway

We’re re-designing our website, and we need your help! Whether you are a regular visitor or have not yet explored the Virtual Ridgefield Library, we invite you to come to www.ridgefieldlibrary.org, take a look around, and then complete a brief online survey by following the link on the main page.

For a list of online services currently offered by the Ridgefield Library, pick up one of our blue informational bookmarks. One side gives our hours and contact information; the other details many of the things you can do even when you can’t come to the Library in person, including:

  • Check the event calendar for upcoming programs
  • Search the catalog
  • Reserve a book
  • Check your account for a list of what you have checked out
  • Renew most items
  • Download an audiobook for listening on your computer or mp3 player
  • Get reference help 24/7 from the InfoAnytime virtual reference desk
  • Get ready for the SATs and other tests with Learn-a-Test and PrepMe
  • Research almost any topic with dozens of authoritative databases from ProQuest, Ebsco and other respected publishers of reference materials
  • Check stock prices with ValueLine or recent antique sales with Prices4Antiques
  • Read Library Lines, BiblioEvents and other newsletters and publications
  • Make a secure online donation to support the Library

What else would you like to see on the site? Podcasts of storytimes and other programs? Online event registration? A blog where you could post your own reviews of the books you’ve read? More information on a favorite research topic? RSS alerts when something new is added to the site? The survey will be open until December 15th, so don’t miss this chance to let us know what you are looking for.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Shop Locally and Support the Library

Want to shop locally and support the library? Now you have several opportunities to do both at the same time!

The Library is proud to be one of the locations in town where you can purchase the brand new Ridgefield 300th Anniversary Video on DVD. Did you enjoy the Library’s Ridgefield Writes Author Festival? What about the Governor’s Ball or the July 5th parade? Produced by videographer Ed Simmons, the video features highlights and favorite moments from the yearlong tercentennial celebrations. The cost is $19.95, and a portion of the proceeds from copies bought here go to support the Library. Visa and MasterCard accepted.

To preview the video, you can check out the display monitor at the Library’s circulation desk or come to a special presentation at the Library on Thursday, December 4th at 7 PM. Also on hand will be Geoffrey Morris, author of the beautiful new coffee table book “Ridgefield at 300.” Copies of both DVD and book will be available for sale.

For the perfect gift for everyone on your holiday list, visit Books on the Common during Ridgefield Library Days on Friday, November 28th (10 AM – 6 PM), Saturday the 29th (10 AM – 6 PM) and Sunday the 30th (10 AM – 5 PM). Not only will you experience the friendly and knowledgeable help of a locally-owned independent bookstore, you will save time and gas money by staying close to home. And, as a further benefit, if you show your Ridgefield Library card when you make a book or audiobook purchase during this weekend, the bookstore will donate 15% of the proceeds to the Library.

Holiday closing update: The Library will be closed on Thursday, November 27th and Friday, November 28th for Thanksgiving and open again on Saturday and Sunday for your convenience.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Special Design Library Card Now Available

Vanity license plates, affinity credit cards, logo T-shirts and bumper stickers – there are a multitude of ways people can declare their interests and affections for everything from a brand of coffee to a preferred political candidate. Now you can show your love for the Ridgefield Library with our new special edition library card, with full-color art by local artist Jamison Odone (creator of the 2008 Summer Reading Program graphics).

The new cards are available to any Ridgefield resident who signs up for a library card, for a charge of $5.00. Our original blue and white cards are still available for free to all cardholders – just tell the staff which you want when you fill out your application.

If you already have one of the regular cards and would like to “trade up,” bring the old card in with you and we will transfer your account to a new barcode. The same $5.00 charge applies. Don’t forget to update your subscription to Library ELF with the new number, so you will continue to get advance e-mail alerts about overdues and holds.

We are delighted to offer this beautiful card and to take advantage once again of the talents of Jamison Odone. His bright colors and whimsical creatures capture the happy excitement many youngsters feel when they visit the Library, but we bet many adults will want one of the new cards as well.

Also available for sale at the Circulation Desk are copies of the 2008 Summer Reading Poster signed by artist Jamison Odone ($10.00) and insulated travel mugs with the Ridgefield Library logo ($3.00). Share the Ridgefield Library with everyone on your holiday shopping list!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

New Fiction Now Circulates for 14 Days

Good news for fiction fans! New fiction may now be borrowed for 14 days, instead of the previous 7-day loan period. You will find the latest selection of new mysteries, romance, science fiction, fantasy, historical novels, literary fiction, chick lit and much more on a special display unit conveniently located by the Circulation Desk. Now you will have twice as long to savor the latest installment in a favorite series or check out that recommended new author. New fiction can be renewed for an additional 2 weeks as long as there is no waiting list. And no need to worry – we are committed to buying enough copies to ensure that the wait for in-demand titles is not increased by this change.

As always, new books that are 500+ pages in length circulate for 28 days, so you can take your time to enjoy a good read.

New selections appear in our catalog as soon as they are ordered, so you can make your reservation even before the books have been released. You can put your name on the list through our online catalog or by asking a staff member to assist you. Indicating your interest is the best way to help us make sure we have enough copies to meet demand.

If you don’t have time to come to the Library and peruse the New Fiction shelves in person, you can still “browse” new and forthcoming titles by subscribing to BookLetters e-mail newsletters. There are editions for bestselling fiction and non-fiction; new mysteries, romance, science fiction and fantasy; business, lifestyles and science titles; and even several categories of children’s and teen books. Along with descriptions, reviews, author interviews and more, each entry links directly to our catalog so you can check availability and place a hold quickly and easily.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Read-a-thon to Support Teen Programs

A special announcement from Teen Services Librarian Geri Dioro

The Teen Advisory Group (TAG) of the Ridgefield Library will hold a Read-a-thon on Saturday, November 15 from 11am to 5pm to raise money for young adult programs and services at the Library. Since the TAG was formed several years ago, the level of activity for and by teens has skyrocketed, and it is hard for the Library to keep up with all the good ideas generated by these young people. The TAG members have decided to take action to help maintain the quality of service they are used to finding at the Library. “Teens use the library as much as anyone else and we hope to raise enough money to keep up the programs we can come to.” said TAG member Lana Dubin.

TAG members are seeking pledges from friends and family now, and on November 15th, they will gather at the Library to read all day, under the supervision of Teen Services Librarian Geri Diorio. Those interested in supporting this effort may make a tax-deductible contribution using the Library’s new secure online donation option on our website at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org.

Since 2006, TAG has met monthly to help serve the Library and to help the Library serve teens better. TAG members have painted the windows of the Library for the Friends of the Ridgefield Library’s holiday book sale, worked to shift and shelve books, stayed inside on sunny summer days listening to little children talk about books for the Summer Reading Program, and have helped out at Library events by selling books, taking tickets and directing people. For more information about TAG or the Read-a-thon, contact Teen Services Librarian Geri Diorio at 438-2282 x1004 or GADiorio@RidgefieldLibrary.org.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

National Reading Group Month Celebrated

Here's some news from Adult Services Librarian Dorothy Pawlowski.

The wealth of active book discussion groups in Ridgefield shows that proclamations about the demise of reading are greatly exaggerated, at least as they apply to our town. October has been designated National Reading Group Month by the Women’s National Book Association, and we’d like to recognize the Ridgefield Library’s long-running book groups, as well applaud those who have formed their own discussion groups in town.

The Library offers three reading groups for adults each month. The A.M. Book Group, which meets the 4th Wednesday of each month at 10 AM, and the Critics’ Circle Book Group, which meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7 PM, both focus mainly on fiction titles. Their selections run the gamut from new contemporary works to the classics. The Tuesday Evening NonFictioneers meet on the 1st Tuesday of each month, and their choices reflect the breadth of topics and titles available in this genre. Become a regular participant or pick and choose from the groups based on your reading interests and schedule. It’s a great way to meet a wonderful group of people who share a love of reading, and drop-ins are always welcome.

The Library is also committed to supporting community reading groups. Three years ago, with the support of the Friends of the Ridgefield Library, the Book Club Corner began offering resources for book groups and multiple copies of popular book discussion selections. We’re happy to provide the books needed for a discussion either from the Book Club Corner or through inter-library loan. We do ask that you allow at least two weeks to fulfill requests, and please be aware that, regrettably, we can not supply multiple copies of brand new bestsellers. Contact Adult Services Librarian Dorothy Pawlowski for more information about this service.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Celebrate Teen Read Week @ the Library

Here's an update from Teen Services Librarian Geri Diorio.

You may hear occasional news stories about teens doing bad things. But not all teens are like that, and I wish there were more attention paid to the good things that teens do. One of the places where teens can go and find meaningful ways to spend their time is the library. Teens use the Ridgefield Library for homework and school projects, but also much more. They attend programs like Final Fridays and High School Critics, and they help run the Teen Advisory Group. Local teens know the Library has plenty of magazines, newspapers, graphic novels, and how-to books. We also offer movies, music CDs, video games, CD-ROMs and special programs. We have computers that Ridgefield teens use for homework, to keep in touch with friends and family, and to play games.

I’d like to tell teens who may not be using the Library that they should check it out. There is more to do here than they may think, and there are people here who can help them get their questions answered. A good time to stop by might be next week – Teen Read Week. The Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, has designated October 12 to 18 as Teen Read Week. This year’s theme is “Books with Bite,” and we’ll have displays of books that teens can read for the fun of it. There will be books of biting humor, vampire books, bite-sized books of short stories, adventure books where the hero bites the bullet, biting questions of philosophy and sound bites (audiobooks).

So, don’t forget to visit the Ridgefield Library during Teen Read Week. You’ll see plenty of teens here, and I guarantee you that they won’t be doing any of the bad stuff you hear about in the media.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Homebound Delivery Service Now Available

The Ridgefield Library is pleased to announce the launch of a new outreach service to deliver library materials to Ridgefielders who are unable to come to the Library due to disability or health problems. “Despite record-setting numbers of visitors to our facility, we recognize that there are many people in town who are missing out on the delights of the Ridgefield Library because of physical challenges of one sort or another,” says Library Director Chris Nolan. “Now, thanks to community support, we are able to bring the Library to them.”

Homebound delivery service is available to Ridgefield residents of any age and may be requested due to long-term or short-term disability or health problems that make it impossible for an individual to come to the Library. Library staff conduct an intake interview and explain the program guidelines. They also work with each participant to develop a reader preference profile to assist in selecting materials of interest.

Participants call the Library to request a delivery. Any book, audiobook, DVD, large print book, magazine or other item owned by the Ridgefield Library may be requested (there may be a wait for some popular items). All items are loaned for 28 days and most may be renewed for an additional loan period.

Each participant is matched with a volunteer, based on geographical and schedule compatibility. Deliveries and pick-ups may be made once a week, at an agreed upon time.

The Library’s Homebound Delivery Service is made possible by crucial funding from the Friends of the Ridgefield Library and by the generous donation of time by volunteer drivers from the community. Special thanks are due to Melissa Brady, who is serving as volunteer coordinator for the project.

To sign up to receive homebound delivery service or to volunteer for the service, contact Adult Services Librarian Dorothy Pawlowski at 203-438-2282 x1003 or FictionRoom@RidgefieldLibrary.org.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Scoop on Overdue Notices

We sometimes hear from patrons taking us to task for “wasting” money sending out overdue notices too quickly. I thought it might be helpful to explain exactly what our procedures are and how you can avoid getting unnecessary notices.

Overdue notices are sent as a courtesy to alert you to library items you may have overlooked. Our purpose is not to scold you for bad behavior but rather to give you a gentle nudge to return items so they are available for other users.

The first notice of an overdue item is generated 5 days after the due date and is sent either by mail or by e-mail, as you prefer. Signing up for e-mail notification is one way to help us save money by eliminating the cost of envelopes, paper, stamps and staff time. It will also get your notice to you quicker, saving you the cost of accumulating fines.

If you can’t get into the Library to return the listed items right away, you can call or go online to renew most items.

To save time and money, we have recently eliminated a second notice which had gone out when an item was 10 days overdue. At 28 days past the due date, we send a bill for the replacement cost of items now considered lost rather than late. This charge must be resolved before you are able to borrow anything further.

The best way to avoid getting any overdue notices is, of course, to return or renew everything on time. To help you do so, we have recently introduced the Library ELF service that provides an alert ahead of time of items coming due on all the cards you register, all in one handy e-mail. Ask at Circulation for details of signing up for ELF or for e-mail overdue notices.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Banned Books Week 2008

Here's a report from Adult Services Librarian Dorothy Pawlowski.

Next week, the Ridgefield Library will join booksellers and libraries throughout the country in observing the 27th annual Banned Books Week from September 27th through October 4th. While not every book is suitable for every reader, Banned Books Week celebrates our individual right to decide what we read.

People are often surprised by the breadth of titles that are challenged each year. Challenges are formal, written complaints filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed. The American Library Association reports that in 2007 there were 420 known attempts to remove books and estimates that for every formal challenge there were four to five incidents that went unreported. This year’s list of challenged books includes such diverse titles as Beach Music by Frank Conroy, The Giver by Lois Lowry, The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, and many of the Harry Potter titles by J. K. Rowling.

The Ridgefield Library will feature displays throughout the building of books that have been banned or challenged. For any questions about why a particular book has been cited, visit the Fiction Desk for a look at Banned Books, a resource guide that details the exact nature of each challenge. And, while supplies last, pick up a colorful bookmark promoting this year’s theme “Closing Books Shuts Out Ideas.” There are versions with artwork geared specifically to children, teens, and adults.

In the words of Judith F. Krug, director of the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom, “We must remain vigilant to assure that would-be censors do not threaten the very basis of our democracy – the freedom to choose.” We hope you’ll take time this coming week to celebrate this precious First Amendment right.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ridgefield Writes Spotlights O'Neill

Along with the rest of the town’s 300th anniversary activities, our Ridgefield Writes yearlong celebration of Ridgefield authors will wrap up this month with one last special series of programs, applying the successful formula we have used previously for explorations of “Don Quixote” and Shakespeare’s tragedies. A Ridgefield property owner starting in 1922, Eugene O’Neill wrote many of his most celebrated plays while living in town. We will focus on “Desire Under the Elms,” which has the further local significance of having its setting inspired by the playwright’s Brook Farm on North Salem Road.

We will start out on Saturday, September 13th at 10 AM with a screening of the 1958 film version of the play, followed by a discussion led by film buff Lou Sabini.

Knowledgeable and entertaining on a wide range of literary topics, Yale Professor Dr. Mark Schenker returns on Thursday the 18th at 7 PM with a lecture on “Eugene O’Neill: The Man and his Works.”

On Saturday the 20th at 10 AM, we will air a documentary on Eugene O’Neill produced for PBS’s American Masters series.

Monday, September 22nd at 2 PM and at 7 PM, readers will have a chance to weigh in during scholarly book discussions led by Adult Services Librarian Dorothy Pawlowski. Registration is required only for the book discussions, and those who sign up will receive a free copy of the text.

We will wind up our journey with a dramatic presentation by Stephen Collins on October 23rd at 7 PM. A frequent performer at the Library, Mr. Collins will treat audiences to scenes from the “Theater of the 30s, 40s and 50s,” including excerpts from plays by Thornton Wilder, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller and, of course, Eugene O’Neill.

Ridgefield Writes has been made possible by a grant from the Wadsworth Russell Lewis Fund.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

September Brings Schedules Changes and More

Can you feel the nip in the air? To cap off the summer season, the Library will be closed on Monday, September 1st in observance of Labor Day. We will be here 9 AM to 5 PM on Saturday the 30th, so plan ahead to stock up on DVDs for the kids, cookbooks with new grilling recipes for the family picnic and one last good summer read for the holiday.

Registration for fall storytimes and after school activities starts when we return on Tuesday the 2nd and continues through the 8th. Programs begin the week of September 23rd. Visit Children’s Services for a complete calendar and to sign up.

When the seasons change, it’s time to return to fall hours at the Ridgefield Library. Starting September 7th, the Library will be open Sunday afternoons from 1:00 to 5:00 PM for the convenience of students, commuters and anyone who has a hard time getting here during the busy week.

September is Library Card Sign-Up Month – a great time to make sure every member of your family is ready to take advantage of all we offer. To encourage our youngest visitors to get their first library cards, we are hosting a family fun day called Fall for your Library on Sunday, September 7th from noon to 3 PM. Geared especially for children aged 4 to 6 and their families, this special event will give youngsters a chance to sign up for a library card with a new design just for kids. Each child getting a card will also have their picture taken, to take home in a commemorative frame. There will be face painting, balloon art, a cozy reading corner, free popcorn, crafts, a raffle and more – all under a tent on the Library’s front lawn. All are welcome!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Adult Summer Reading a Success

One more set of numbers on this summer’s activity at the Ridgefield Library. Now in its 4th season, our Summer Reading Program for adults really gained momentum this year, with 163 people reading and reviewing 652 books. This is a 31% increase in participants and a 56% increase in books read over last year.

One of the reasons for the increased participation surely was the magnificent prize baskets raffled off each week. Many thanks to the following for their generous donations to fill these baskets, all designed to help you “Read Around Ridgefield”: 50 Coins Restaurant, Adam Broderick, the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Bernard’s Restaurant, Bissell’s Pharmacy, Caputo’s East Ridge Café, Deborah Ann’s Sweet Shoppe, Early Bird Café, the Elms Restaurant, Home Stop, Keeler Tavern, Planet Pizza, Ridgefield Hardware, Ridgefield Magazine, Ridgefield Parks & Recreation, Ridgefield Ski & Sport, Steve’s Bagels, Stop & Shop, Sweet Pierre’s, Southwest Café, Trader Joe’s and Wild Ginger Restaurant.

Another incentive for participants this year was the chance to earn funds to support our new Homebound Delivery Service. For each book or audiobook completed, money was allocated for the purchase of materials for this new outreach program for those unable to visit the Library due to health problems or disabilities. This service is currently in its formative stages and will be available to the general public early this fall. Stay tuned for details of how you can take advantage of the program or volunteer to help implement it.

As always, prizes, programs and everything else related to Summer Reading would not be possible without the generous support of the Friends of the Ridgefield Library.

Finally, for those households without a young reader who earned a Summer Reading poster, remaining posters, signed by artist Jamison Odone, are now available for $10.00 each at the Circulation Desk.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Summer Reading Wrap-up

Summer Reading at the Ridgefield Library is all about words, and encouraging a lifelong love of books and reading. But it is also about numbers, and here are a few impressive ones from this summer’s program.

1,041 children going into grades K-5 and 177 teens in grades 6-12 participated. That translates to one of every four students of all ages in the Ridgefield school system.

Younger readers logged 30,564 books, and teens reviewed 5,401, for a grand total of 35,965 books - an increase of more than 10% over last year. Without one universally popular title like a new Harry Potter, selections ranged from cherished classics like “The Cat in the Hat” to the teen vampire romances of Stephenie Meyer. That’s an average of 29.5 books per child in just six weeks!

  • 817 youngsters read at least 10 books and received one of our special posters designed by Jamison Odone.
  • 641 logged at least 20 books and earned an ice cream certificate from Deborah Anne’s Sweet Shoppe.
  • 494 reached the 30 book level and got their picture taken with our tiger mascot.
  • 398 recorded at least 40 books and took home their own miniature tiger – complete with top hat.
  • 295 read more than 50 books and were rewarded with a gift certificate from The Toy Chest.

Teenagers earned 143 pieces of pizza from Piccolo Pizza (10 books), 99 ice cream certificates from Deborah Anne’s (20 books) and 66 pairs of movie tickets from the Ridgefield Playhouse (30 books).

Thanks to all the merchants who supplied prizes, to the Friends of the Library for their ongoing generous support of Summer Reading, and to the National Charity League and other volunteers who assisted with 3,580 visits to the Reading Desk. That’s a lot of “Reading around Ridgefield!”

Thursday, July 31, 2008

2007-2008 A Busy Year @ the Library

Did you hear the report on All Things Considered recently about library use rising in response to the downturn in the economy? Well, it is not just in rural Kentucky that people are turning to their public libraries for books to read, kids’ activities, Internet access, newspapers and magazines and more, all free and all close to home. The 2007-2008 fiscal year, which ended June 30th, saw record levels of usage at the Ridgefield Library as well.

The number of visitors to the Library rose by 6,711 over the previous year, to 398,934 visits (an average of 1,170 per day). Checkouts reached an all-time high of 408,557, up 2.8% in the last 12 months. That amounts to an average of 16.9 items borrowed by every man, woman and child in town. Library staff fielded over 17,000 reference questions, and we logged an average of 81 sessions at our Public Access Computers each day. Visits to our website at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org went up by nearly 10,000 hits (a 16.4% increase), to 68,478, as Ridgefielders increasingly turned to our virtual library for more reliable answers than they could find on their own with a search engine. Subscriptions to our downloadable audiobook service were up by 6.1% and use of our wireless access rose 4.7%.

Attendance at programs reached over 19,000, due in no small part to the many wonderful Ridgefield Writes events presented in honor of the town’s tercentennial. The total number of programs presented came to 875, or an average of 17 storytimes, book discussions, concerts, author talks and more each and every week. To find out about those programs, over 2,000 families were subscribed to our e-mail newsletter and 22,193 visits were made to our online events calendar.

Whatever your motivation to come to the Library, we were pleased to welcome you during the past year and look forward to seeing you again soon.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

New Self-Checkout Provides Express Service

Serve yourself! That’s the message of the new self-service Express Checkout station at the Ridgefield Library. Just walk up to the special computer touchscreen at the Circulation Desk, scan your library card, and you are on your way. A simple-to-follow set of onscreen instructions is supplemented by audio cues to help you check out your selections quickly and easily. Any type of item may be borrowed at the Express Checkout, including DVDs and audiobooks. When done, touch “Finish” and you’ll get a printed receipt detailing the due dates of the items you have just checked out. Self-checkout is simple to use, even for people with minimal computer experience. Give it a try today – library staff is right at hand to answer any questions.

Here are a few tips for using Express Checkout:

  1. You must have your physical library card with you to use the system, which operates solely by scanning (no keyboard entry or name look-up).
  2. Your card must be up-to-date, and your account must be free of blocks caused by fines or lost item charges in excess of $5.00. You will need to seek the assistance of staff to clear up any irregularities before using Express Checkout.
  3. Waiting list books, Inter-Library Loans and other special items must be collected at the regular circulation counter.

Express Checkout is designed to expedite routine transactions, and there may be times when the system directs you to a staff person to take care of business such as fines or lost items. Of course, you can opt at any time for traditional service from our circulation staff, who are always happy to help you.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Summer Reading - It's Not Just for Kids

Adult Services Librarian Dorothy Pawlowski contributed the following update:

Children and teens aren’t the only ones enjoying summer reading at the Ridgefield Library. Thanks to the support of the Friends of the Ridgefield Library, this year marks our fourth annual Adult Summer Reading Program, which runs through Saturday, August 2nd. In celebration of our town’s 300th anniversary, this year’s theme is Adults Read Around Ridgefield.

Summer Reading is a way for adults to share favorite books and have some fun. To participate, just fill out an entry form with a review for each book read or audiobook listened to, and you’ll be entered for our weekly raffle prizes. Entry forms are available at the library or online, and you can even submit entries electronically. The reviews from Adult Summer Readers are available to all as a great resource for reading recommendations. This year, 22 businesses have made generous contributions that Reference Librarian Lesley-Anne Read has assembled into gorgeous gift baskets for our weekly prize drawings.

Don’t miss the remaining programs of our Adult Summer Reading Program. On Monday, July 28th at 10:30 AM, we’ll be hosting the latest of our monthly Books & Breakfast Book Chats. This informal gathering affords the opportunity for our staff member to share some of their favorite titles, and for participants to share books they’ve enjoyed. Library Director Chris Nolan, Teen Services Librarian Geri Diorio, and Circulation Supervisor Trevor Gladwin will be our staff presenters, and beverages and snacks will be provided. The second of our popular Brown Bag Mystery Lunches led by mystery writer Dr. Joanne Dobson will take place on Wednesday, July 30th at noon. Mysteries set in New England small towns will be the focus of this discussion. Finally, music fans mark your calendars for Thursday, July 31st at 7 PM as the folk duo Castlebay presents a program of Songs of Old New England.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

New Shelving Arrangement for Movies

You may have noticed changes to the arrangement of DVDs and videos at the Ridgefield Library.

Children’s entertainment movies are all now shelved front and center near the circulation desk. While our collections are now predominantly in DVD format, we still own a sizable number of kids’ films on VHS cassette to accommodate all those households with an old VCR in the playroom.

Also in this area are television shows on DVD, filed by the name of the series. From Masterpiece Theater classics to the latest HBO hits, this is one of the most popular and fastest growing collections in the Library.

Other entertainment-style films are shelved alphabetically by title in the first aisle, near the Storytime Sculpture Room. Foreign language films, formerly shelved on separate display units, are now interfiled with other movies and may be distinguished by a red or pink spine label with the letter L.

Children’s educational films are filed by Dewey Decimal number in Children’s Services, and other documentaries and instructional videos are interfiled with books on the same topic in the adult non-fiction section.

To assist families in finding appropriate viewing material, we have put colored spine labels on all movies indicating their rating from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) or similar organization in other countries (i.e. G, PG, PG-13, etc.). Be advised that not all films have been rated, especially those created for television or produced outside of the US. These items have a blue spine label marked NR. An NR designation does not necessarily mean that the content is appropriate for all viewers, simply that no rating has been done. Parents are cautioned to review all material before screening for their children, as even a G-rated film like “Bambi” could contain situations that may be frightening or inappropriate for certain youngsters.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Down to Earth Practical Tips with a Fancy Name

What comes to your mind when you hear the phrase “electronic databases?” This is the unfortunately obscure term that the library world has adopted to describe a multitude of information resources that are available in a computerized format. Many people are familiar with the online versions of encyclopedias like World Book. Students and researchers know about the newest generation of periodical indexes that feature full-text articles and have replaced the old multi-volume print reference sets. Genealogy research and investment analysis services are used by an increasing number of people.

But I bet very few would associate the words “electronic database” with practical advice on topics such as planning a remodeling project, caring for an aging lawn mower or replacing the fan belt in your car. Take a look at the “Research” section on the Library’s website at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org, and you’ll find the Home Improvement, Small Engine Repair and Automobile Repair Reference Centers from EBSCO, a premiere publisher of reference information of all types.

The reference centers include technical service bulletins, recall notices and parts specifications on all kinds of vehicles and gadgets; video clips that demonstrate repair techniques; how-to articles and lay-out diagrams for common do-it-yourself tasks; tips from the pros; and much more. Have a plumbing emergency after working hours? With a wireless Internet connection and a laptop, you can even log on and have all this valuable information at your finger tips, any time of day or night – right where the problem is.

So, whether you want to remodel your home to be more environmentally conscious or just need a part number for a used car acquired without an owner’s manual, give the EBSCO Reference Centers a try – all brought to you by the Ridgefield Library.

Friday, June 27, 2008

New Reminder Service Eases Impact of Fine Increase

The Ridgefield Library is pleased to introduce Library ELF, a free service that allows library users to request e-mail or text message reminders several days ahead of when items are due. One popular feature is the ability to consolidate information about all of your family’s library accounts, even at multiple libraries, in one location and receive just one combined reminder. Check our website at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org or ask at the Circulation Desk for information on how to put Library ELF to work for you.

ELF may be of particular interest in light of the recent Library Board decision to raise fines on overdue books to 25 cents per day, effective July 1st. Everyone is feeling the economic pinch these days, and the Library is not immune to the escalating cost of everything from postage to electricity. This is one of many strategies the Library is exploring to remain a fiscally responsible organization in tight times. We hope this move also will encourage people to adhere to due dates and keep our collection circulating briskly and equitably, so that others may have their turn to read that new bestseller in a timely manner. The $1.00 per day fine on videos, DVDs and videogames remains the same, and modest per item maximum fine limits also stay the same, at $2.50 for children’s materials, $5.00 for adult materials and $10.00 for video materials.

The Library offers many other ways to help you avoid paying fines. Most items can be renewed online. All items, including audiovisual material, may be returned in the outside book drop after hours without incurring an overdue charge until after we open the next day. E-mail overdue notices provide more timely notification of mounting fines than conventional mailed notices. A receipt print-out of all items borrowed can be helpful in keeping track of what is due when. Ask for details at the Circulation Desk.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Getting Ready for Summer @ the Library

Summer has arrived, and things are hopping at the Ridgefield Library. Here are a few reminders to help you get the most out of your library experience this summer.

Effective June 22nd, the Library has switched to summer hours, which drop our Sunday openings until after school starts in the fall. We remain open 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.

Summer Reading programs for children, teens and adults begin this week, and the next six weeks will be chock full of special events and activities. To make sure you don’t miss anything, sign up now for our weekly e-mail newsletter. Ask any service desk for a registration form. At the same time, you can sign up to receive overdue notices and hold notifications by e-mail as well – a real time and money saver for you and for the Library.

To get in and out of the Library as efficiently as possible during these busy times, make sure you bring your library card with you and have it ready when you get to the check-out desk. This saves time and ensures accuracy. You will also need a library card in good standing to take advantage of our new self-service check-out machine, which should be installed within the next few weeks. Stay tuned for more on this exciting new service.

To use this express check-out station, your account must be free of any delinquencies such as lost item charges or total fines over $5.00. To help you clear up these charges, we now accept Visa and MasterCard at the Circulation Desk. To help us avoid unnecessary processing fees, we suggest a minimum charge of $5.00. Ask for details on your next visit.

Seniors, Teens and Wii

Teenagers sometimes seem to be a different species, depicted in the media as lazy, self-centered and interested in music, movies and other pursuits nearly incomprehensible to their elders. Well, at the Ridgefield Library, we think that there is more to admire in both teenagers and their favorite pastimes than meets the eye. A dedicated and talented group of young people make up the Library’s Teen Advisory Group (TAG), which helps to plan and implement programs and services for middle and high schoolers. They have assisted with reorganizing collections, served as a focus group for publishers’ representatives specializing in young adult literature, created book displays to entice other readers and much more. In addition to making the Library a stimulating and welcoming place for their own peer group, TAG members also serve as ambassadors to older and younger Ridgefielders, donning story book character costumes to entertain young children and lending a helping hand to new readers as volunteers with the Library’s Summer Reading Program.

The latest intergenerational endeavor is coming up on Wednesday, July 25th, when members of TAG will travel to Founders Hall for a 2:30 seminar called “What’s Wii?” Perhaps best known for its Guitar Hero game, Nintendo’s Wii is one of the hottest youth crazes today. But video games are not just for kids! “Wii video game system becomes new tool for hospital rehab unit,” trumpets one recent headline, and numerous studies show that older adults can gain important physical and psychological benefits from the Wii. This electronic game system has people of all ages bowling, playing golf and tennis and swinging a hula hoop - all in their living rooms.

If you are a member of Founders Hall, do join us to learn about the Wii phenomenon. You’ll not only hear about it, you’ll have a chance to play – and to meet some of the Library’s exemplary young adults.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Celebrating Older Adults at the Ridgefield Library

Some news from Adult Services Librarian Dorothy Pawlowski.

While May is officially designated as Older Adults Month, the Ridgefield Library offers services with appeal to this growing demographic year round.

For those who find regular books difficult to read, the Library has a collection of over 2,400 large print titles, ranging from current best sellers to the classics. Our ever-growing audiobook collection, for those who want to read while on the go, includes books on CD and cassette and downloadable audiobooks. Our newest additions are Playaways, self -contained audiobooks that at only 2 ounces offer the ultimate in portability.

While not only geared to older adults, this summer the Ridgefield Library will be launching a Homebound Delivery Service for those unable to come to the library due to short- or long-term medical problems or disabilities. Eligible patrons will be in contact with a library staff member, who will help in the selection of library materials, including regular and large print books, audiobooks, and DVD movies. Then, a volunteer will make deliveries and pick-ups to and from their place of residence. We hope to have this program in full swing by mid-summer.

From June 23rd through August 2nd, the Library will be holding its fourth annual Adult Summer Reading Program. This year’s theme is Adults Read Around Ridgefield, and for each book read or audiobook listened to, participants will earn one dollar toward the purchase of large print books and audiobooks earmarked for our new Homebound Delivery Service. In addition, we will be featuring weekly prizes, book displays, reading recommendations and special programs, including Books & Breakfast Chats, Brown Bag Mystery Lunches, live music, and more.

For more information about the Homebound Delivery Service or the Adult Summer Reading Program contact Adult Services Librarian Dorothy Pawlowski. And thanks to the Friends of the Ridgefield Library for their support of both of these programs.

Migrating Collections

Here's a report from the stacks courtesy of Reference Services head Victoria Carlquist.

If you’ve been in the nonfiction or reference stacks at the Ridgefield Library lately, you’ve undoubtedly wondered what in the world had happened to the reasonable organization of the books on the shelves. And then there’s all that yellow caution tape.

This is what’s going on. We are in the process of reorganizing our collection, and unfortunately this means a bit of chaos until the switching around is complete.

For years we have shelved the reference books (those which do not circulate) in the room behind the Reference desk and the nonfiction circulating collection in the main room of the Library. When looking for nonfiction books, most people tend to peruse only the shelves in the Library’s main room, thereby missing reference materials on the same subjects. Combining the two collections in the main room will make finding more information easier. The reference books are clearly marked on the spines, which we hope will limit confusion.

In order to provide space for the interfiled collections, we needed to move something to the shelves in the reference room, and the biography collection got the nod. So look for Teddy Roosevelt, Anne Boleyn and other favorite historical figures in their new home.

For those of you who are used to finding the business/financial materials in the reference room, they will continue to be there. Multi-volume sets of biographical, art, music, and science encyclopedias will also be found there, as well as the language learning materials.

So please excuse our temporary migratory movement. Hopefully it will not take long for everything to settle into normalcy again. By the way, we interfiled reference and circulating material in Children’s Services some months ago, and this system seems to work well for information-gathering Ridgefielders of all ages!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Turn to Your Library When Times Get Tough

I was intrigued by the special coverage in the Danbury News-Times recently about the local impact of the shaky economy. Libraries were mentioned in article after article as great places to save money while still enjoying many favorite activities. In fact, libraries typically experience a surge in use when times are tough, and the Ridgefield Library’s usage statistics over the past few months bear this out. Here are a few of the ways the Ridgefield Library can help you weather these trying times.

· Instead of spending $50 or more taking the family to the multiplex, come to our Hollister Film Series every other Tuesday afternoon and evening. We’ll even throw in the popcorn for free!

· Give up on Netflix and get your DVDs from the Library. We don’t deliver to your door, but we will call or e-mail you when the title you have requested is available for your use.

· Why buy that expensive audiobook you will only listen to once? Borrow one for free on cassette or CD or available for download anytime, anywhere to an MP3 player.

· Take in a concert, lecture or art show locally instead of spending precious gas money on trips to the big city. Our Ridgefield Folk concert series features world class talent, and the artists on exhibit in the Dayton Program Room Gallery are top notch.

· Do you really need all those magazine subscriptions? The Library carries over 200 popular titles in print (available for borrowing) and offers full-text editions of hundreds more online.

Of course, we don’t want to dissuade you from patronizing local businesses or arts organizations, but if you are looking for ways to stretch your dollar to afford their offerings, make the Ridgefield Library a regular part of your family’s routine.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Knock Off Killowatts

Here's some news from Gretchen Bishop, a volunteer with the Library and with the Ridgefield Action Committee for the Environment.

The Ridgefield Library and the Ridgefield Action Committee for the Environment (RACE) want to help town residents “eliminate” their excess energy consumption. The two groups have partnered to provide six Kill A Watt energy meters that library patrons can borrow with a library card.

A Kill A Watt measures how much electricity an appliance consumes. Simply plug an appliance into the meter, leave it for twenty-four hours, and then check the LCD display to discover how many kilowatt-hours have been consumed. Instructions are included to help you figure out electrical expense by the hour, day, week, month, or year.

Do you wonder just how much your ten-year-old refrigerator costs to run? Or how much energy is wasted by leaving on the computer when it’s not in use? The Kill A Watt can provide this information so residents can make simple lifestyle changes that will result in energy savings. By running a Kill A Watt test before and after implementing new conservation-minded practices, families can track progress in reducing their carbon footprint.

Recently the Library implemented a number of energy saving measures in its own facility, such as programmable thermostats and motion sensors for lights in some areas. With RACE, we hope to continue to offer services and programs that patrons will find useful in these times when environmental issues are so pressing. Each Kill A Watt at the Library comes with a list of websites providing information on energy conservation and energy star appliances as well instructions on how to sign up for clean, renewable energy. They are located at the Reference Desk and may be borrowed for 14 days. Why not try one out and “knock off” some kilowatts on your energy bill?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Friends Book Sale Coming up in May

The tent on the lawn for the recent author festival brought dozens of people into the Ridgefield Library looking for the book sale. That big tent has become a true sign of the success of the Friends of the Library’s twice yearly used book sales and brings out the bargain hunters and avid readers in droves. Don’t despair - there’s not long to wait! The spring sale is coming up on Friday May 16th through Monday, May 19th. There will be some 25,000 books of all varieties, along with CDs, DVDs and other media. There will be so many goodies that the tent and the Dayton Program Room will both be filled, and Visa/MasterCard will be accepted for purchases over $10. Schedule details can be found on the Library’s webpage at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org.

While there, you might want to consider becoming a member of the Friends (look for the printable form online, or pick up a brochure at the Library). Members receive special privileges, such as admission to a preview reception before the sales and an insider newsletter. Most importantly, membership dues along with book sale proceeds make it possible for the Friends to sponsor some of the Library’s most popular activities, such as the Summer Reading Program.

If you would like to do even more to help, you are invited to call Book Sale chair Joan Laspia at 431-8766 to become part of the volunteer team. Boxes and bags and even armfuls of donated books come in to the Library every week and must be sorted and priced prior to each sale. New volunteers are always welcome!

One final note: Friday May 9th is the deadline to bring in donations for this month’s sale. Donation guidelines are available on the website or by calling the Library at 438-2282.

Monday, April 28, 2008

National Volunteer Week

Every day of the year, the Ridgefield Library benefits from the efforts of scores of volunteers, but once a year, during National Volunteer Week, we pause to thank them publicly. Simply listing all the individual names would exceed the word limit for this column, so we will have to acknowledge them collectively.

Our enormously popular Summer Reading Program would not be possible without the countless hours put in by teens and adults assisting young readers. It would be much harder to find desired material without the ongoing efforts of volunteer shelvers. And special events like last weekend’s author festival mobilize the talents of dozens of people doing everything from wearing storybook character costumes to serving punch.

Certainly the Friends of the Library deserve special mention for their continued support. Not only are the Friends a valuable source of assistance with everything from mailings to receptions, their book sales provide the financial support for some of the Library’s most cherished programs, such as Ridgefield Folk, Reading is a Family Affair and, of course, decades worth of Summer Reading.

In the past year, volunteer involvement with the Library has expanded significantly, as many members of the community have signed on to assist with the myriad tasks involved in planning for our proposed building project and in evaluating and developing a broad range of library services. The entire town will benefit from their efforts to make the Ridgefield Library truly a model of excellence, now and for years to come.

Many volunteers come to the Library individually, but others are part of fruitful partnerships with the National Charity League, the Ridgefield Men’s Club, ABC House, the Volunteer Center serving Western Connecticut, numerous Scout troops and community service programs at schools, churches, synagogues and other organizations. However they come to us, the Ridgefield Library salutes and thanks every one of them!

Monday, March 31, 2008

New Playaway Audiobook Format Available

Here's some news from Adult Services Librarian Dorothy Pawlowski.

The Ridgefield Library is constantly looking for ways to enhance the listening experience of our audiobook users. Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the Ridgefield Library, a selection of Playaways has just been added to our ever-expanding audiobook collection.

Playaways are perhaps the most user-friendly way to access an audiobook. These compact self-contained units come with an entire pre-loaded audiobook selection and are the perfect option for those without access to a CD or MP3 player. Listening is as easy as pressing a button, and when you pause, the player saves your place between sessions. Weighing only about two ounces, a Playaway can easily be tucked into a pocket for portability while you go about your daily activities at home, at the gym, or outdoors. Other useful features include the option to adjust the speed of the narrator to enhance your listening, and a universal headphone jack that allows either use of your own headphones or of the earbuds provided.

Available titles include Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly, Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo, and Bill Bryson’s The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. Visit the Fiction Room on the Library’s second floor or www.ridgefieldlibrary.org for a complete list of current selections.

While Playaways offer a new alternative for listening to audiobooks, more titles are constantly being added to our popular collection of over 1100 books on CD. And if you are intimidated about trying a downloadable audiobook, consider contacting Adult Services Librarian Dorothy Pawlowski for a one-on-one tutorial, or to arrange for the loan of an MP3 player that is pre-loaded with an audiobook of your choice.