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 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.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

NoveList Is for Readers of All Ages

The more than 30 people who came to the first Books & Breakfast meeting recently were treated to a demonstration of Novelist, an online resource for finding satisfying works of fiction, learning about an author, preparing for a book discussion and more. What even people familiar with this great tool may not realize is that Novelist also covers books for children and teens, along with its content for adult readers.

Has your child ever said: “I need to read an historical fiction book for school, but I don't know where to find one?” Or, “I read all the Lightning Thief books; can you help me find more books like those?” If so, you may want to look at NoveList’s special sections for Younger Kids, Older Kids and Teens. You can find a favorite author and every book s/he has written; search by series to see which book comes next; or look for books by plot points (to find another great dog story, for example). Book lists are broken down by age and then subject. Need a book on immigration for your fifth grader? There is a list of titles to choose from. You can also explore fiction by genre - mystery, historical fiction, fantasy, romance and more are further divided by age so you can find just the right book for your child. There is abundant supplementary material for teachers and parents, plus plenty of ideas for making the transition from young adult to adult books.

Access NoveList at, from the Research or Children’s Services pages. From one handy opening page, you can explore the world of great fiction, no matter what your age or reading level.

REMINDER: The next Books & Breakfast meeting will be held March 31st, at 10:30 AM in the Dayton Program Room. Join us to learn about more hidden treasurers like NoveList.

Calling all Authors!

The Ridgefield Library’s Ridgefield Writes author festival is coming up at the end of April, and we want you to be included. If you are or know someone who is a writer of any genre who lives or has lived in Ridgefield, contact the Library right away at 203-438-2282 x1013 or to make sure you get an invitation to the Grand Reception on Sunday, April 27th. And don’t forget to check the Ridgefield Authors wiki on our webpage to make sure we have a current and complete listing for you there as well. You can pick up a brochure at the Library or check our website for a full calendar of Ridgefield Writes events coming in April and beyond. Look for the delightful “writing tiger” mascot created by talented young local author and illustrator Jamison Odone.

Holiday Closings

As many readers know, the Ridgefield Library does not follow the same schedule of closings for weather or holidays as the schools, businesses or government offices. This weekend we will be closed on Friday the 21st and Sunday the 23rd, but we will be here our usual hours (9 AM to 5 PM) on Saturday the 22nd. And, of course, you can access many services when our physical building is closed, by visiting our Virtual Library at Renew a book, request an item or research a term paper with one of our many online databases. Download an audiobook for the car trip to Grandma’s house for holiday dinner. Youngsters waiting impatiently for the Easter Bunny can while away some time exploring TumbleBooks, a collection of electronic books for young readers, complete with pictures, word definitions and audio versions of most texts.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Local Authors Celebrated by Library Book Groups

This month the Library moves into high gear with Ridgefield Writes, our 300th anniversary celebration of Ridgefield authors, “past, present and just passing through.” Along with an Author Festival set for April 24-27, we have scheduled special activities for our regular book discussion groups, and now is the time for readers to get in on the fun.

We’ll start with the Tuesday Evening Nonfictioneers, who will devote their April 1st meeting to Silvio Bedini’s “Ridgefield in Review.” The Critics’ Circle will gather on April 15th to talk about Mark Salzman’s critically acclaimed novel “The Soloist.” Salzman’s own Ridgefield upbringing as chronicled in his memoir “Lost in Place” will be the topic for the AM Book Group on the 23rd. The Library’s monthly book discussion at Founders Hall on the 24th will focus on “Girls of Tender Age,” another memoir of suburban childhood by former Ridgefielder Mary-Ann Tirone Smith (open to all members of Founders Hall – copies of the book available at the front desk). As a special treat, Smith and Salzman will be appearing at the Library as part of the Author Festival. Details of these and many other Ridgefield Writes events are available at

Our next Reading Is a Family Affair program on May 7th will feature local author C. Coco DeYoung leading a conversation about her book “A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt,” a historical novel for young readers about the Depression. Stop in Children’s Services to sign up and receive a free family copy of the book, thanks to the Friends of the Library.

Copies of the Bedini and Salzman titles are available for borrowing at the Circulation Desk. Book group selections are also available for purchase at a discount at Books on the Common. New members are always welcome, so join us to celebrate our local literary lights!