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

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.