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!”