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.