Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Coming in the New Year

What’s new for the New Year at the Ridgefield Library? Here’s a preview of what is coming soon. Watch for details of these and other exciting developments.

• “Enjoying Joyce” multi-session, multi-media exploration of the life and works of James Joyce, starting with an introductory lecture by Yale College professor Mark Schenker in January and culminating with a Bloomsday celebration in June.
• Text-a-Librarian service, which will allow you to ask our librarians a reference question from your mobile phone.
• Online registration for selected programs. First up will be a 4-part poetry workshop in January. Check the January 8th opening session on our event calendar at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org to sign up.
• New after-school activities for young people, including Junior Writers, crochet workshops and chess classes.
• New selections for the AM Book Group, Critics’ Circle, Murder by the Book and Tuesday Evening Nonfictioneers book discussion groups.
• New museum passes offering free or discounted admission to the Connecticut Science Museum, the Danbury Railway Museum and the Old State House. Reservations for these and all our museum passes will soon be done online.
• A completely re-designed library website. Stay tuned for the grand opening of our new virtual branch in January!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Highlights of 2009

What did you do at the Ridgefield Library this year? Here are a few of our favorite moments of 2009 – we hope you enjoyed them, too.

• A veritable tent city rising in the parking lot for the Friends of the Library’s spring and fall used book sales

• Heidi Hammel, Dava Sobel and others leading us on a virtual voyage to the stars for the International Year of Astronomy

• The installation of a self-service check-out station in Children’s Services

• The annual Camp Snooze 4th grade sleepover – so popular we had to do it twice this fall!

• Our first ever Murder Mystery Dinner Theater fundraiser, featuring a musical production, great food and wine, and fun with friends

• Expansion of the popular Mother Goose program for infants and caregivers to year-round, offering social interaction and pre-literacy skills development every week

• The debut of the new Murder by the Book mystery discussion group

• Over 13,000 people – nearly twice our normal daily headcount of 1170 – rushing to the Library for the first week of Summer Reading in June

• The chance to meet talented and engaging Nutmeg Book Award-nominated authors throughout the year, thanks to HSBC Bank

Friday, December 11, 2009

Library Holiday Closings

Mark these dates on your calendar as you plan your schedule for the holidays. The Library will be closed on Thursday, December 24th and Friday, December 25th. We will, however, be open for business as usual on Saturday the 26th (9:00 AM to 5:00 PM) and Sunday the 27th (1:00 to 5:00 PM).

The next week, we will close at 3:00 PM on New Year’s Eve (Thursday) and will remain closed on January 1st. Regular hours resume on Saturday the 2nd.

Our program schedule will be lighter than usual over the holidays, but some activities will continue, including Saturday morning Drop-in Storytime on December 26th and January 2nd. And, of course, we have plenty of DVDs for family viewing, good reads to enliven vacation hours, audiobooks for long car trips, cookbooks for last-minute entertaining tips and quiet study space and online reference tools for the college student trying to keep up with class assignments over the break.

If your life gets hectic in the next few weeks, don’t forget you can reserve or renew items online or by phone. Check www.ridgefieldlibrary.org for other helpful resources you can access any time without leaving home.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hunting for Hidden Treasures at the Ridgefield Library

Have you ever sought in vain at the Ridgefield Library for something you just knew had to be here somewhere? Here is a selective key to help with your next treasure hunt.

• Young adult literature: we have a dedicated collection for teens but no separate room for them, so these books fill two walls along the perimeter of Children’s Services.

• Language learning materials: books, videos, audio programs and even CD-ROMs are all housed together – in the Reference Room on the first floor.

• Reference books: most of these are now actually shelved alongside circulating materials on the same topic, in both adult and children’s non-fiction stacks. Exceptions are large encyclopedia sets and some special collections devoted to specific topics, such as business (these remain in the Reference Room).

• Large print books: we have an extensive collection of new fiction, old favorites and even non-fiction and biography in large print – all together in the Fiction Room on the second floor.

• Music CDs: Material targeted at young children is in Children’s Services. Recordings of more general interest, from classical to pop, are in the Fiction Room.

Of course, you can always ask any of the staff for assistance – we love to share our treasures!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Shop the Holiday Book Boutique

This weekend, Holiday Strollers can continue their walk down Main Street to the Library, where the Friends of the Library will be hosting their annual Holiday Book Boutique. Hundreds of nearly new and gift quality children’s books, coffee table books and much more will be for sale at attractive prices for holiday gift giving. Hint for parents: this is a great place for youngsters to get affordable presents for family members. They can shop “in secret” while you take care of other library business. The Holiday Book Boutique will be open from 5 PM to 9 PM on Friday the 4th and 9 AM to 4 PM on Saturday the 5th.

The Boutique will be located this year in the historic Morris Memorial wing of the Library, and the doors from Main Street will be open for the occasion. Follow the decorative lights up the path and enjoy the rare opportunity to come in through this seldom-used entrance.

While you’re here, don’t forget to stop by the Circulation Desk to stock up on library travel mugs and special edition illustrated library cards. A mug and card combination package is only $5.00 – perfect for teacher gifts, stocking stuffers or Secret Santa presents.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Winter Service Reminders

What does the coming of winter mean at the Ridgefield Library?

• When schools are closed due to the weather, regularly scheduled storytimes and other children’s activities will be cancelled. Decisions about adult programs are made on a case by case basis.

• The Library does not necessarily follow the lead of the schools or town agencies when deciding whether to close early or delay opening because of the weather. Always call or check our website or www.ctweather.com for the latest status before starting out.

• If we are open but you don’t feel comfortable going out on the roads, call or go online to renew materials that are due. You can also check out the wealth of resources on our website at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org - all available for your information and entertainment from the comfort and safety of your home.

• Do you have health or mobility issues that are aggravated by the winter weather? Our Homebound Delivery Service may provide a solution to the problem of getting to the Library in the ice and snow. Adult Services Librarian Dorothy Pawlowski at 203-438-2282 x1003 is happy to discuss long-term or seasonal service.

Here’s to a happy and healthy winter for all!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ridgefield Library Days at Books on the Common

Ridgefield Library Days are coming once again to Books on the Common, now in its new location at 404 Main Street. On the weekend after Thanksgiving, just show your Ridgefield Library card at the time of purchase and 15% of the proceeds of book sales (hardcover, paperback and audiobooks) will be donated to the Library. The bookstore will be open Friday the 27th from 9:30 AM – 8:00 PM (stop by before or after the tree-lighting ceremony), Saturday the 28th from 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM and Sunday the 29th from 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM.

If you haven’t been to the new Books on the Common store, you are in for a treat. And now you can support your community library while supporting this local business. What more incentive do you need to get and carry your library card? Stop by the Circulation Desk today and get yours. All you need is proof of Ridgefield residence (such as driver’s license, lease or utility bill). Free keychain cards are now available for your convenience, or for a $5.00 fee you can get our colorful special edition card designed by author and illustrator Jamison Odone (this makes a great stocking stuffer, too).

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Giving Program Expands Book Club Corner Selection

Is your book group looking for great selections for your future meetings?  Don’t forget to check out our Book Club Corner, located in the Fiction Room.  Here you will find 10 copies each of dozens of titles, chosen by our librarians for their suitability for discussion.  The choices range from proven hits like Sara Gruen’s “Water for Elephants” to newer titles such as “The Heretic’s Daughter” by Kathleen Kent. 

To maximize our purchasing power, the Library usually waits until a selection is available in paperback before acquiring it for the Book Club Corner.  But a new giving program is allowing us to respond more quickly to requests for titles that are in demand and in the news. For example, a recent donation from the members of the Westmoreland Book Club made possible timely purchase of hardcover copies of “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett.  The club gets first use of the books, which are then available for other groups to read and discuss.  Bookplates in each copy acknowledge the generosity of the donor club.

Please contact Adult Services Librarian Dorothy Pawlowski for more details about this new program or for further information about other library services for community book clubs.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Give Mango Foreign Language Learning System a Try

Interested in learning or becoming more proficient in a foreign language?   The Ridgefield Library is here to support your efforts.  Responding to the proliferation of new products and formats, we are continually looking to expand our language learning collection to serve you better.  

Pimsleur language learning selections are no longer available as part of our NetLibrary downloadable audiobook service.   We are exploring several other options, including interactive computer-based programs, and would like your input.

This month, we are running a trial of Mango Languages, an online language-learning system offering instruction in speaking skills for a wide variety of languages.  Mango uses real-life situations to teach a new language.  By listening to and repeating material from native conversations, the user learns the language and how to use it in practical situations, while being introduced to elements of grammar and conjugation.

You can access the Mango Languages trial by visiting our website at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org, or you can try it at the Library.  Once you have sampled Mango Languages, e-mail your feedback to dlpawl@RidgefieldLibrary.org.  Please include reactions to the Mango 2.0 Technology Preview when commenting about whether this is a resource the Library should consider purchasing. Thanks for your help.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

H1N1 Preparedness @ the Library

Along with many others, the Ridgefield Library is preparing to minimize risks to its patrons and staff from the anticipated onset of H1N1 virus, or swine flu.

First and foremost, if anyone in your family shows symptoms that resemble those associated with swine flu – stay home!  Renew items you have out online or by phone; call to let us know you won’t be coming to storytime.  As with any illness, if you are too sick to go to work or school, you are too sick to come to the Library.

Exercise sensible precautions when handling library materials or computers. Have your child wash his or her hands after using a “games” computer, or take advantage of one of the dispensers of sanitizing gel located throughout the building. Use a sanitizing wipe to clean off computer keyboards or tabletops before use.  Our maintenance staff works hard to make sure the Library is thoroughly cleaned each morning, but with more than 1,200 people coming through the doors each day, we can’t keep up with the continuous activity.

Visit our website at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org and click on “H1N1 Information” for the latest from the Town of Ridgefield, the state Dept. of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mystery Book Discussion Group to Launch in November

Murder by the Book – that’s the name of the Library’s newest book discussion group, set to launch next month.  Responding to popular demand, it will be dedicated exclusively to the enjoyment and exploration of the mystery genre.

Meeting on the first Thursday of each month, the group will alternate between traditional book discussions and other mystery-related programs, such as film screenings, author talks and more. Library Assistant Director Mary Rindfleisch will serve as facilitator.

The first session will be on Thursday, November 5th at 1:00 PM in the Library’s Dayton Program Room, when we will discuss “Shroud for a Nightingale” by P.D. James. This title was selected for our inaugural meeting because of the author’s unique position in the transition between Golden Age writers like Agatha Christie and Ngaio Marsh and the more contemporary sensibility of Sue Grafton, Elizabeth George and others.

As with all Library book groups, copies of the selection are available at the Circulation Desk, or check Books on the Common to purchase at a 15% book club discount.

If you are a mystery fan, join us in November to help choose forthcoming selections and programs!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Teens Teach Tech October 10th

Where else around town but at the Ridgefield Library do residents of all ages interact positively on a daily basis in so many ways?  Sometimes it is just sitting next to each other at the computers; other times it is being drawn by common interests to a program such as one of Heidi Hammel’s astronomy presentations.  On Saturday morning, October 10th, we take this intergenerational interaction one step further, with the return of “Teens Teach Tech” in the Dayton Program Room.

A group of tech-savvy teenagers will be on hand to offer one-on-one assistance for tech- challenged adults.  Bring your cell phone to learn how to change that annoying ring tone. Use one of our laptops to find out how to set up an address book or calendar in your e-mail program. Learn texting tips for staying in touch with the younger generation in your family. Get a guided tour of the mysteries of Facebook. You’ll even have a chance to try out the Wii gaming system that has found its way from kids’ rec rooms into myriad adult settings, including health clubs, senior centers and corporate training programs.  Drop in any time between 10 AM and noon.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Celebrate Banned Books Week September 26 - October 3

Can you imagine a high school curriculum or a public library that does not include classics like "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and "To Kill a Mockingbird?” Since 1990, the American Library Association (ALA) has recorded more than 10,000 challenges to these and other books, including 513 in 2008. Challenges are not simply an expression of a point of view; on the contrary, they are an attempt to remove materials from public use, thereby restricting the access of others. Even if the motivation to ban or challenge a book is well intentioned, the outcome is detrimental. Censorship denies our freedom as individuals to choose and think for ourselves.

In support of the right to choose books freely for ourselves, the Ridgefield Library is joining the ALA in recognizing Banned Books Week September 26th through October 3rd. This year's observance commemorates the most basic freedom in a democratic society—the freedom to read freely—and encourages us not to take this freedom for granted. Here at the Ridgefield Library we will celebrate with educational displays of banned and challenged books throughout the building. Take a look – you might find a few of your favorites. For more information about specific banned or challenged titles, check the Resource Guide at the Fiction Desk.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Online Program Registration Now Available

Online program registration is the latest innovation introduced by the Ridgefield Library. Here’s how it works.

Hear about a program that interests you? Check the event calendar on our website for details (www.ridgefieldlibrary.org, then click on Events). If it is listed as “No registration” then all you have to do is show up (although some popular programs like Ridgefield Folk do fill up, so early arrival is recommended).

If registration is required, you will see a button labeled “Register.” Click on this and follow the simple instructions. Click “Send” and your registration is automatically recorded and a confirmation e-mail is sent to you.

Occasional programs with complex registration requirements may still be handled by staff and will be listed as such in the event calendar.

Want to sign up for something while you are at the Library? Look for the Program Registration button on all our catalog computers, which will take you directly into the event calendar (no need to log in).

Don’t have access to a computer? Call or come in to the Library and a staff member will be happy to enter your registration for you.

Ask at any public service desk for a demonstration of online registration and other helpful features of our event calendar.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bill Wyman Joins Library Board

We are continuing this month with our profiles of new members of the Ridgefield Library Board of Directors. This week we get to know William Wyman, who has a long and rich history of involvement with Ridgefield organizations. Bill and his wife Barbara have lived in Ridgefield since 1975 and have four children, all graduates of the Ridgefield school system.

Bill’s professional career has spanned several areas that will be useful to the Library in its marketing and communications efforts:

  • First, focusing on getting consumer products to market (sales and sales management) with companies like Procter & Gamble and Clorox;
  • Later, understanding what drives consumers to make decisions (marketing research) with MAJERS and Nielsen;
  • Currently, helping organizations as a consultant to market their products more effectively and efficiently.

Of his role on the Library Board, Bill says, “There are a limited number of organizations that truly make a difference in a community-- a good library is one of the most important. Ridgefield’s Library serves a greater percentage of the town’s population annually than any other organization and yet its purpose/role is not understood by many. My goal is to help expand the community’s awareness of the benefits that the Library provides.”

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sunday Hours Resume; Statewide Library Services Saved; Fundraising Events Planned

Starting on September 13th, the Ridgefield Library once again will be open Sunday afternoons from 1:00 to 5:00 PM, for the convenience of students, commuters and anyone else who just can’t get enough of the Library during the rest of the week.

You will be pleased to hear that the myriad valuable library resources provided by the state of Connecticut have been reinstated in the budget that was finally passed last week. This includes the many useful databases included in iCONN, the InfoAnytime 24/7 virtual reference desk, support for Inter-Library Loan service, high-speed Internet access for libraries and much more. Thanks to all of you who contacted elected officials to urge support for statewide library services. The message was heard loud and clear that libraries are more important than ever in these challenging times.

Support for local library services also comes from special events, and two great opportunities are coming up to have fun while raising funds. “Murder @ the Library” is a musical murder mystery dinner theater evening scheduled for Friday, October 2nd. Camp Snooze, the popular sleepover at the Library for 4th graders, will be held on Saturday, October 24th. For more on both, visit our webpage or call Leslie at 203-438-2282 x1022.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Labor Day Weekend Closings and Service Disruptions

The Ridgefield Library will be closed on Sunday, September 6th and Monday the 7th in observance of Labor Day. We will be open on Saturday, September 5th but will be experiencing significant service reductions due to system maintenance being done by the network which supplies our technology infrastructure.

Here’s what you can expect starting Friday evening and continuing through Tuesday morning:

You must have your library card with you for check-out; we will not be able to do look-ups.
Borrowing will be limited to 4 items per family.
NO self-serve check-out.
NO renewals or reserves.
NO issuing or renewal of library cards or payment of fines.
NO access to the “My Account” feature in the catalog.
NO access, in the Library or remotely, to the library catalog.
NO access on Library computers to online databases.
NO access in the Library to Internet service, except via wireless (bring your own laptop!).
NO library e-mail access so staff will not be able to respond to messages.
NO reminder or overdue notices sent by the Library or by ELF.

Please do not hesitate to ask staff for assistance, and thanks for your patience.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Karin Fallon One of Four New Library Board Members

The Ridgefield Library is pleased to announce that several new members have joined its Board of Directors. This week we introduce Karin Fallon. Karin is shown at right with Bill Wyman, one of the other new directors who will be profiled in coming weeks.

After ten years of corporate experience in the commercial insurance industry, Karin Fallon began to serve various nonprofit organizations in Ridgefield over the last 20 years. She has served on the boards of the Ridgefield Community Kindergarten and the PTA boards of Branchville Elementary, East Ridge Middle School and Ridgefield High School. She is also active in the leadership of her church in Stamford, Connecticut. As a young child, a visit to the town library was a weekly event, and Karin's interest and desire to serve our town library is based on the joy of those experiences and utmost appreciation for the many ways the Ridgefield Library currently serves its community. In Karin's words, “While the education our public school system provides is the basis for the future of our children, it is the library that is the heart of the community, where all are welcome and all are served. I am honored to be a part of this great tradition by becoming a member of the Ridgefield Library board.”

Thursday, August 13, 2009

New JobNow Service Available for Job Seekers

The Ridgefield Library is pleased to announce its new JobNow online job search assistance service. Whether you are a recent graduate entering the job market for the first time or a more experienced worker struggling to adapt to a rapidly changing hiring environment, JobNow has just the resources you need to succeed.

Log on at the Library or from home at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org and access an extensive collection of tools to help identify the perfect job, write a successful resume and ace that interview. JobNow features specially selected job search links, resume and cover letter templates, personality and career assessments and much more. But what makes JobNow special is that it offers one-on-one “live” coaching using chat technology between 3 PM and 11 PM every day. JobNow’s job coaches are experienced and well-trained in every aspect of the job search process and offer personalized assistance such as talking you through practice interviews. They can work with you live to create a winning resume, or you can submit your c.v. to the Resume Lab any time and get an expert critique within 24 hours.

JobNow is just the latest way your Library is a wise resource in challenging times – try it today.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

By the Numbers

Just how busy is it at the Ridgefield Library these days?

  • 1,365 children, teens and adults participated in the recently completed Summer Reading Program, logging 34,853 books read in just six weeks.

  • 9,134 items were checked out during that period at the new self-service computer in Children’s Services.

  • The number of items checked out rose by 4.9% in 2008-2009 over the previous year, to an all-time high of 428,104. Translating into an average of 17.8 items borrowed for each man, woman and children in Ridgefield, that’s a lot of free bestsellers, book group selections, DVDs, magazines and other items people might have bought in another era.

  • Adult program attendance last year rose by 25% and children’s program attendance was up 9.2%, with a total of 22,180 people of all ages enjoying our myriad offerings, from films and book discussions to storytimes and craft programs.

  • Computer use continued to skyrocket last year, with hits on our website at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org up 19.9%, visits to our online event calendar up 58%, wireless log-ins up 22.1% and the number of sessions on the computers in the Library up 9.5%.

Come in soon and become part of what we expect to be another record-setting year!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Keychain Library Cards Now Available

Good news! Keychain library cards are now available at the Ridgefield Library. Effective immediately, everyone signing up for a new library card will actually receive two – one keychain variety for your convenience in using our Library, and one traditional card which enables you to use other libraries around the state.

Those who already have a regular Ridgefield Library card may exchange it free of charge for a keychain set, but be advised that the new cards will have a different barcode number. You will need to update your account with Library ELF, neighboring libraries you frequent and any other location where you have registered your existing number.

Here in Ridgefield, we hope the convenience of the keychain format will make it easier for you to keep your card handy for use at the Circulation Desk, when doing self-service check-out and when logging onto our Public Access Computers or wireless.

If you take advantage of the statewide ConnectiCard system, which allows you to use your home town library card at any Connecticut public library, you will need to present the full-sized regular card, along with additional identification, so make sure to have these with you when you travel out of town.

Get Creative @ Saving for College

Hundreds of children, teens and adults have been coming to the Ridgefield Library to “Be Creative” during Summer Reading (which runs through August 1st). Here’s another way parents can “Get Creative @ Saving for College.” Tying in with this year’s summer reading theme, the Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) is inviting Connecticut residents with children any age through 8th grade in the coming school year to enter their young scholar in a special promotion sponsored by CHET, the Connecticut State Library and the office of State Treasurer Denise Nappier.

A simple entry form (available at the Library or at www.aboutchet.com/library) qualifies the contestant for one of four $1,000 cash prizes to be awarded through a random drawing. What a great way to start a college savings plan for your child – and, if you are a winner, your local library also receives $500!

Entries must be postmarked by August 21, 2009 and received at CHET by August 28th. Participation in our Summer Reading program is not required to enter this contest.

P.S. Older students might want to explore some of the other ways the Ridgefield Library can help you get ready for college, such as Learning Express and PrepMe test preparation software. See www.ridgefieldlibrary.org for more.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Help Us Help Your Book Discussion Group

On a regular basis, the Ridgefield Library helps some 50 local book discussion groups choose their selections, find background information and discussion questions and obtain multiple copies for group members. We are pleased to be able to support this popular and worthwhile activity, but we do ask that you follow these guidelines:

  • Plan Ahead. You must submit your request a minimum of 3 weeks before the date you need books in hand.
  • Check the Publication Date. We are not able to obtain multiple copies of books that are less than 1 year old.
  • Confirm your Numbers. Save us time and money by ordering only as many copies as you really think your group will need.
  • Pick a Contact Person. Please designate one responsible party to complete a request form for each title and to communicate with group members about the status of your request.
  • Stick to your Meeting Schedule. Special arrangements made to accommodate your scheduling needs do not allow us to extend due dates or renew items from other libraries if your plans change.

For suggestions of titles that lend themselves to discussion, ask at the Fiction Desk or in Children’s Services. To request multiple copies of a title, contact Interlibrary Loan Coordinator Karen Kazzi at 438-2282 x1011 or at klkazzi@RidgefieldLibrary.org.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New Museum Passes Now Available

Planning a “staycation” for your family this summer? Then the Ridgefield Library Museum Pass program is for you. Free or discounted admission is now available to 17 area museums, zoos and other educational and cultural institutions, including three exciting new additions.

  • You’ve seen the movies – now visit the real thing! The American Museum of Natural History is THE place to go for dinosaurs, dioramas and much more.

  • The landmark Guggenheim Museum in New York City is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and remains a premier destination for lovers of art from the late 19th century through the contemporary cutting edge.

  • Mystic Seaport, beloved for its tall ships and re-created 19th century village, hosts dozens of family activities each week.

Passes may be borrowed for 3 days and may be reserved up to 7 days in advance. Museum pass privileges vary, so pick up a brochure at the Library or visit www.ridgefieldlibrary.org for details. Museum hours, exhibits and programs are subject to change; always check for updates before planning your trip.

Our museum pass program is made possible by the Friends of the Library, along with the generosity of local institutions such as the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Downloadable Audiobooks Now Available for the iPod

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

The Ridgefield Library is pleased to announce that NetLibrary, our downloadable audiobook service, is now iPod compatible.

The Library offers Ridgefield residents a wide selection of downloadable audiobooks, or eAudiobooks as they are known in the trade, that can be accessed from our website www.ridgefieldlibrary.org. Until now, eAudiobooks were only available to those with Windows-based computers and portable players. However, now over 500 titles in NetLibrary are in MP3 format, making them Apple and iPod compatible.

We wish we could tell you that all of the over 1,800 titles on NetLibrary can be played on an iPod, but due to the world of digital rights management, only a portion of the offerings are available. These titles do include a wide range of fiction including mysteries by Alexander McCall Smith and Anne Perry, contemporary fiction by the likes of Anne Tyler and John LeCarré, and non-fiction including selections from the Modern Scholar series, college courses in audio format.

Upgrades to NetLibrary have streamlined the procedure for downloads. The new Media Center, available from the NetLibrary homepage, makes it a one-click process and formats titles with multiple tracks for listening convenience. So if you haven’t tried an eAudiobook recently, visit the Library’s website and see and hear what you’re missing.

E-mail Overdue Notices Now the Norm

Beginning July 1st, the Ridgefield Library will be moving exclusively to e-mail instead of printed and mailed overdue notices. To make sure you are receiving these “courtesy reminders” (including advance notice of when items are coming due), please stop by the Circulation Desk at your earliest convenience to sign up your entire family.

We have a new, simplified procedure which allows you to register every card your family has without having to fill out duplicate forms. We will now be collecting e-mails for children’s cards, however we require the e-mail address of the responsible adult (i.e. parent or guardian) who should be receiving notices on behalf of their children.

You may also sign up for Library ELF, a service that allows you to customize the timing and delivery method of your reminders, plus allows you to get notices for your entire family in one convenient message. It is important that you also make sure the Ridgefield Library has all your appropriate e-mail addresses, as Library ELF is an independent product and we do not have access to the information they have on file.

Signing up for e-mail notices is easy, and it will save you and the Library time and money. Do it today!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Summer Starts Soon @ the Library

Beginning June 21st, the Ridgefield Library will be switching to its summer schedule and dropping Sunday hours until after Labor Day. We will be 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. Don’t forget that many library resources are available on our website even when we are closed, such as our catalog, event calendar, downloadable audiobooks, numerous research databases and the InfoAnytime 24/7 virtual reference desk.

Our Summer Reading Programs begin Monday, June 22nd and run through August 1st. “Be Creative @ your Library” is the theme this year, and we have lots of wonderful programs, prizes and creative activities in store for children, teens and adults. Sign up any time from the 22nd on; just read one book before you come in to get started.

Training for Summer Reading volunteers will take place on June 15 and 17. All volunteers must attend one session. Contact Children’s Services for information.

Also coming soon is the addition of a self-service check-out station in Children’s Services. We hope this will shorten the lines and reduce the hubbub at the Circulation Desk, especially during Summer Reading.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Calling all Mystery Lovers

Do you like to read mysteries? Would you like to talk about them with fellow enthusiasts? Then the Ridgefield Library is the place for you. In response to patron demand, we are planning to launch a mystery book discussion group in the fall, and we would love to have your input about format, book selection process, frequency of meetings and all the other factors that contribute to a successful book group. We invite you to take our short Mystery Lovers’ Survey, either online at our webpage at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org or by picking up a paper copy at the Library.

We will be trying out some of these ideas on June 25th at 10:00 AM, when the AM Book Group will be discussing Agatha Christie’s “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” featuring iconic sleuth Hercule Poirot. Mystery lovers will also be in for a treat this summer, when author and scholar Joanne Dobson returns with more of her popular Brown Bag Lunch sessions. This year we will be looking at the contributions of Christie and Edgar Allan Poe to the creation of the mystery genre, as part of our celebration of the Summer Reading Program theme of “Be Creative @ your Library.” Join us!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Making a Tribute Gift to the Library

Looking for a unique and meaningful way to celebrate a special occasion, honor a colleague, or remember a loved one who has passed away? Consider the Ridgefield Library’s tribute gift program. Donations in honor or memory of cherished individuals recognize their accomplishments and interests while making a gift to the entire community. In these economic times, many people would prefer that money be used to help a valuable institution rather than to buy yet another unneeded tie or knickknack.

Donors may make a general unrestricted gift to support Library operations, or, for a donation of $35 or more, request purchase of materials in a subject area or format particularly appropriate to the honoree (such as children’s books, local history or audiobooks). A special bookplate recognizing your honoree and your generosity will be added to each purchased item.

Making a tribute gift to the Ridgefield Library is easy. Pick up a brochure, or make a secure donation online using Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express. Just go to www.ridgefieldlibrary.org and click on “Supporting the Library.”

Interested in having your family and friends make gifts to the Library in honor of your birthday, anniversary, graduation or wedding? Contact me as below to send an e-invitation informing them of your wishes.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Paccadolmi Awards Presented

Congratulations to Hope Swenson and Melissa Brady, recipients of the 2009 Paccadolmi Awards, which were presented at a library function on May 1st.

The Paccadolmi Awards were created by the Ridgefield Library Association Board of Directors in 2007 to honor individuals who have exhibited extraordinary dedication to the Library. They are named in honor of the late Phyllis Paccadolmi, a long-time Library employee who devoted more than 50 years of service to the town and the institution she loved.

Honoree Hope H. Swenson has lived in Ridgefield for nearly 40 years. She has been on the Library Board or closely associated with the Library all that time. She is a tireless advocate for public libraries in general and the Ridgefield Library in particular. She enthusiastically champions the book clubs, the film series, the staff, the collection and even the new “designer” library card.

Melissa Brady has thrown herself into the work of the Library’s Community Outreach Committee since its beginnings in January 2008. She is an outstanding volunteer who has taken a leadership role in bringing to life programs for all ages, particularly as a volunteer coordinator for our new Homebound Delivery Service.

Our heartfelt thanks to these two extraordinary women!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Nutmeg Authors Live @ the Library

Calling all fans of great children’s literature! Thanks to a generous grant from HSBC Bank USA, N.A., the Ridgefield Library is pleased to offer a series of presentations this spring and summer by authors of 2010 Nutmeg Children’s Book Award nominees.

The Nutmeg Children’s Book Awards offer Connecticut youngsters in grades 4 through 8 the opportunity to read from lists of nominated titles and then vote in January for their favorite book.

To add to the interest and excitement, the Ridgefield Library and HSBC have paired up to bring to town some of the dynamic and talented authors of this year’s nominees. Nutmeg Authors Live @ the Library continues on Wednesday, May 20th with Jen Bryant, author of “Pieces of Georgia.”

Kids and other readers of all ages are invited to hear Jen speak at 4:00 PM in the Dayton Program Room. Copies of her book will be available for sale and signing, courtesy of Books on the Common.

From 5:00 to 6:00 PM, teachers, parents, librarians, aspiring writers and other interested adults are welcome to join us for a wine and cheese reception and a chance to chat with Jen.

Mark your calendars now for appearances by Susan Beth Pfeffer on June 1st and Cynthia Lord on July 20th.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Celebrating the Friends of the Library

No celebration of National Library Month would be complete without recognizing the extraordinary Friends of the Ridgefield Library. Known far and wide for their book sales (don’t miss the spring sale May 1-4), the Friends provide vital financial support for many of your favorite programs, from Summer Reading to Ridgefield Folk. They allow us to add outreach services like Homebound Delivery and Books for Babes and to develop new programs such as our monthly poetry group in response to patron demand. No matter how you use the Library, the Friends have in some way contributed to making your experience more informative, entertaining or inspiring.

You can help the Friends help us not only by patronizing the book sales but also by becoming a Friends member, during their current membership campaign. Tax-deductible dues and contributions to the Friends provide the foundation for their fundraising activities, all of which benefit the Ridgefield Library and its users. Look for a Friends membership form at the Library or print one from our website at www.biblio.org/rdgfld/friends/friend.htm.

Many people do not realize that the Friends membership drive is separate from the Annual Appeal conducted by the Library Board. Both efforts raise funds in support of the Library but in different ways. If you have any questions about the two campaigns, I would be happy to hear from you.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

National Everything Month

Welcome to National Everything Month! There are so many commemorations and occasions in April that we can hardly find time to observe them all. Here are a few highlights.

  • National Library Week – We’re extending this one through the end of the month, with a special offer on Ridgefield Library signature items. Pick up a logo travel mug AND our colorful special edition library card – both for one low price of $5.00.
  • National Poetry Month – Youngsters can visit the Poetry Wall in Children’s Services to share pocket poems and their own creations, plus sign up for Poetry Theater on April 30th (for 2nd – 5th graders).
  • Jazz Appreciation Month – Don’t miss the fun on April 23rd when the David Morgan Trio will perform standard jazz repertoire while explaining the history and concepts behind the performance.
  • Earth Day – We’re celebrating by eliminating printed overdue notices and expanding our recycling efforts, as described last week.
  • National Volunteer Week – Actually, there is so much going on this month we are going to put off our volunteer recognition activities until the fall! Stay tuned for news of a special event honoring the hundreds of volunteers young and old who make the Ridgefield Library such a wonderful place.