Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Very Busy Library

A barrage of media reports recently have highlighted the way people turn increasingly to libraries in tough economic times. In fact, the Ridgefield Library is slated to be featured in a New York Times article on the topic within the next few weeks. For the first half of the year, check-outs are up nearly 7%, and there are times when as many as 1,400 people come to the Library on a single day. As any visitor to the building can tell you, so much activity going on in such a cramped space can put a strain on resources and patience. From job seekers researching potential employers to parents seeking free and worthwhile activities for their youngsters, there are a lot of competing demands for space and attention. We could use your assistance to make sure everyone’s library experience is enjoyable and fulfilling.

  • Use your “library voices,” and encourage children with you to do the same. We have very little isolated space for quiet study, and ask that you remain mindful of those around you trying to read or study.

  • Do not leave children under the age of 6 unaccompanied anywhere in the Library. With so much traffic through the building, little ones can become frightened or lost if their adult companion is not near at hand. Further, Library policy requires that an adult caregiver remain in Children’s Services (NOT down the hallway or out at CVS) when their preschool child is in a storytime or other program, in case your child requires your attention.

  • Save time and inconvenience by always bringing your library card with you and having it ready when you approach the Circulation Desk, either to use the self-service check-out station or for staff assistance.

Thanks for your help in keeping the Ridgefield Library a pleasant place for all.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Books for Babes

Do you have a new baby in your family, or know someone who does? The Ridgefield Library sends its congratulations and would like to give you a little gift to celebrate the occasion. Our new Books for Babes program provides newborns and their parents with a Ridgefield Library tote bag complete with a board book and a variety of information to introduce you to all the Library has to offer for even the youngest visitor.

Reading is closely associated with the path to success in school and life, and your Books for Babes bag is part of the foundation of your child’s lifelong love of reading and libraries. Enjoy the board book included in the bag, and then come to the Library to explore other offerings. Start by dropping in to Mother Goose, our popular program of music, movement and rhymes for newborns through age 2 and an adult. Material included in the bag tells you more about how our Children’s Services department will travel with you through the progressive stages of your child’s development.

The Library is also a great resource for parents and caregivers, with our special collection of parenting books and media, helpful staff and lots of opportunities for networking with other new parents.

Just contact me at 203-438-2282 x 1009 or to request a Books for Babes bag for yourself or a friend. We know new parents’ schedules are full and unpredictable, so we have volunteers waiting to deliver a bag to your doorstep, or you can come in and pick one up if you wish.

Books for Babes was developed by the Library’s “Younger Set” community outreach committee and is sponsored by the Friends of the Ridgefield Library. Contact me anytime for more information about these dedicated volunteer groups and how you can get involved.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

New Beverage Policy Introduced

In this wintry weather, nothing is more appealing than a cup of hot coffee or tea, and now you can bring your favorite beverage into the Ridgefield Library to enjoy as you study or browse. Effective immediately, we will be allowing beverages in the Library, as long as they are in a container with a top or lid to minimize potential spills (standard cans and bottles are okay under this rule). Have a drink with you but don’t have a proper container? Then you can purchase a Ridgefield Library travel mug at the Circulation Desk for just $3.00.

Beverages (non-alcoholic only, please) will be allowed throughout the building, except in the History Room on the 2nd floor. Please check with staff before bringing drinks into programs, where they may be inappropriate.

To accommodate the wave of water bottles, soda cans and coffee cups, we have installed new trash containers around the building for different types of recyclables. Please note that cardboard coffee containers count as food waste and not paper. To avoid messy spills, it is helpful if you can pour out in a restroom sink any leftover liquid before discarding the container. Just ask the staff if you have any questions.

Food will continue to be prohibited in the Library. Food allergies, maintenance concerns and the potential distraction to nearby patrons make this impractical in our cramped quarters. We appreciate your understanding of this restriction and thank you for your help in making this new policy a success for all visitors to the Ridgefield Library.

*** Going to be out and about town on January 20th? Stop by the Library’s Dayton Program Room between noon and 4 PM to take in coverage of the inauguration on our big screen. Coffee and cookies will be served. Don’t miss history being made!