Thursday, December 29, 2011

Getting Ready to Read @ the Ridgefield Library

Striving to meet the growing needs of our young patrons, the Ridgefield Library is adding a new class to our winter children’s programs. Designed for children ages three and older, Ready to Read is a drop in workshop for children and caregivers that will help to reinforce pre-reading skills through books and fun activities. Children will receive practice that encourages phonological awareness, letter recognition, narrative skills and vocabulary enrichment. Using literature and games that can also be played at home, children will talk, sing, manipulate and have guided reading experiences. Ways to use science and math to encourage dialog and critical thinking skills will be demonstrated. Ideas from the Every Child Ready to Read program developed by the Public Library Association will be used together with current research –based information on skills necessary for achievement in Kindergarten. The class will take place on seven Thursdays from Jan. 5 through Feb. 16, from 2:00 – 2:45PM in Children’s Services . Children who are ready to read will be ready to learn and the Library hopes to encourage them along their way to success! 

Contributed by Children's Programmer Diane Antezzo

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Schedule Changes @ the Library

Please note the following changes to the Library schedule in observance of the holidays.  We will be closed on Saturday, December 24th and Sunday the 25ty. We will be closing early at 3:00 PM on New Year’s Eve, Saturday, December 31st and will be closed on Sunday the 1st.  All other hours remain the same (check for details), and we welcome those looking for books and DVDs to keep the kids occupied during cold vacation days or self-help volumes to get a jump on those New Year’s resolutions! And don’t miss our family-friendly entry in the “What the Dickens!” series – a showing of the Mr. Magoo animated version of “A Christmas Carol” on Wednesday, December 28th at 11:00 AM.

We want to take this opportunity to thank all the many people who have shown their support for the Library during the past year, through both the Annual Appeal and the Campaign for the New Ridgefield Library.  You truly make a difference. If you wish to participate in either initiative before the end of the tax year on December 31st, stop by the Library or make your gift online at  Thanks, and best wishes for 2012!

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Changing Face of Library Science

It is a truism that our interactions with libraries are changing as we (and they) adapt to the evolving digital world.  To explore this theme, the Artspace gallery in New Haven is presenting an exhibition entitled “Library Science,” for which they invited 17 artists to contemplate our physical, intellectual and personal relationships with libraries.  The results include an intriguing mix of drawing, painting, photography, sculpture and Web-based art work, on display at Artspace through January 28th. You can also explore the exhibition online at

Concurrently, the gallery has teamed up with the Connecticut Library Consortium to host a statewide festival of films in which libraries play a central role.  At 7 PM on December 12th the Ridgefield Library will be presenting the documentary “The Man Who Wanted to Classify the World,” a 2002 film about the Belgian visionary Paul Otlet, who in the 1930s created a classification system that foreshadowed the  hypertext that defines our navigation of the World Wide Web. Dr. Gayle Bogel, director of the Educational Technology Program at Fairfield University, will lead a post-screening discussion on the themes of the film and the exhibition.   Please join us to explore the present and future of Library Science in our lives.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Good Reads Now Easier to Find

Looking for a book to read to your child or something to recommend to your elementary school-age reader? We now have go-to shelves of distinguished books for just this purpose: our new Caldecott and Newbery Award Books Collection.

The Caldecott and Newbery Medals are awarded annually by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association: the Caldecott to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children and the Newbery to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

The most current Caldecott winner, A Sick Day for Amos McGee (2011), is a beautifully illustrated, wonderful story of friendship. The Caldecott has been awarded since 1938 and we’ve organized the collection chronologically, so readers can see how the picture book has changed over the years.

The Newbery has been awarded since 1922 and this collection is also shelved chronologically, with the most recent winner (2011) Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool first on the shelf.

Come see us here in Children’s Services and we’ll be happy to help you as you browse this collection of award winning books. P.S. Caldecott and Newbery books make great holiday gifts!

Contributed by Children's Librarian Mary Beth Rassulo

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Listening with Intent

Audiobooks are hot everywhere, especially in Ridgefield.  The Library has 1,300 audiobooks on CD that circulate so frequently that at any given time, only about 55% of them are available. Recently, we’ve added more than 1,000 downloadable audiobooks to the collection and those have proven very popular as well.  Audiobooks are a true art form in and of themselves.  There are publishers devoted solely to creating them, and people often have favorite narrators, whom they will follow from book to book. Every year, the Audio Publishers Association holds the Audies, the premiere awards program in the United States, recognizing distinction in audiobooks.  I have been fortunate enough to have been chosen as a judge for the 2012 Audies Competition, in the non-fiction category. This means listening to and evaluating more than 25 audiobooks between now and the new year. While listening for technical specifications (good sound quality, no odd edits or paper shuffling noises), I also have to be attentive to the narrator’s tones, energy, and overall performance. It is a pleasure to spend time with all these talented narrators.  I encourage you to check out some of the Library’s audiobooks and discover this art form for yourself. 

Contributed by Geri Diorio, Teen Services Librarian and head of Children's Serices

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Library Days Return to Books on the Common

It’s time once again for Ridgefield Library Days at Books on the Common the weekend after Thanksgiving.  Just show your Ridgefield Library card at the register and 15% of the proceeds of your purchase will be donated to the Library. To make your holiday shopping even easier, the bookstore will be open Friday the 25th from 9:30 AM – 8:00 PM, Saturday the 26th from 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM and Sunday the 27th from 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

Books on the Common and the Ridgefield Library are partners in many projects, including this fall’s Author Talk series featuring John Burnham Schwartz, Tom Perrotta and Stewart O’Nan (coming December 8th is Linda Urbach, author of “Madame Bovary’s Daughter”). We are pleased to offer this opportunity for you to support both your community library and a treasured local store through Ridgefield Library Days at Books on the Common.

The Library will be closed on Thursday the 24th and Friday the 25th, so be sure to come in before then if you don’t have a library card or have lost yours. Stop by the Circulation Desk today; all you need is proof of Ridgefield residence (such as driver’s license, lease or utility bill).

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New Tech Trends and Old-Fashioned Fun @ the Library

Libraries seem to be situated right at the intersection of the traditional and the cutting edge, and the Ridgefield Library is no exception.  This week, on Saturday, November 12, two special programs in the Dayton Program Room illustrate how hi-tech and tradition go hand in hand @ your Library.

From 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, families are invited to celebrate Family Game Day by playing good, old-fashioned board games suitable for all ages, such as Scrabble, backgammon, Battleship, Sorry, Candyland, Settlers of Catan, Blokus, Bananagrams and Connect Four.  Come enjoy a family favorite or learn a new game, so you are prepared to weather the next storm!

In the afternoon, we switch gears to the newest of new innovations, with a hands-on workshop called “Downloading Library E-Books and Audiobooks 101.” Drop in between 1:30 and 4:30, and staff members will be on hand to provide one-on-one assistance with downloading eBooks and audiobooks from our Overdrive service for use on your computer, eReader, mp3 player, smartphone or other portable device. Considering purchasing an eReader?  Stop by to try out a Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader or iPad.  Educate yourself now about these new technologies, before the holiday gift giving season.