Friday, August 26, 2011

Kiplinger Features Libraries in “Fabulous Freebies 2011”

The annual August “Fabulous Freebies” round-up by Kiplinger magazine starts out with the reminder that “No list of freebies would be complete without our perennial favorite: your public library,” and it goes on to cite free “books, magazines, audiobooks, e-books, video games, CDs and DVDs” along with free activities such as “book clubs, lectures, film screenings, children’s story hours and craft activities.”    

Elsewhere in the article they suggest visiting the library for Free Hobbies (#1), Free E-Books (#18) and Free Audiobooks (#19).  To be sure, you will find all of this at the Ridgefield Library.  But we also offer additional resources and services that complement some of the other freebies they mention. Many of these do cost us money, but they are free for use by Library visitors or cardholders.  Try ValueLine or Morningstar investment reports as a supplement to the list of Free Investing Apps (#4).   Our Museum Passes fit nicely under the category of Free Outings (#28). The Foundation Center Cooperating Collection can help with Free Money for College (#26).  And, of course, you can even peruse the latest issue of Kiplinger for free @ your Library – or check the full article on our website at

Monday, August 22, 2011

Summer Reading Soars @ the Library

Who says people don’t read any more and libraries are obsolete?  Participation in the Summer Reading Program at the Ridgefield Library soared to new heights this year, aided in part by the use of new online reading log software and promotion via social media.

A record 1,553 young people read an astonishing 48,490 books.  That’s 31 books per student – enough to stretch all the way to the Danbury Fair mall if laid end to end!

We are especially proud of Ridgefield’s teen summer readers, whose ranks grew by more than 100, to 263 sixth through twelfth graders.  Even more astonishing is that the number of books these kids logged was up by 67%, to 6,222.  Teen Services Librarian Geri Diorio attributes this impressive increase to “going where they live,” i.e. making the program available in the online environment they frequent and using social media like Facebook to spread the buzz.

Adults also seemed to like the new system, with the number of participants up 7% and the number of books logged up by 29%.

We have received so much positive feedback that we are exploring ways to turn the success of Summer Reading into a year-round opportunity for Ridgefielders of all ages to track and share what they’re reading.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Finding the Latest Books and More @ the Library

How do you find out about the latest and greatest books and other materials the Ridgefield Library has to offer?  Of course, you can browse the special displays of new acquisitions but many popular items will be out in circulation as soon as we receive them.

Our staff has developed several online tools to help you explore what’s new and to make it easy for you to get on the list for your favorites - even before we receive them!

You can subscribe to “BookLetters” newsletters that provide a round-up of bestsellers, new and upcoming releases, books discussed on radio and TV and more.  Sign up on the “Reader’s Resources” page on our website at to get these periodic updates sent directly to your inbox.

You can also look for the new feature in our “This Week @ the Library” e-newsletter, which  provides quick links to web listings of new additions to our collections in many popular areas, from mysteries to DVDs.  These pages, which are also accessible on our website, include cover art, summaries, reviews, author interviews and sometimes excerpts, along with handy links to our catalog so you can check availability and request the items that interest you. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Library Offers Many Music Recordings

Looking for a place to get music CDs in Ridgefield?  The Library has a collection of over 2,000 recordings in a broad range of genres, and we’ve just reorganized our CDs to make finding music more user-friendly. 

The Library offers current top-sellers as well as enduring favorites by a wide range of artists in pop, rock, folk, country western and jazz.  Fans of our Ridgefield Folk series will find CDs by many of the artists who have appeared, and our comprehensive world music collection represents most regions and nations.  Our recordings of movies and Broadway musicals now live in a new browser that makes it easy to locate your favorite film or show tunes.  

The Library’s wide array of classical music CDs ranges from symphonies and chamber music to works for solo piano and strings.  Want to listen to an opera or ballet before going to a live performance or HD broadcast?   We have recordings of most classical works that are being performed in the greater metropolitan area.

Finally, can’t remember the name of the song or musical work that’s stuck in your head?  We’d love the challenge of identifying it and locating a recording for you.

Contributed by Adult Services Librarian Dorothy Pawlowski