Thursday, December 27, 2012

It’s What’s Inside that Counts

Whether you visited the Ridgefield Library this past year at 472 Main Street or 21 Governor Street (or both!), you know it’s what’s inside that counts.  What did you find inside your Library this year?

  • Shelter from the storm: power, warmth, Internet access, company and entertainment following Superstorm Sandy
  • ·         A welcoming and open environment after school for students to study, make friends or just hang out – without bullying or peer pressure
  • ·         JobNow, Learning Express and other online resources, how-to books and assistance from librarians in your job search
  • ·         An introduction to Charles Dickens, Marcel Proust and dozens of other authors featured in book discussions
  • ·         Encouragement of early childhood skills development through Mother Goose, Baby & Me and other storytimes
  • ·         Assistance in mastering new technologies, such as downloadable eBooks
  • ·         The latest books from your favorite authors, plus personalized recommendations of new writers to get to know
  • ·         Myriad opportunities to exchange grow.

Help us keep the Ridgefield Library full of all the things you value. Join the family of donors to our 2012-2013 Annual Appeal at  Thank you for your support!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Ridgefield Library: None of the Above – or All of the Above?

Don’t you hate being forced to choose one word or phrase from a list to describe yourself?  Faced recently with the need to pigeonhole the Ridgefield Library on a form, my first instinct was to look for the box that said “None of the Above.”  Here were my choices:

·         “Educational Institution” isn’t quite right.  Although we are dedicated to the promotion of literacy and the support of lifelong learning, in and out of schools, public libraries have other roles as well.

·         “Culture & the Arts” doesn’t quite do it either, despite the hundreds of performances, exhibits, workshops and other cultural and artistic offerings we present each year.

·         “Human/Social Services” falls short, although we do provide much crucial information on a wide range of issues.

·         “Government Agency” is also off the mark.  The town does grant us 75% of our operating budget each year, but the Ridgefield Library is an independent 501 (c )(3) organization that manages its own finances, owns its own property and raises nearly $500,000 each year from non-governmental sources.

While all of these choices are inadequate separately in describing the multifaceted Ridgefield Library, they do all have a kernel of truth.  Perhaps we need an “All of the Above” box to check instead!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Temporary Library Location Still Technology Rich

A commonly overheard statement lately in our temporary location has been, “I didn’t know you had that available!”  This comment has referred mostly to our smaller yet still impressive collection of books, audiobooks, DVDs and other library materials.  During the last few weeks though, especially following Superstorm Sandy, that statement took on a different target.  People from around Ridgefield came in droves to warm up, charge their electronics and use our wired and wireless Internet. 

Did you know that we currently offer the following types of technology?

  • Free unlimited wireless Internet access (all you need is your library barcode!)
  •  Free wired Internet access - 16 Windows XP Professional computers with programs including Microsoft Office and Adobe Reader (some time limits apply to ensure equitable access)
  • Access to over 50 Library-funded databases that cover a wide range of topics including Business, Finance, Job Searches, Language, Test Preparation and Travel
  • Downloadable audiobooks and eBooks available through our Overdrive service
  • Color scanner (useful for creating PDFs or JPGs)
  • Black & color computer print-outs and photocopies for a modest charge

 Don’t just wait for another power outage!  Come in for a visit and enjoy what the Ridgefield Library offers you on an every day basis!

 Contributed by Network Administrator Anthony Cacciola.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Make Reading a Hobbit

On one level, JRR Tolkien’s works, “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, can be read as high fantasy tales; they feature elves, wizards, dragons, and armies of men and goblins fighting epic wars. But the books also show how one small person’s actions can change the fate of an entire world. Thus their broad appeal: whether you harbor dreams of slaying dragons or are content to be at home surrounded by friends and food, Tolkien’s writing has something for everyone.  Director Peter Jackson ably captured Tolkien’s magic a decade ago with his film versions of “The Lord of the Rings,” and this December, he will present his take on “The Hobbit.” While we at the Library are excited to see what Jackson has up his sleeve, we encourage you to read the book before seeing the movie. “The Hobbit” is great for all ages, so accordingly, the Library will be presenting several programs in December. “Talking Tolkien” (December 13, 7 PM) is geared towards teens and adults; two college professors will lead a discussion on the writing and on translating the books to film. A Shire Faire (December 15 from 9 AM to 5 PM) will have crafts, snacks, magic and stories for all ages. We hope you will share this adventure with us! 

Contributed by Teen Services Librarian and Head of Children's Services Geri Diorio

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What is iCONN?

iCONN is part of the Connecticut Education Network which provides all students, faculty and residents with online access to essential library and information resources. Administered by the Connecticut State Library in conjunction with local libraries, iCONN offers a core level of information resources including secured access to accurate, reliable databases. 

Logging on to, one can find magazine articles, reference books, newspaper articles, images and more.  iCONN serves a variety of needs including student homework, business and consumer health research, and genealogy.  Magazine and newspaper databases targeting different age groups and needs make iCONN a valuable and useful resource for students of all ages from kindergarten through college, as well as the general public.  Among the resources are:  the full-text of The Hartford Courant back to 1992, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and biography, science and history databases.  There are also dictionaries and encyclopedias, subject guides to Internet resources, a large collection of primary source materials, and a statewide catalog of library holdings. 

Try exploring this free resource available to you and your children.   All you need is a Connecticut library card number to use this rich information source from school, the Ridgefield Library or your home computer with Internet access.   

Submitted by Victoria Carlquist, Head of Information Services

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Library Days Return to Books on the Common

Ridgefield Library Days at Books on the Common returns 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 23rd from 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM, Saturday the 24th from 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM and Sunday the 25th 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 Talks featuring David Rich, Lisa Edwards and her dog named Boo!, Peter de Jonge, Daniel Klein and the upcoming Rabbi Eric Eisenkramer on Fly Fishing: The Sacred Art (Dec. 6 at 7:00 PM).  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 22nd and Friday the 23rd, 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).

Monday, November 12, 2012

Of Course, Teens Use Libraries

The Pew Research Center recently released a report about younger Americans’ reading and library habits. According to Pew, almost nine in ten people ages 16 to 29 read a book in the past year and almost six in ten used their public library. Of the readers, 75% read a print book, 19% read an eBook, and 11% listened to an audiobook. Young eBook readers are most likely to read on their phones or computers, rather than on a dedicated device such as a Kindle. These young adults use their public library to do research, to borrow books, and to borrow newspapers, magazines, and other periodicals. High schoolers are reliant on the library for research as well as pleasure reading; college-aged folks tend to borrow books from friends more than from the library; and college grads don’t rely on libraries as much as they once did. All of these young adults, however, rate libraries as important or very important to them and their families.

This comes as no surprise to us at the Ridgefield Library. Our young adult patrons are an active, vibrant part of our user population, and we look forward to providing them a space of their own in the New Ridgefield Library.

Contributed by Geri Diorio, Head of Children’s Services and the Teen Services Librarian at the Ridgefield Library.