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.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

What WAS This Place?

A common laugh line around the Library these days runs something like this: “I’ll take 3 books, 2 DVDs and a half pound of sliced roast beef,” in reference to the former use of 21 Governor Street as a grocery store. We find we can guess fairly accurately how long someone has lived in town by how they refer to this space. Persistent questions led us to inquire of Jack Sanders, Ridgefield’s inveterate chronicler of people and events, who provided this chronology. 

·         1959 The shopping complex opened, with this space housing a First National Market (later re-branded as Finast).
·         1974 It became Grand Central Market, part of a small chain that included the market still extant in Grand Central Terminal (perhaps the source of the clock). It later became known as GranCentral, under which name it closed in 1989.
·         1991 Hay Day Market opened.
·         2004 Balducci’s bought Hay Day and operated on the site until 2009.

Contrary to popular belief, this space was never a Woolworth's, which opened in 1960 on the other side of Ridgefield Music, where the ophthalmologist and gym are now located. And there was never a movie theater here. That is the building that used to stand at 25 Prospect Street – and a story for another day!