Thursday, September 26, 2013

Meet our New Board Members

The Ridgefield Library is pleased to introduce the following new members of its Board of Directors, who began their service in July 2013. 

William B. “Woody” Harford recently retired as Chief Revenue Officer at private jet operator CitationAir by Cessna. Prior to that he left a 20 year career at British Airways as SVP Commercial Americas.  He is married to long-time Ridgefielder Suni Pedersen Harford and has three children enrolled in the Ridgefield schools. 
George Nichols was born in Stamford.  He graduated from Amherst College and the Harvard Law School, served four years on active duty in the U.S. Navy, and then practiced law for 33 years in Fairfield County. He has lived in Ridgefield since 2004, while holding management positions with the public libraries in Stamford and Westport.

David Schaffer is a corporate partner with the law firm Wiggin and Dana LLP. He practices out of the firm’s Stamford and New York offices and serves as Chair of the firm’s China Practice. David, his wife Michelle and their two daughters Sofia (8) and Natalia (6) moved to Ridgefield from Southern California in 2006. 

We would also like to thank retiring directors Nancy Brandon and Karin Fallon for their invaluable contributions to the Board and the Library.

2013-2014 Library Board of Directors (not pictured: Shane Casey, Philip Lodewick)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Can You Talk Like a Pirate?

September 19th is celebrated by enthusiasts worldwide as “International Talk Like a Pirate Day,” with attendant shenanigans.  Mango Languages, the provider of the Library’s online language learning programs for adults and children, has jumped on board with its Pirate language course, containing everything you need to know to “parlay” in perfect Pirate. You’ll learn a bit of Pirate history, the finer points of swashbuckling and all sorts of practical Pirate lingo.

In addition to Pirate, Mango offers over 60 world languages for English speakers, plus courses for those learning English as a second language. Perfect for leisure travelers, business people, students and the just plain curious, Mango’s conversational approach teaches practical, relevant content focused on four key areas of language learning: vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation and culture.  It is available remotely around the clock, including in an app version for mobile devices – all you need is your Ridgefield Library card to log in. Mango is also the provider of Little Pim online language instruction programs developed specifically for children ages 0-6. You’ll find links to both on our website at

Ask a staff person how to get started speaking Pirate – or French or Arabic or Mandarin Chinese.  Aarrr!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

OverDrive’s Big Library Read

From September 16th through 30th, the Ridgefield Library will be participating in a Big Library Read sponsored by OverDrive, the library’s platform for accessing eBooks and downloadable audiobooks. 
This year’s Big Library Read is geared toward fans of juvenile fiction and will feature “Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth,” Book 1 of Jane O’Connor’s new chapter book series based on the popular “Fancy Nancy” picture books. For these two weeks, this title will be offered for simultaneous download by any Ridgefield Library cardholder.   What this means is that access to both the eBook and downloadable audiobook versions will be available to multiple users for immediate download with no waitlists or holds.  Praised by Booklist as “a delightful story of dress-up and cozy family love,” the book will be offered in formats compatible with most computers, tablets and smartphones and accessible from anywhere with an Internet connection.

If you’ve been meaning to explore the eBook format with a special child in your life, this is the perfect opportunity to do so.  During OverDrive’s Big Library Read, “Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth” will be prominently featured on our website.  And, if you’re a new user of our OverDrive service, the library staff is eager to help you get started enjoying our eBook and downloadable audiobook offerings.

Contributed by Adult Services Librarian Dorothy Pawlowski

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Summer Is Definitely for Reading in Ridgefield!

The numbers are in, and we are proud to announce that a record number of people took part in Summer Reading this year at the Ridgefield Library.  What started as an activity for 180 children in 1988 engaged 1,807 children, teens and adults in 2013, 6% higher than the previous record set in 2011 and nearly 150 people more than last year.

These readers devoured 51,117 books, an average of 28.3 each, in just seven weeks.  Our “Fiction of Relationship” online course or MOOC, with its 10 classic works in 10 weeks, certainly contributed to these totals, but most of this can be attributed to good old-fashioned hunger for knowledge and adventure on the part of readers of all ages. Children going into grades K-5 recorded 41,634 books using our online reading log program; teens (grades 6-12) listed 8,972 items, and adults contributed 511 entries.

Many thanks to the Friends of the Library for their ongoing generous support of Summer Reading; to Deborah Ann’s Sweet Shop, Piccolo Pizza, The Toy Chest, Books on the Common and Parks and Recreation for providing prizes;  and to library staffers Carole Clark and Kathy Cherniavsky for creating incredible raffle baskets for Adult Summer Reading.