Wednesday, October 30, 2013

New Health Insurance Options: Your Library Can Help You Find Answers

One of our jobs as reference librarians is to stay abreast of changes to government programs that affect our patrons.  On October 1st we saw the launch of the new state health insurance marketplace website,, part of the  Affordable Care Act (ACA).  In January 2014, more changes are scheduled to go into effect. New consumer protections; expanded health plan options for individuals, families and small employers; and discounts to help qualified consumers afford coverage will become available.

The Ridgefield Library can make understanding the ACA and the enrollment process, which began October 1 and ends March 31, 2014, easier by providing extended computer times and links to a variety of resources and information on our webpage (, Research & Reference, Health & Fitness page.   

On Monday, November 4 at 7:00 PM Randi Redmond Oster, a leading speaker on Health Care Reform, will present a program called Health Care Reform: What You Need to Know Now.  She will address questions like:  Who qualifies for health insurance premium subsidies? What are the penalties for not purchasing insurance? Does my business have to offer me insurance? What happens if I am already covered? Will my Medicare deduction change? Please register as space is limited.

Contributed by Victoria Carlquist, Head of Reference Services

Friday, October 25, 2013

Celebrating our Friends this Week

October 20-26 is National Friends of Libraries Week, and it couldn’t be a more fitting time to celebrate the Friends of the Ridgefield Library.

Friday through Monday October 25-28 marks the Friends annual fall used book sale at Yanity Gym, offering tens of thousands of titles in over 30 categories, all at great prices.  Get the full sale schedule at, where you can also find out more about the Friends and the many Library activities they support, including Ridgefield Folk concerts, monthly poetry discussions and Reading Is a Family Affair.  The Friends also make possible such innovations as downloadable ebooks and audiobooks, Great Courses audio and video lectures and Mango and Little Pim language learning programs.

When they are not busy with the book sale, the Friends have taken on the task this fall of assisting the Library staff with “RFID tagging” – placing a special radio frequency tag into each of our 120,000 books and other items in preparation for a state-of-the-art automated circulation system in the new Library.  Anyone interested in volunteering to help with this project should contact me as listed below.

Whether you see them at the sale or around the Library, take a moment this week to thank a Friend!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fall in Love with the Library – and all of Ridgefield – this Weekend

It’s time to Fall in Love with Ridgefield this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  The annual celebration of Ridgefield’s rich history, culture, shopping, dining, music, arts and beyond offers dozens of activities for all ages.  Highlights include a costumed 5K Pumpkin Run, a scarecrow scavenger hunt, a pumpkin recipe contest and much, much more.  The Library’s contributions to this festive weekend include:

·         Meet the Natives - a family nature program (for ages 3+) with the Woodcock Nature Center, at the Library, Saturday at 2:00 PM

·         Ridgefield Folk with singer/songwriter Susan McKeown, at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Sunday at 2:00 PM. Susan was originally scheduled to appear last fall but was postponed due to Superstorm Sandy – we are thrilled to finally bring her to Ridgefield.

·         Community Art Project, organized by the Watershed Gallery.  Stop by the field next to the gallery and the Library at 11:00 AM or 3:00 PM on Saturday to create “altered book” pages as part of a project to benefit the New Ridgefield Library.  Discarded old books supplied by the Friends of the Library!

For more on the full schedule of events, pick up a brochure at the Library or around town or keep your eyes on Facebook for updates!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Museum Pass Updates

Did you know that you can get free or discounted admission to 20 area cultural attractions through the Library’s Museum Pass Program? Whether you are interested in science or art, animals or history, our Museum Passes make it convenient and affordable to enjoy venues such as the Beardsley Zoo, the Wadsworth Atheneum and the Connecticut Science Center.

Participating institutions are as close as The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum right on Ridgefield’s Main Street and as far away as the American Museum of National History in New York City. This fall we are adding two wonderful new locations that bring American history to life – Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts and our own Keeler Tavern Museum.

Please note that we are discontinuing temporarily the Peabody Museum while it is under renovation and its popular dinosaurs are not available for viewing.

Offers vary among the participating museums, so go to or pick up a brochure for more information, including pass borrowing rules.  Hours and exhibits change seasonally at many of the institutions, so always check their website before making your plans.

Thanks as always to the Friends of the Ridgefield Library, who have been the sponsors of this program since its inception. 

Have a great trip!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

It's National Arts and Humanities Month

October is National Arts and Humanities Month, as designated by Americans for the Arts, a national non-profit advocacy group for the arts in America.

National Arts & Humanities Month is a coast-to-coast collective recognition of the importance of culture in America. It is designed to encourage all Americans to explore new facets of the arts and humanities in their lives, and to begin a lifelong habit of active participation in the arts and humanities. Here in Ridgefield, we have a vibrant cultural community that impacts our lives every day. Under the leadership of the Ridgefield Arts Council, many of these groups have decided, rather than creating a separate event for the occasion, to turn a spotlight on the extraordinary line-up of public programs and educational activities already being offered locally during October.

Here at the Library, we start with monthly book discussions for all ages, arts and crafts sessions, author talks and ARTalk presentations, live musical and dramatic programs, and workshops for aspiring poets, photographers and memoirists. There is even the Friends fall used book sale, where readers can pick up everything from illustrated art books to classic literature in handy paperbacks. For a full line-up of arts and humanities events at the Library this month, visit