Monday, April 28, 2014

It’s an Adventure, But Hardly a Vacation

Several people have asked what staff members are going to do on their “vacation” the next few weeks while the Library is closed.  While we may not be checking out books, conducting storytimes or answering computer questions, we will be plenty busy as we move and get established in the new library space.

We have to pack up all of our offices and work areas, then settle into new quarters, many in very different configurations from what we have been accustomed to.  We have to learn how to use new security, phone and public address systems.  There are new technologies such as print and time management, interactive whiteboards and assistive listening systems to master.  Collections need to be organized on the shelves, and program supplies unpacked.

We will be learning how to program and use environmental controls to maintain the building at comfortable and efficient levels of heating, cooling and lighting. We will be practicing procedures for opening the building for the day, closing it at night and evacuating it in case of emergency. And, for good measure, we even need to make the transition from Windows XP to Windows 7 – a task many of you can relate to!

See you on May 9th for the start of Opening Weekend.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Libraries Change Lives: Declaration for the Right to Libraries

In celebration of National Library Week May 13-19, we offer the following summary of the Declaration for the Right to Libraries introduced by the American Library Association.  A full version and a link to add your signature to the Declaration may be found at

“In the spirit of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we believe that libraries are essential to a democratic society. Every day, in countless communities across our nation and the world, millions of children, students and adults use libraries to learn, grow and achieve their dreams. In addition to a vast array of books, computers and other resources, library users benefit from the expert teaching and guidance of librarians and library staff to help expand their minds and open new worlds. We declare and affirm our right to quality libraries -public, school, academic, and special – and urge you to show your support by signing your name to this Declaration for the Right to Libraries.

·         Libraries empower the individual.
·         Libraries support literacy and lifelong learning.
·         Libraries strengthen families.
·         Libraries are the great equalizer.
·         Libraries build communities.
·         Libraries protect our right to know.
·         Libraries strengthen our nation.
·         Libraries advance research and scholarship.
·         Libraries help us to better understand each other.
·         Libraries preserve our nation’s cultural heritage.”

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spring Is Nutmeg Book Award Time

It’s April, and that means it is time for the children of Connecticut to vote for the Nutmeg Book Award winners! Connecticut’s own book award encourages children in grades 4-12 to read quality literature and to choose their favorite from a list of nominated titles.  Traditionally the Ridgefield Library invites Ridgefield students to stop in at the Library and vote for their favorite Nutmeg nominee. But since we will be closing down for several weeks to move into our new building, and we don’t want students to miss the opportunity to vote, we have a new way for you to participate. The Ridgefield Library has put Nutmeg Award ballots online. You can see a link to them on our webpage, if you stop by our Facebook page, or if you follow us on Twitter.  Students who are not voting at school are encouraged to vote online using our ballot. Please only vote once, either at school OR online. The winning books will be announced on May 15. Also happening in mid-May will be the introduction of a new Nutmeg Book Award level. The Elementary level offers books for the youngest readers, students in grades 2 through 4. Spring is Nutmeg Book Award time!

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

Thursday, April 3, 2014

April Celebrations - and Remembrances

April is the time for some of our favorite occasions – National Library Week, National Volunteer Week and National Poetry Month.  To celebrate all three at once, we offer the following poem, which was composed by Ann Jepson, Ridgefield Library friend and Friend extraordinaire who passed away last week.

Elegy on the Obsolescence of Libraries

This morning
I was reminded of that smartest
and most social of farm animals,
the pig --
how in the days of the family farm
a little before feeding time
they would line up at the trough
in anticipation of the feast to come,
boars, sows, piglets
all waiting for the gate to open
and the morsels to flow,
rinds, peels, breakfast’s wake-up grounds,
noon’s lunch, last night’s dinner,
a sleepless night’s snack, celebration’s sweets,
all the rewards of man’s abundant repasts.

So when I went to the library
ten minutes before opening time
and saw that smartest and most social of the primates,
the human --
man, woman, child
waiting in anticipation for the doors to open
to peruse or check out
cd’s, dvd’s biographies, memoirs, fiction,
nonfiction, poetry, newspapers, magazines,
travel books, computer programs,
all the rewards of the race’s reveries,

I thought - Naysayers,
we will be here,
waiting at the trough,
for some time to come.