Thursday, December 18, 2014

Keep Coding, Ridgefield!

Computer Science Education Week is over, but we are still coding!  Our Hour of Code initiative kicked off with an array of technology programs in conjunction with the global movement reaching tens of millions of learners in 180+ countries. The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics, from age 4 to 104.

In addition to events at the Library, the Ridgefield Public Schools introduced all elementary and middle schoolers to the Hour of Code last week.  With the support of the school district, the Ridgefield Education Foundation and the Friends of the Library, we are extending this effort to allow both youngsters and others to keep coding at the Library or on their own through the end of January.  During the school vacation break, the Library will host additional programs and open lab time, so students will be able to finish up the projects they started in school and explore further.  The project will wrap up on February 7th with a day of celebration, with prizes, demonstrations and much more.

To get started, go to and select a project for your age group.  You can also follow the links to log your lines or hours of code as you go and earn one raffle ticket for each hour completed.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Getting to Project Gutenberg

Have you heard about Project Gutenberg? It is the oldest provider of eBooks, founded in 1971 by Michael Hart, who wanted to be able to store, search and retrieve what was in a public library. He began digitizing public domain texts and making them easily searchable. At this time, Project Gutenberg offers more than 46,000 books, for free, to anyone who has access to a computer or tablet or ereader. These books are from bona fide publishers, and they have been digitized and proof read by a corps of volunteers. Because all the books offered are in the public domain, they tend to be older titles. “Pride and Prejudice,” “The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn” and “Moby Dick” are examples of the most popular books on the site.

Ridgefield Library users now have an easier time searching for these classics since Project Gutenberg ebooks are now included in our catalog. For example, when searching for Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness,” the Library catalog now shows that book is available in print, as a downloadable ebook from Overdrive, and as a downloadable ebook from Project Gutenberg.  Gutenberg books are not limited in how many people can check them out at the same time, so these titles, often found on high school reading lists, are available to as many patrons as want them in ebook format.  Just stop by the Adult Service Desk if you need help downloading them onto your device of choice.

Contributed by Teen Services Librarian Geri Dioro.  

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Introducing the New Head of Children's Services

The Ridgefield Library recently welcomed Gayle Pulley as Head of Children’s Services. Ms. Pulley will be responsible for the daily management of the dynamic and busy Lodewick Children’s Library. Her experience includes 16 years as an elementary and high school librarian. Before coming to the Ridgefield Library, Ms. Pulley was the district librarian at the Eldred (NY) School District. Ms. Pulley received a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and earned her graduate degree in Library Science and a teaching certification from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. She recently relocated to Stamford with her husband David, Assistant Superintendent at Southern Westchester BOCES. They share 5 children and are proud grandparents of their three granddaughters. She enjoys traveling, researching family genealogy, and reading a wide range of genres. Ms. Pulley is excited to be part of Ridgefield’s vibrant library and to provide enriching experiences where children come to the Library to discover and choose books they want to read. She feels fortunate to have the opportunity to share in nurturing a child’s love of reading and developing literacy skills. She will work closely with long-time Children’s Library staffers Mary Beth Rassulo, Diane Antezzo, Christine Miller, Kathy Cherniavsky and Ann Victor.

Contributed by Head of Children's Services Gayle Pulley