Thursday, December 31, 2015

Improving Access for Readers

We are always looking for ways to make the many facets of our collections more visible and accessible.  Here are a few of the latest improvements we have made.
  • ·  Our extensive collection of opera recordings on CD has moved up to the Ruggles Fine Arts Reading Room on the Upper Level, convenient to books on the performing arts.
  • ·         New large print books are now on display at the beginning of the large print shelves in the Bossidy Commons.  If you’re partial to this format, start your browsing there to see the latest acquisitions.
  • ·         In the Ellis Family Teen Center, biographies have been separated from non-fiction materials and are highlighted in a more visible location near the new teen books.
  • ·         Newly and recently returned DVDs are stored on a small cart near the Circulation Desk for easy browsing of the latest and most popular items.  Also look for the nearby list of our newest DVD acquisitions.  We are happy to put you on the waiting list for a particular favorite.
  • ·         In addition to thematic book displays around the building, look for featured items showcased at the ends of the aisles in the adult fiction and nonfiction stacks on the Upper Level to tempt you!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Making STEAM @ Ridgefield Library

You may have wondered about a colorful new logo on Library flyers and emails, incorporating the phrase “Making STEAM @ Ridgefield Library.”   This is our new initiative to offer activities and programs in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math to the community. Some may be familiar with the concept of STEM, which has been a hot topic in education and industry. It relates to developing proficiency in these closely-related disciplines to foster creativity and innovation.  More recently, there has been a movement to incorporate an element of art and design into this approach, thus STEAM.

With the opening of our new building and expansion of our technology infrastructure, the Ridgefield Library has been able to embrace the opportunities of this approach through a major expansion in the number and range of STEAM-based programs we can offer. Teens enjoy Crafternoons and Tech Thursdays each month; folks of all ages flock to 3D printing orientations; and programs like Science Scouts and a field trip to the World Maker Faire fill up quickly. Adopting the principle of “Making STEAM” allows us to provide context and connection among all these activities, promote them more effectively and stay abreast of current trends in both school-based education and lifelong learning.  Stay tuned for more STEAM as we move into the New Year.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

'Tis the Season @ the Library

The Library will be closed on Thursday, December 24th and Friday the 25th but open again our regular hours for the weekend (9:00 AM-5:00 PM on Saturday and 1:00-5:00 PM on Sunday).  The next week, we will close early at 3:00 PM on New Year’s Eve and remain closed on New Year’s Day, but will be open for the weekend.  Watch for news of some special LEGO programs on January 2nd.

Don’t forget to stop by the Library Store at the Circulation Desk whenever the Library is open, through the holidays and beyond. Check out our selection of gifts perfect for stocking stuffers, Secret Santa or teacher appreciation, including the new Ridgefield Library sticky note sampler book.  Get one for yourself while you’re there, to help you get organized for the new year.

On Saturday, December 19th from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, our Holiday Gift Wrapping service will be back.   Bring in your gifts, purchased anywhere, and we will make them festive for holiday giving.  We will wrap while you wait, or you can drop them off and pick up later in the day. Small suggested donation per package benefits the Library.  Look for our volunteer elves in the Main Lobby.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Cheers for Coding @ the Library

You’re never too old – or too young – to learn the mysteries of coding.  For those of us of a certain age, “coding” is the newer terminology for “computer programming,” and it is fast becoming a ubiquitous job skill, even for fields outside the tech world. In recognition of that fact, educators around the globe have launched a project called the Hour of Code, which seeks to introduce people of all ages and computer experience levels to the basics of coding during Computer Science Education Week (December 7-13 this year). In the few years Hour of Code has been going on, over 146,151,391 people have participated so far.

In Ridgefield the K-8th grades in the public schools, plus many students at local private schools, are participating in Hour of Code this week.  At the Library, we have scheduled numerous activities to bring others into the coding fold.  We have open lab times available, along with structured hands-on workshops for preschoolers, parents, seniors and more. Check our website for the schedule, come in for help, or go straight to to get started on your own.  It’s simple and fun!  The entire Library staff will be participating this year, and we invite you to join us.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Strolling to the Library

This weekend is the annual Holiday Stroll organized by Downtown Ridgefield, and the Library is pleased to be part of the festivities.

Starting at 6:00 PM on Friday, you’ll be greeted by the sounds (and tastes) of the Ridgefield Music and Arts Center’s RMAC-n- Cheese presentation, which will entertain you while you wait your turn for a horse and carriage ride down Main Street to the Lounsbury House.

In The Gallery on the Library’s Lower Level, you can take in an exhibit opening and reception from 6:00 to 9:00 PM for artist Spencer Eldridge.

Come through the Main Street doors to the Library and enter our Holiday Boutique. Here you will find great gifts for readers and writers from our new Library Store, including book bags, blank journals, magnetic bookmarks, various computer accessories and more.  They’re great for teacher gifts, Secret Santa surprises and stocking stuffers.

Bring along your gifts, no matter where you bought them, and our volunteers will wrap them for a small suggested donation per package, to benefit the Library.

Library Store sales and gift wrapping run Friday evening from 6:00 – 9:00 PM and continue 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM on Saturday. 

Saturday morning at 10:30, don’t miss drop-in storytime for ages 3 and up featuring a special “Frozen” theme.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

It's Picture Book Month

Read it again!  We’ve all heard those enthusiastic words.  The times we share reading a story to a child are treasured memories. It’s a child’s first time being read to and their first introduction to the visual arts.  These positive reading experiences help them develop into life-long readers and learners.
A picture book is much more than a simple story with pictures. A well-crafted story is born of an author’s imagination. The artist’s illustrations are essential as they are created to reveal more of the story.  Within 32 pages and sometimes in even fewer sentences, a skilled writer and illustrator create a story that takes us on a magical adventure certain to capture your heart.  It can make us giggle, weep, imagine and reminisce.  We will find wild things, Martin’s words, an unimaginary friend and frogs on flying lily pads.

November is Picture Book Month - a good excuse to check out some picture books, no matter your age. Sharing stories with a child is priceless and creates life-long memories.  Next time a child says, “Read it again,” be assured they are asking for precious time with you as well.

You can see some of our staff's favorites on our FlickR page at

Contributed by Gayle Pulley, Head of Children's Services

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Library Days Return to Books on the Common, with Some New Twists

The annual Library Days at Books on the Common will take place Thanksgiving weekend.   Just show your Ridgefield Library card at the cash register, and 15% of the proceeds of your purchase will be donated by the bookstore to the Library.  As a special thank you, all participating buyers will receive a specially designed bookmark; these limited edition keepsakes are being made by community members in conjunction with an exhibit by artist Ruth Root at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum.  Those purchasing goods in excess of $100 will be entered in a special drawing to receive a signed bookmark created by the artist herself.

November 28 is also Small Business Saturday, and the bookstore will have additional promotions and special programs on offer. So many reasons to visit Books on the Common and support the Library that weekend!

Store hours are Friday 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM, Saturday 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM and Sunday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM; call 203-438-9100 for more information about the store.  Ridgefield residents who do not have one may register for a library card at the Circulation Desk; all that is needed is proof of residence.  Contact The Aldrich at 203-438-4591 or for information about the Ruth Root exhibit and related activities.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Oh, the Places You’ll Go – with your Library Card

You already know that your Ridgefield Library card is your passport to the wondrous worlds portrayed in the thousands of books on our shelves.  Most people are also aware that you can take many library resources wherever you go with downloadable materials and mobile apps.  Now, we are pleased to announce that your Ridgefield Library card gives you special entrée to select events offered by some of our community partners.

On Saturday, November 21st, Library cardholders can enjoy discounted admission to the 45th Annual Ridgefield Woman’s Club Craft Fair from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM at East Ridge Middle School.  Watch for your discount voucher in the Library’s e-newsletter for the week of November 16th. All proceeds support community programs sponsored by the Woman’s Club, which has worked with the Library on numerous projects over the years.

Throughout the season, the Ridgefield Playhouse invites you to show your Ridgefield Library card at the box office and receive the member discount rate on tickets to HD film showings of performances by the Met Opera, Bolshoi Ballet and National Theatre (see the Library or Playhouse websites for details). The Playhouse and the Library work together frequently on projects such as The Big Read, and we are happy to continue this partnership through this special offer.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Wi-Fi Printing @ Ridgefield Library

For those who bring laptops, tablets, and smartphones to use in the Library, we are pleased to announce that we are now offering wireless printing.

Files supported by Wi-Fi printing include Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint slides, PDFs (Portable Document Format) and picture files. Send these print jobs from your browser by going to and completing the brief online form. You will be asked to enter your email address, which will be used to identify your print job. Printing from your email is accomplished by simply forwarding an email to one of the library printer addresses for either color or black & white copies.

Once a wireless print job is submitted, you may release your documents at any one of our three print release stations located in Adult Services on the Upper Level, the Bossidy Commons near the Circulation Desk, and the Lodewick Children’s Library.

Full details, including step-by-step instructions, are found on our website 
as well as on printed bookmarks located at service desks throughout the Library. Of course, staff members are available to answer any questions you may have. Please try out the convenience of Wi-Fi printing the next time you are in the Library!

Contributed by Adult Services Librarian Christie Mitchell

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Kids Coding for a Cause Comes to Ridgefield

The Library is pleased to announce that it will be hosting a program called Random Hacks of Kindness, Jr ( on December 5th.  RHoKJr is the project of a nonprofit organization that provides elementary and middle school students the opportunity to come together as problem solvers and innovators to make the world a better place.  Here at the Ridgefield Library we are enthusiastic about this approach because it helps provide a real world context for computer programming skills with the goal of igniting a passion to learn more.

The event will offer Ridgefield elementary and middle school students in fourth through eighth grades the opportunity to explore the power of computing by developing technical solutions to practical problems.  The goal of the event is to show students how important technology is through participating in a one-day hackathon which will enable them to create technical solutions for local non-profit organizations.  The students will work in groups of four (with a mentor and an adult facilitator) to create prototype smartphone apps for the participating non-profits.

Stay tuned for a report on the progress of this project over the next few weeks.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Historical New York Times: Your 24/7 Access to History

 Curious about events that happened on your birthday or another day in history? Interested in first-hand accounts of historical events? Want to see actual styles of various decades? The New York Times captures momentous occasions as well as the substance of everyday life.

The Historical New York Times is the definitive digital archive of the New York Times and covers the newspaper from its first issue published on Sept. 18, 1851 through 2011. Every part of every page including articles and front-page headlines, advertisements, birth, marriage, and death announcements, editorials, photographs, comics, classified ads, and more is available. Full-page and article images are easily downloaded in PDF format. This treasure trove of historical information is a great resource for anyone including history buffs, students, and genealogists.

Ridgefield Library cardholders may access the Historical New York Times 24/7 on our website –click on Research & Reference and go to the History webpage.

A demonstration and hands-on training session on using the Historical New York Times will be held on Friday, October 23 from 1:00 – 2:30 PM in the Library’s Donofrio Family Technology Center. We invite you to explore the Historical New York Times and get easy access to the past!

Please register on our website’s Events Calendar.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Celebrating Arts and Humanities this Month

National Arts & Humanities Month (NAHM) is a coast-to-coast collective recognition of the importance of culture in America, organized by Americans for the Arts and taking place this year in October. For 30 years, NAHM has encouraged 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.

Without even leaving the Library, this month you can enjoy art exhibits, folk concerts, author talks, book discussions, writing workshops, book launches, craft programs, two weekends of book sales hosted by the Friends of the Library, and a range of activities featuring “Alice in Wonderland.”  Whatever your age, there is plenty to celebrate!

If that is not enough to keep you busy, take advantage of the offerings of our many neighbors and partners.  Ridgefield is blessed with an extraordinarily vibrant arts and culture community, with too many wonderful individuals, groups and institutions to list them all here.

So explore the arts and humanities in October, and if you appreciate what you discover, write a letter to the paper, share your enthusiasm on social media or support your favorites with time or money.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Celebrating Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye"

September 27 through October 3 is Banned Books Week, and this year the Library is commemorating the occasion by partnering with Ridgefield High School to present a day-long read-aloud of JD Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye,” a work that has been challenged consistently since its publication in 1951 on the grounds of language, content and tone. At the same time, the book has consistently found a place on the required reading lists of many high schools, including in Ridgefield. 

In a survey this fall, students at RHS chose this title for a new project called Books Building Bridges.  A joint effort by the Library and the school, this project will engage students and adults in activities to bring together readers across generational lines in exploration of a classic work of literature. In addition to classroom discussion, students will participate with adults in intergenerational book chats, and other enrichment activities for all ages will be held at the Library.

The project kicks off on October 1st with the read-a-thon, organized by RHS library media specialist Kerry Baldwin, which will begin at the school at 9 AM and then move to the public library at 3 PM, where the public is invited to attend to read or just listen. For more information, go to

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Introducing the College Corner

The Ridgefield Library has a new College Corner to help parents and students with college decisions and the application process. We have the latest resources covering college listings, admissions and applications, the college essay, campus visits, test prep including the new SAT and PSAT, scholarships, paying for college, college living, and academic success.

The College Corner is located near the Teen Center on the upper level in the Library. One of the helpful features of the College Corner is that we have reference copies of many of the best college books, creating a comprehensive core collection, which stays in the Library. These “always available” books will be ready for you to refer to in the Library and for photocopying or free scanning to your email or USB drive. Of course, there are plenty of copies of these and many other college books available for checkout.

While visiting the College Corner, also ask about online resources such as LearningExpress Library for test prep and a schedule of upcoming lectures and workshops related to this complex process. You can also learn about our new exam proctoring service.

Let the Ridgefield Library and the new College Corner help you on your road to higher education! 

Contributed by Reference Librarian Christie Mitchell

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

It's a Wrap for Summer Reading

Super readers were frequent visitors at the Ridgefield Library this summer.  In Children’s Services, 1309 children signed up for the Summer Reading Program.  They logged a total of 38,867 books read over the summer with many children exceeding the 50 book goal. 

The Library hosted special events for children and their parents that included a magician, a Frisbee demonstration and musical performers. Children had the chance to code like a superhero.  Others had the chance to create fascinating art projects.  Children shined when they displayed their own talents at the library’s talent show.  Those who read 30 books were thrilled to have their picture taken like a superhero. 

The Library would like to thank those who sponsored the reading program.  We could not provide the wonderful programs and incentives without their support.  The Friends of the Library sponsored our special event programs and prizes. Deborah Anne’s Sweet Shoppe donated ice cream cones and The Toy Chest donated $5 gift certificates.  Their support allows us to offer incentives to our young readers.  We would also like to thank the parents who helped their children log the books, bring them to the library, and who spent hours reading with and listening to their children read.  

Contributed by Gayle Pulley, Head of Children's Services

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Get Outside the Lines @ your Library

September 13-19 is the week when libraries around the country are showcasing how they help their patrons get “outside the lines” – and the walls – of the traditional library building.  In Ridgefield we are using this as an occasion to launch our latest digital collection.  hoopla digital is an online service, available anywhere with your Ridgefield Library card for login, which offers music albums, movies and television shows to stream or download, as well as audiobooks, eBooks and even comics.  It is easy to use and works with both Apple and android apps as well as on most PC browsers.  You can get all the details on our website at

To cap off the week, Friday the 18th is International Read an eBook Day.  All you have to do is download one of the thousands of eBooks available to Ridgefield Library patrons through the OverDrive service. Then post about it on social media with the hashtag #eBookLove, and our library will be automatically entered into a drawing for $2,500 of credit towards additional eBooks for you to enjoy.

September is also Library Card Sign-up Month – what a great time to make sure you can take advantage of everything in the Library – and outside the lines!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Changing Seasons at the Library

The Library will be closed on Sunday and Monday, September 6 and 7, for Labor Day, but we will be open our regular hours 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM on Saturday the 5th for your convenience.

Registration for children’s fall programs is underway through September 20th, with most sessions beginning the last week of September.  Many activities are offered on a drop-in basis, but others do require registration online. We have a number of changes to the line-up this fall, so check out the details on our website or pick up a calendar in Children’s Services.

Sunday hours 1:00 – 5:00 PM resume on September 13th.  We will be celebrating the occasion with the first Ridgefield Folk concert of the season (the young singer/songwriter phenomenon Hayley Reardon) and the Grand Opening of our new Store @ the Ridgefield Library.  Stop by to check out our new line of library-branded items for gift-giving or personal use, from magnetic bookmarks to blank journal books.

September is Library Card Sign-Up Month, and we have some exciting new products and services we will be introducing that add even more value to your card.  Stay tuned for details, and stop by the Circulation Desk soon to make sure every member of your family has an up-to-date card.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Announcing Alice

It has been 150 years since the publication of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll (aka Charles Dodgson), and we can’t resist!  Our staff is smiling like the Chesire Cat as we put together a roster of Alice-related activities this fall for all ages.  We will start with a field trip on October 7th to the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City, where we will tour their special exhibit “Alice: 150 Years of Wonderland, ” guided by exhibit curator Carolyn Vega. The culmination of our adventures will be a presentation on November 22nd by author Gregory Maguire called “Green Witches, White Rabbits and Wild Things,” in which the author will talk about his own novel “Wicked,” his new book “After Alice” and his friend Maurice Sendak.

In between you can enjoy scholarly lectures, a book-to-film comparison, a Mad Hatter tea party, book discussions for children and for adults, and much more, in a series we are calling “Curiouser and Curiouser.”  If you are curious about Alice or the man who created her, please join us for our journey down the rabbit hole, sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Watch our website for full details, coming soon.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Opportunities for Lifelong Learners

Ridgefield students head back to school soon, but youngsters are not the only ones who can expand their horizons with new academic challenges.  In addition to our myriad scheduled programs, we invite adult Ridgefield Library card holders to explore two self-paced options for lifelong learning.

Thanks to the Friends of the Library, we continue to add to our collection of “Great Courses” audio CDs, featuring popular and highly respected teachers from the best colleges and universities in the country.  Each set consists of a complete series of course lectures, along with printed study guides.  Recent additions include 1066, After the New Testament, Art of War and Skepticism 101.

The Library has also served as a “meet-up” site for several Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs.  This summer several dozen people, from preteens to senior citizens, gathered each week to view and discuss excerpts from a course entitled “The Rise of Superheroes and their Impact on Popular Culture.”  Those who missed taking the full course online will have another chance, when it is repeated starting August 12th.  Stay tuned for announcement of future opportunities to join with fellow scholars to take part in MOOCs on literature, art history or other topics.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Test Taking @ the Library

Due to the huge growth in distance learning all around the world, many more students of all ages are earning degrees and certificates without ever setting foot on campus.  But they often do still need a secured and supervised setting for taking exams.  That’s where the Ridgefield Library comes in.

We have long done proctoring for exams on an ad hoc basis, but the increase in demand has prompted us to establish a formal policy, and also a modest fee for this service. We are pleased to be able to support our patrons’ educational aspirations, but we want to make sure that the test taking environment we provide conforms to the requirements of the institutions of higher learning involved.

A $25 charge will now be assessed for each request for exam proctoring.  The Library will supply a room in which to take the exam, and a computer if required. Proctoring is available only during regular Library hours Monday through Saturday and subject to staff availability.  Reservations must be made at least 5 days in advance.

The full proctoring policy can be found on the Policies page at  For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact the Adult Services department at 203-438-2282 x12004.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Attention social media mavens!  The Ridgefield Library now has a presence on Instagram at ridgefieldlibrary.  With Instagram’s emphasis on visuals, you won’t find a lot of words here.  What you will see in the coming months will be pictures of crafts completed in children’s and teen programs, objects printed on our 3D printer, cover art from book group selections and award winners and much more.  Our account was activated just in time to capture the action at last weekend’s Comic Con, including a parade of superheroes (and a few villains). 

If you are not familiar with Instagram, watch for notice of introductory sessions offered periodically in our Tech Topics program series.

If you like your social media with more words, look for our Facebook page, where you can find interesting articles about the future of books and libraries, event announcements and even the weekly Library Lines column.  This is a great way to share news about Library activities with friends and neighbors who might be interested.  And we welcome your comments.

For fast updates, follow us on Twitter at ridgefieldlib. This is where we post breaking news and reminders about weather closings, program schedules and more.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Last Chance to Be Part of the Community Mural at the Ridgefield Library

The Community Mural is an original artwork on the wall of the Gallery on the Lower Level of the new Ridgefield Library where you can commemorate your family name, your business or organization, an honoree, a favorite book or other personal message. Many Ridgefielders have already participated in this great opportunity, and at this time the mural is almost completely full!  The artist, Marcia Simha, has created a new section between bookends on top of the current bookcases.  Book spines or silhouettes for this new section are now available … but only until Labor Day.  After that time, the mural will be complete.
If you would still like to participate in this beautiful mural, you have a few more weeks to do so!  Donation levels starting at $150 receive legacy recognition on personalized book spines or silhouette images with nameplate - or both. If you are interested in the new section of the Community Mural, please call Laureen Bubniak at 203-438-2282 Ext. 11029; visit or stop into the Library to pick up a mural form and return it by September 7th.  

Contributed by Director of Development Laureen Bubniak

Friday, July 17, 2015

Summer Reading Is Not Just for Children

As of this writing (on July 9th), we are nearly halfway through the 2015 Summer Reading Program, and the numbers are adding up.  So far, 1157 school-aged children, 330 teens and 86 adults are registered in our online logging program and recording their reading and reviews.  Readers can sign up anytime and continue to participate through August 8th, so go to today and get started.

We particularly urge adults to take part, to help demonstrate to younger readers the lifelong joy and value of reading. To make it easy, all of our monthly book discussions (except the poetry group) meet through the summer.  We know you are reading, so make it count!  At the Ridgefield schools, teachers and staff have issued a challenge to their students, with the results to be compared and celebrated when school starts in the fall. You can do the same with the children (or grandchildren) in your life. 

Some families have readers participating at the children’s, teen and adult levels.  If yours is one, come in together and let us take your picture for our gallery of superheroes.  After all, Every Hero Has a Story – let us share yours!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

What We Learned @ the Library

For five weeks this spring we worked at the Ridgefield Library as part of the Ridgefield High School senior internship program. During our time there we have discovered a multitude of things about the Library, the most surprising of which was the extensive amount of programs offered at the Library. Currently the Library provides over 300 different programs for the public; so there is truly a program for everyone. Furthermore, while we often take the opportunities offered at the Library for granted, the sheer amount of effort that goes into running a library is outstanding. Each book is individually cared for and placed on the shelf; each program necessitates the time and attention of several different people in order to make it a success.  Moreover, the Library makes a significant effort to reach out to the public and provide Ridgefielders with experiences that enrich and enhance their understanding of the arts as well as literature. To illustrate, we were surprised to learn that the Library provides a forum for musicians and artists to showcase their work for free. The Library stands as an institution for the community to gather and delve into the arts and sciences. 

Contributed by Isabel Stoddard and Sophia Davis are 2015 graduates of Ridgefield High School and recent interns at the Ridgefield Library.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Heroes Come in Many Shapes and Sizes

There will be plenty of superheroes flying around the Library this summer as we present our first ever Comic Con on July 25th.  We’ll have cartoon exhibits, face painting, costume pageants, panel discussions and much more, all celebrating pop culture graphic novels, films, games and science fiction and fantasy literature.  There will be something for all ages, so check out the details at and plan to join us – all free, and no registration required.

But, with a Summer Reading theme of “Every Hero Has a Story,” we are also celebrating hometown heroes, who do good and help others without the assistance of super powers like x-ray vision and shapeshifting. At 2:00 PM each Wednesday in July, youngsters aged 5 and older are invited to meet some special heroes and hear their stories.  We will welcome Police Chief John Roche on July 1st and Fire Chief Kevin Tappe on the 15th. Mike Principi, the “hot dog guy,” will visit on July 22nd to tell about the wonderful work he does building playgrounds for orphans around the world during the winter months. And on July 8th we’ll hear about the adventures of “wonder dog” Bacon, a therapy dog from ROAR.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Inside Scoop on New Books for the Fall

Recently, I had the good fortune to attend Book Expo America, an annual event where publishers and authors promote their upcoming titles to booksellers and librarians. Here is a preview of some of the fall’s most anticipated books.

Watch out for new titles by popular authors Adriana Trigiani, Gregory Maguire, Lee Child, Geraldine Brooks, and Jane Smiley.  Coming in September, Jonathan Franzen’s “Purity is being touted as his best to date and a literary feat.  For fans of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series, a new author continues Lisbeth Salander’s exploits in “The Girl in the Spider’s Web.”

By all accounts, the fall fiction debut to watch out for is “City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg.  At a whopping 944 pages, this novel set in 1970s New York City is purportedly impossible to put down and triggered a bidding war among publishers.  The most talked about upcoming non-fiction includes “The Three-Year Swim Club: The Untold Story of Maui’s Sugar Ditch Kids and Their Quest for Olympic Glory by Julie Checkoway and Dan Marshall’s comic memoir “Home Is Burning.”

One thing is certain. With hundreds of new titles on the horizon, readers have a lot to look forward to this fall.

Contributed by Dorothy Pawlowski, Head of Adult Services

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Online Learning with

Do you want to keep up to date on the software you use?  The Ridgefield Library’s newest online resource is for you.  This powerful learning tool offers over 3,400 video courses for professional and personal development.

These instructional videos, taught by experts in their fields, can be accessed anywhere an Internet connection is available.  Topics offered include business and management skills, software training, design and web development, 3D and animation, and computer programming.   You’ll also find a wealth of instruction on photography and multimedia editing. Videos are searchable by topic and can be viewed in short segments. 

Seeking a job or professional advancement? is a powerful tool for information on job search strategies, designing a resume, preparing for an interview, and managing your career.  Once you’ve finished a course, upload a Certificate of Completion to your LinkedIn profile.

All you need to get started is a Ridgefield Library card.  We will be offering training sessions on using on June 17th, June 18th, and June 19th in the Library’s Donofrio Family Technology Center.   To register for one of these sessions or to start learning, visit our website at  

Contributed by Dorothy Pawlowski, Head of Adult Services

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

June Is for Audiobooks

June is a perfect time to celebrate National Audiobook Month, as family vacations get underway and folks spend more time in outdoor pursuits like gardening.  At the Ridgefield Library, we offer an extensive collection of listening material on CD, mp3 and Playaway and in several digital formats. Options include fiction and non-fiction for adults, favorite children’s and teen titles, recommendations for family listening, language learning material and even lecture courses by celebrated college professors.

Audiobooks are a great boon for commuters who want to put their travel time to good use catching up with the latest bestseller.  They can also be of great benefit to beginning or reluctant readers who need a helping hand.  Playaways in particular, with their self-contained player and simple one-button operation, are popular with those whose vision or dexterity may be less than 100%.

Some listeners seek out audiobooks read by particular narrators. Some readers are such a perfect fit with the material they present that they add immense pleasure to the listening experience.

Look for audiobooks in physical formats in the adult, children’s and teen areas. For a quick start to using digital audiobooks, just click on the square blue “Download Audiobooks” icon on our homepage at  

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Print's Not Dead!

Library Board and staff had the pleasure of hearing a presentation recently by Len Vlahos, outgoing executive director of the Book Industry Study Group (BISG), the leading book trade association for standardized best practices, research and information, and education and events. Looking at trends in the publishing industry over the past few years (study data covered the years 2008-2013), Len shared some interesting insights, a few of which are included below.
  • 77% of trade sales continue to be in physical format, with only 23% being digital content (e-books).
  • E-books did experience rapid expansion both in units sold and in revenue from 2009-2012, during the period when many people acquired and started using smartphones and tablets such as iPads for the first time.  But this trend has declined as the novelty of these devices has worn off.  At the same time, hard and soft cover book sales remained stable.
  • Two titles accounted practically all by themselves for an increase in trade book sales in 2012 of almost 8% - what Len referred to as the “Fifty Shades of Hunger Games” phenomenon.

In fact, Len is so bullish on the future of print publishing that he is moving to Colorado to take over ownership of the famed Tattered Cover independent bookstores!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Not So Lazy Days of Summer @ the Library

School may be winding down, but things are just heating up for the summer at the Library. Get out your smartphone or old-fashioned paper datebook and mark down the following dates.
  • Memorial Day Weekend:  The Library will be closed on Sunday the 24th and Monday the 25th but will be open our regular hours 9 AM – 5 PM on Saturday the 23rd.  Look for us in the town parade on Monday morning!
  • Summer Hours Begin: Starting on June 21st, we will be closed on Sundays through Labor Day.
  • Summer Reading Starts: School is out on June 18th, and Summer Reading at the Library gets off to a roaring start the very next day!  The theme this year is “Every Hero Has a Story,” and we have special programs for preschoolers, elementary age students, teens and adults.
  • Comic Con 2015:  The Library is proud to announce that it will be holding its first ever Comic Convention on Saturday, July 25th.  This will be a full day of events and activities celebrating popular culture, in particular comics, graphic novels, films, games, science fiction and more.  You won’t want to miss it!  Much more information will be coming soon.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Ridgefield Library for: Questions and Answers

Close observers may have noticed that the Library has gone trivia crazy in the past few months. We have done Downton Abbey trivia, wild game trivia, literary trivia and Academy Award trivia.  We have challenged teams of young people at our popular Teen Trivia afternoons and older contestants at the Library’s celebrity bartender night at Gallo Ristorante. For the Run Like a Mother 5K Race, we offered questions for both kids and their parents on the topics of famous mothers, running and other sports, and health.  What is behind this obsession with trivia at the Library?

We think it is a natural fit.  After all, questions and answers are the stock in trade of reference librarians. As a matter of fact, many of the questions we have incorporated into our quizzes come straight from the inquiries made by patrons at the Library’s service desks (for example, triskaidekaphobia is the answer to a frequent question on certain Fridays).

Look for history and children’s book trivia at the Keeler Tavern Museum Family Day on June 13th and 1970s and superhero trivia at Summerfest in July.  And you can challenge our librarians any time by dropping in to the Library with your questions!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Get Magazines on the Go

Looking for the latest issue of a magazine? Zinio is an online resource offering beautiful full color, interactive digital magazines accessible from computers and from a wide range of smartphones and tablets.   Ridgefield Library cardholders can now download current and back issues of 48 magazines including National Geographic, Newsweek, The New Yorker and a range of specialty magazines such as Cooks Illustrated, Eating Well, ARTnews and The Family Handyman.   Some titles offer enhanced elements such as audio and video that bring content to life.     

These magazines are available from anywhere with an Internet connection and, once downloaded, can be read offline.   The Zinio interface has just been updated, streamlining the process for checkout and reading on a computer, and the new Zinio for Libraries app has been redesigned to improve ease of access to magazines on most mobile devices.   Select as many current and back issues as you like and retain them for as long as you like.

Drop by the Donofrio Technology Center on Thursday, May 7th between 1 and 3 PM or on Wednesday, May 20th between 4 and 6 PM for a demo and one-on-one help in getting started with Zinio or visit our website for more information. 

Contributed by Head of Adult Services Dorothy Pawlowski

Friday, May 1, 2015

Library Open Late for AP Prep

The AP (Advanced Placement) exams are coming up and the Ridgefield Library wants high school students to know: we are here for you. The Library has many AP exam study guides put out by Barron’s and the Princeton Review. If you’d prefer to prepare electronically, our website offers access to Learning Express’s College Preparation Center where you take nine different practice AP exams and look at some flash review eBooks. As the exam dates get closer, and students want to hunker down with their study groups, the Library is happy to announce that it will be staying open late on four different evenings during the two weeks of AP exams. On May 5, 7, 11, and 13, Ridgefield Library will stay open from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM exclusively for RHS students who are studying for their exams. There will be several librarians available for any reference questions that crop up, and study groups will be welcome to occupy any and all spaces on the upper level of the building. Students who wish to take advantage of these extended study hours will need to be in the building by 8:00 PM those nights, as the Library will not be open for regular business and the doors will be locked.

Contributed by Teen Services Librarian Geri Diorio

Thursday, April 23, 2015

What Have I Read?

At the Ridgefield Library Circulation Desk, it’s pretty common for us to hear, “Can you tell me if I took this item out before?”  Unfortunately, we have to say that we don’t have that information, as our Integrated Library System does not maintain details of older transactions.  The good news is that you can now keep track of this information yourself, and the details are private and not accessible to anyone else, even Library staff.

Each patron can keep track of previously checked out items and items that they have previously put on hold.  Simply log into your account online at, go to the Account Preferences Tab, click on Search and History Preferences and check the little box after Keep History of Checked Out Items and/or Keep History of Holds.  Then click the Save button, and you are done.

You can access this information at any time by clicking on the Items Checked Out tab and then clicking on the Check Out History tab or clicking on the Holds tab and then the Holds History tab.  The information is at your fingertips.  It’s as simple as that.

If you have any questions, come to the Circulation Desk and we will be happy to work with you one-on-one.

Contributed by Circulation Clerk Mary Louise Cardosa

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Sampling Spring @ the Ridgefield Library

Winter is finally over, and spring activities are busting out all over!  Don’t forget to stop at the Library for books and other resources to help you enjoy the many occasions and opportunities coming this month and next.  To make it easy for you to find what you need, our staff has put together a number of browsing displays located at numerous locations in the building.

April is National Poetry Month, and you can explore verse both classic and contemporary in the Lodewick Children’s Library and in the Goldstone and Ruggles special collection rooms on the Upper Level, where you will also find materials spotlighting National Jazz Appreciation Month. You can sample the Best Books of 2014 and this year’s crop of Nutmeg Award nominees.  Spring will be the subject in all departments, with a special focus on home and garden in the Bossidy Commons.  We’ll commemorate Autism Awareness Month and Earth Day in April and move on to Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day and Older Americans Month in May.

We invite you to take advantage of these displays to sample the wide range of topics you can discover at the Library.  

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Students Vote for State Book Award at Ridgefield Library

It’s April, and that means it is time for the children of Connecticut to vote for the Nutmeg Book Award winners! The Nutmeg Book Award encourages children in grades 2-12 to read quality literature and to choose their favorite from a list of nominated titles.  The nominees are chosen by committees of public and school librarians from across the state. There are now four divisions: Elementary for grades 2-4 (new this year and the only division that includes nonfiction), Intermediate for grades 4-6, Teen for grades 7-8, and High School for grades 9-12. It is Connecticut’s own book award.  To help make voting easy, the Ridgefield Library has put Nutmeg Book Award ballots online. You can see a link to them if you stop by our Facebook page, or if you follow us on Twitter, or on the Library’s website. 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, and the new list of nominees will come out at that time as well. Spring is Nutmeg Book Award time!

Contributed by Teen Services Librarian Geri Diorio

Friday, March 27, 2015

Technology Highlight – Library Document Station

Over the coming months, we will be updating our readers on some of the new technologies that are now available at the Ridgefield Library. One of the newest and most useful is our Library Document Station.  This multi-function system utilizes a touch-screen monitor connected to a flat-bed scanner.  It allows our patrons to scan/copy/fax documents or pictures to various destinations.  Scanning destinations include:

E-mail – Scan and send documents to your email.
USB – Scan directly to a USB flash drive.
Fax – Scan and fax direct.  Faxes are $1/page.
B/W Printer – Scan and print to our print management system.  This function acts like a regular copy machine.  B/W prints are $0.20/page.
Color Printer – Scan and print to our print management system.  This function allows color copying which is not available on our regular copy machines.  Color prints are $0.50/page.  Google Drive – Log into your Google Drive account and scan documents direct.

Unlike with regular copiers you may place a document in any position and the scanner will auto-align so it scans in straight.  After scanning each page you are given options for cropping, rotating and other fine tuning.

Please come in and visit our Adult Services Desk for assistance!

Contributed by Network Administrator Anthony Cacciola

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Take a Trip to Ireland without Leaving the Ridgefield Library

Wish you could travel to the Emerald Isle for St. Patrick’s Day but not able to get away?  A trip to the Ridgefield Library can be the next best thing.

Irish writers are renowned for their storytelling, and we have a wide selection of novels, memoirs and poetry, from the contemporary coziness of Maeve Binchy to the innovation of James Joyce. Many of these classics and popular favorites are also available as audiobooks with entrancing narrators like Donal Donnelly, Marcella Riordan and the late, great Frank McCourt reading his own memoirs.

If you find yourself inspired by those lilting brogues, you can learn to speak like a leprechaun yourself with Mango Languages, the Library’s online language learning program, found on our website.  Try out their special short course called “St. Patrick’s Day Irish” which gives an introduction to the names of people, places, food and drink.

Those of Irish heritage can explore their family history with Ancestry Library Edition or Heritage Quest, useful tools for genealogy research. You can browse our music CDs for favorites from the Celtic repertoire. And, of course, you can admire the lush pictures in scores of travel books or serve up delectable Irish soda bread from recipes found in our cookbook section.

Céad míle fáilte to the Ridgefield Library!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Genealogy Research Using Ancestry Library Edition

Ever wonder about your family tree? Are you the family historian trying to sort through great aunts and uncles, cousins, neighborhoods, and World War II service tales?

Ancestry Library Edition delivers billions of records in census data, vital records, directories, photos, etc. It includes records from North America, United Kingdom, Europe, and Australia, with more countries added on a regular basis. With the addition of the 1940 census records, World War II draft registration cards, naturalization records, passports, and passenger lists you don’t need a huge amount of information to begin a fascinating journey tracing your family’s roots.  Ancestry is the world’s largest genealogy research tool and it is available on the public computers in the Ridgefield Library.

We are offering two programs this month on using Ancestry: one for students in grades 8-12 on Wednesday, March 18 from 3:30-5:00 PM led by Gayle Pulley, Head of Children’s Services, and the other for adults on Thursday, March 24 from 1:00-2:30 PM led by Adult Services Librarian Mary Lee. Both groups will meet in the Library’s Donofrio Technology Center. Please register on our website’s Events Calendar. Get started researching your family history!

Contributed by Adult Services Librarian Mary Lee

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Children’s Book Award Winners @ the Ridgefield Library

Readers, young and old! It’s our favorite time of year again, when the American Library Association announces the winners of its legendary annual awards: the John Newbery Medal for the best in children’s fiction, and the Randolph Caldecott Medal for the best in children’s picture books. This year’s winners are Kwame Alexander’s “The Crossover” for the Newbery, a chapter book that fuses the rhythm of poetry and basketball, and Dan Santat’s “The Adventures of Beekle” for the Caldecott, a story about a little creature who longs to be someone’s imaginary friend.

You can check out these, and many more award winners, in our special Juvenile Award Winner collection in the Lodewick Family Children’s Library. This collection contains the Newbery and Caldecott winners from every year, dating back to 1922! The two sections are organized in reverse chronological order, so you can see the progression of titles over the course of nearly a century. You’ll recognize some wonderful bedtime favorites, such as “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak, among the Caldecotts. Reread some great stories, like Robert O’Brien’s “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH,” in the Newberys. Take a look on ALA’s website ( for a full list of these timeless classics. 

Contributed by Ann Victor, Children's Collection Management Specialist

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Library Open Hours to Change March 1st

We have been gratified by the overwhelmingly positive response we have received to our new building and the expanded services we are able to offer in it.  But, as with any new venture, there are sometimes adjustments to be made to find the best mode of operation.  We have listened carefully to the comments of our patrons and are now going to institute a major change in response to public demand, effective Sunday, March 1st.

Our hours will be changing to allow more open time in the evening.  This has been a constant request from students preparing for exams, commuters unable to get back to town before our current 7:00 PM closing and patrons wishing to combine other library business with a trip to an evening program. We looked at our data on visits throughout the day and found that usage before 10:00 AM was very light, compared to the demand for more evening hours.  Our new weekday hours will be Monday through Thursday 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM and Friday 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.  Saturday hours will remain 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Sundays 1:00 to 5:00 PM (during the school year only).

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Online Antiques Evaluation

If you want to know the value of your antiques or find out how the antiques market is faring, the Ridgefield Library has price guides and a continually updated online resource called P4A Antiques Reference to help you do just that.

P4A Antiques Reference can be found on our webpage on the Home & Garden section of the Research & Reference pages.  It is a searchable database of past auction prices from 1999 to present for antiques, collectibles, and fine art. Auction sales history information includes data from coast-to-coast auction sales on a regular basis of more than thirty major auction houses and on an opportunity basis for several dozen other reputable auction venues. Every record has full color images.  Keyword, origin, classification or date searching is available.  There are reference notes with biographical and historical information. The site contains a Resource Center listing other useful web sites, books, newsletters and appraiser resources plus a list of the recent and forthcoming auctions.

Don’t hesitate to ask at the Adult Service Desk for a personal introduction to this great resource.

Contributed by Adult Services Librarian Victoria Carlquist

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Take Your Child to the Library Saturday

Join in the 4th annual Take Your Child to the Library Day on Saturday, February 7th at the Ridgefield Library.  Families across the country will take time to visit their local library and celebrate all that it has to offer.  Nadine Lipman, a Connecticut children’s librarian, developed the event to raise awareness of the library’s importance in the life of a child.  The Ridgefield Library invites children and their families to participate in a variety of fun events on Saturday.  Drop-In Storytime begins at 10:30 AM for children ages 3 and older in the Lodewick Children’s Library.  The Just So Stories Puppet Performance will take place at 11:30 AM for children ages 4 and older in the Main Program Room located on the lower level of the library.  Children in kindergarten through 5th grade are invited to Kids Tech Time in the Lodewick Children’s Library from 4 to 5:30 PM as part of our coding celebration.  Remember, every day is a great day to take your child to the library.  A routine library visit becomes a habit that will develop into a child’s life-long love of learning.  You can check out the library website to learn more about our programs and events that will inform your family and enrich your life.

Contributed by Gayle Pulley, Head of Children's Services

Friday, January 30, 2015

LearningExpress Library

LearningExpress Library is an online resource providing comprehensive test preparation, academic skills improvement resources, and career and occupational information for students in grade 4 through adult learners. It offers practice tests, exercises, skill-building courses, eBooks, and information you need to achieve the results you want at school, at work, or in life.
·         Boost academic skills in core subjects such as math, reading, writing, vocabulary and social studies and more.

·         High school students have access to practice tests for PSAT/NMSQT, SAT, ACT, and AP exams. Tests are timed and scored with correct answers provided. Tutorials are recommended based on your score. Other exams include CLEP, ACCUPLACER, GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT and PCAT.

·         Learn about careers and prepare for occupational exams such as the PSI Real Estate Salesperson exam, the Praxis and ParaPro Assessments for teaching, EMT, Firefighter and ASVAB exams. Also included are exams for air traffic controller, civil service, commercial driver’s license, cosmetology, culinary arts, dental assisting, Homeland Security, law enforcement, nursing, pharmacy technician, physician assistant, plumber, veterinary technician, and more.

Start at then click on Research & Reference, then Databases A-Z. Log in with your Ridgefield Library card. For more information, please contact Adult Services.

Contributed by Adult Services Librarian Christie Mitchell