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