Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Supporting your Library

Planning for 2018 at the Ridgefield Library is well underway, and we have some exciting activities on tap that will be announced soon. As the clock ticks down on 2017, we wanted to take this opportunity to remind you that everything you enjoy at the Library is only possible due to the generosity of our donors.  Here’s how you can help.

Tax-deductible donations to our Annual Appeal can still be made and counted in 2017. Checks can be postmarked or hand-delivered through Saturday the 30th, and online donations may be made through the 31st. With the implications of the new tax bill still being unpacked, it may benefit donors to do their annual charitable giving before the end of this calendar year.

Escape Room Adventure tickets have been big sellers, but some spots are still available in sessions throughout January.  Give yourself a post-holiday treat and get yours today.

It’s not too late to purchase an upcoming release by your favorite author from our Wish List and earn the privilege of being the first to read it when it arrives.

More information about all these opportunities is available at ridgefieldlibrary.org or by calling 203-438-2282 x11029.  Thanks for your support!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Paccadolmi Honorees Announced

The Ridgefield Library is pleased to announce the recipients of this year’s Paccadolmi Awards for volunteer service, which were given out at a festive reception on December 3rd.

Former Library Board member Lisbeth Kelly was honored for her service on the Board from 2009-2015, as well as her continuing dedication, as she has lent her significant skills to our ongoing work, notably as co-chair of the Search Committee tasked with hiring a new Library Director.  Still willing to contribute, she once again answered our call and has joined our Strategic Planning Committee which is currently developing long-range goals and priorities for the Library.

Also honored were the individuals who collectively have provided the backbone of our Homebound Delivery Service since its inception in 2008: Andrea Heap, Julia Bruce, Hannah Barber, Michele Brooks, Melissa Brady, Lynn Dinisi, Valerie Cosgrove and Tori Dinkel.  These dedicated individuals have delivered thousands of books, DVDs and other library materials to dozens of people who are housebound due to long-term or short-term illness or disability.  They truly provide a vital connection to the outside world for those unable to get to the Library on their own.

You can learn more about the Paccadolmi Awards and about the Homebound Delivery Service at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Buy a Book for the Library

We are pleased to introduce a new way for library supporters to help us maintain an up-to-date and attractive collection for all ages – one book at a time! For a modest tax-deductible donation, you can select a specific title to add to our holdings.

Just go to our website at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org and click on the Wish List link.  Select the Books tab and browse through the items our staff have picked out. These include fresh editions of classic picture books to replace copies that have been “loved to death,” missing titles in popular series for young readers and projected adult bestsellers due for publication in the next few months. Donate to purchase a new release, and you can be the first one to read it! The wish list includes fiction and nonfiction and even DVDs and audiobooks.

Books may be purchased to honor a special occasion (birthday, Christmas, terrific report card) or person (relative, teacher, favorite librarian!). When appropriate, a bookplate will be included in the item purchased, and a card will be sent notifying your honoree. This is a great alternative for those who don’t need any more “stuff” – or consider it a gift to the entire community that relies on the Library for reading choices.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Library Days Returns to Books on the Common

If you are one of the more than 200 people who enjoyed Roz Chast’s presentation last week, you know exactly how precious is the partnership between Books on the Common and the Ridgefield Library. Together we bring Ridgefielders and other readers dozens of author and book events each year, an extraordinary treat for a town our size. Now the time is nigh for you to support both the bookstore and the Library to ensure that these wonderful opportunities continue.

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. 

Store hours are Friday 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM, Saturday 10:00 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. 

Your support of local businesses like Books on the Common, and the bookstore’s support of the Library,   help keep Ridgefield an exceptional place to live, at the holidays and year-round.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Computer System Upgrade Coming November 9-10

Our circulation and catalog system, known as Evergreen, will be offline from 9:00 PM on Thursday, November 9 through 9 PM on Friday the 10th  for a major upgrade.

Checkout will be possible only upon presentation of your library card (look-ups will not be possible). We will not be able to accept fines or lost item payments, check items in or issue new cards or card renewals. Self-checkout machines will not be functioning.
Library catalog and account features will be unavailable both remotely and at the Library, so you
will not be able to search our catalog, place a hold or renew items you have out. No notices of
overdues or holds ready for pick‐up will be sent.
• Print and time management for the Library’s computer workstations will not be able to recognize library card barcodes, so please ask at the desk for a guest pass.
Remote and onsite connection to some databases and downloadable and streaming content that requires your library card number for log‐in may be affected.

Staff will be happy to offer alternative resources and to assist in locating items in the Library. We also look forward to sharing with you the resulting improvements to catalog searching and other functions once the upgrade is complete!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Friends in Need

As the old saying goes, a friend in need is a friend indeed.  Multiply that by dozens of dedicated volunteers, and you get our wonderful Friends of the Ridgefield Library.  With a mission of “serving and supporting” the Library, the Friends are truly a good friend to everyone who enjoys and benefits from our many programs and services. Essential partners in the capital campaign to build our new facility, they remain committed to helping us add new services like 3D printers and technology instruction while maintaining many well-loved programs such as Book Club Corner selections and Summer Reading Programs. If you enjoy free or discounted museum passes, Ridgefield Folk concerts or intensive literary series like our current Jane Austen programs, then you have the Friends to thank.  These and so many other offerings are only possible because of their generous financial and volunteer support.  So, we are pleased to thank and applaud them publicly during this year’s National Friends of Libraries Week (October 15-21).

You can support the Friends, and through them the Library, by shopping at their big fall used book sale this weekend (through Monday), visiting their online store at amazon.com/shops/forl or becoming a member (forms available at the Library Circulation Desk).

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Learning at the Library

School has started, and our young people are embarked on an exciting journey of exploration and discovery. Don’t let them have all the fun of gaining new knowledge and mastering new skills.  The Ridgefield Library is your center for lifelong learning.  Here are a few ways you can take advantage of this resource.

Learn a language.  Our new online language learning program Pronunciator makes it easy for you to go from beginner to advanced proficiency in over 80 languages, from Italian to Icelandic.

Learn at your own speed.  Lynda.com offers thousands of online video tutorials covering business and computer skill topics.  Take a full course or just search for the answer to a specific question about how to do something in Excel or WordPress.

Learn from the best.  Our Great Courses collection includes audio (and some video) lecture series by highly rated professors who are experts and excellent educators on everything from astronomy to French literature.

Learn from each other. Book discussions, our Adult Maker Group and other interactive programs offer wonderful opportunities for participants to share their own insights and knowledge, enriching the learning experience for the whole group. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Get Caught Reading a Banned Book

This year’s Banned Books Week celebration of the freedom to read, organized since 1982 by a coalition including the American Library Association (ALA), the American Booksellers Association and the National Council of Teachers of English, is September 24-30. This event highlights the need for free access to information and ideas without censorship regardless of personal views. From “A Brave New World” to “Harry Potter” to the Bible, ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom reports the books are challenged, censored and banned every year.

To raise awareness of the effects of censorship on communities, the Ridgefield Library is featuring an interactive “Get Caught Reading a Banned Book” display. Patrons may take a selfie, or pose for a photo in front of a “mugshot” backdrop with a favorite challenged or banned book. Check our displays or browse banned book lists at our service desk to help make a selection – you may be surprised at some of the titles on the list. The Library encourages patrons and visitors to share their images on social media with the hashtags: #rebelreader and #ireadbannedbooks.

Contributed by Kristina Lareau, Head of Children's Services

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Game On!

Our annual RidgeCon pop culture celebration has become so popular that we have decided to continue the fun throughout the year. The first RidgeCon “spin-off” will be the launch in September of two recurring gaming programs. 

We Got Games is a tabletop gaming meet-up for adults and teens on the 2nd Tuesday evening of the month. Family Game Day will meet on the fourth Saturday of each month and is an afternoon drop-in program for families with children aged 4 and up.  

What does playing Apples to Apples or the Settlers of Cataan have to do with libraries? Experts in many disciplines now recognize the importance of play in childhood development, in aiding the retention of mental acuity in later years and in fostering collaboration and teamwork for all ages. Not only do tabletop games offer friendly competition, but many require strategy, planning, critical analysis, storytelling and creative thinking. Playing games with children can help their social development, literacy skills and better recognition of cause-and-effect. These skills are many of the same ones libraries introduce and reinforce in storytimes, book discussions and other programs, as well as through tools such as Kindle Fires for kids and Lynda.com and other online tutorials for adults. 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Transforming the Lodewick Children's Library

The Library staff is always seeking better ways to help our patrons find what they need, whether it is a satisfying leisure read or information to fulfill a homework assignment. In the Children’s Library, for example, collections are divided into separate sections for different ages, reading levels or purposes, such as the Holiday collection and the Early Reader section, further divided into 3 subgroups to correspond to level ranking used in the schools.

Over the summer, we have been making a number of additional changes. When complete, one of the most noticeable will be the creation of a separate location for “Chapter Books,” previously mixed in Juvenile Fiction right next to the huge volumes by J.K. Rowling and Rick Riordan.  These are books geared to those just moving beyond Early Readers, such as the Magic Tree House and other popular series.

To help folks become familiar with where things are now located in the Lodewick Children’s Library, we are hosting a Back-to-School Scavenger Hunt the week after Labor Day. Kids in Kindergarten through Grade 5 are invited to drop in any time the Library is open on September 5-9 and pick up a scavenger hunt form.  All who complete the hunt will receive a small prize.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

See You in September

Congratulations to all who participated in the 2017 Build a Better World Summer Reading Program.  Teen and adult programs have wrapped up, but children through grade 6 can continue to log their reading and collect prizes until August 31st (the day before school starts). A very special thank you to our long-time Summer Reading sponsors:  the Friends of the Ridgefield Library, Books on the Common, Deborah Ann’s Sweet Shoppe and The Toy Chest.  We couldn’t do it without them!

After the excitement of RidgeCon and the Solar Eclipse, our staff will be taking a brief break to catch their breaths before fall activities start up.  The Library will be open on Saturday, September 2nd from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM but closed on Sunday and Monday for the Labor Day holiday.

Good news for students, commuters and others who have difficulty getting to the Library during the week!  Sunday hours from 1:00 to 5:00 PM start up again on September 10th.

The coming of fall will also see our Love your Library Day events (including mini-golf in the stacks!) on September 15th and 16th, the launch of a season-long series of events devoted to Jane Austen, and much more.  Check www.ridgefieldlibrary.org for details. See you in September!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Learning a Language Just Got Easier

Pronunciator, an online language learning product that provides instruction for all ages in over 80 languages, is now available to Library cardholders.  With its wide range of features, Pronunciator replaces Mango, our previous online offering, and is made possible by the Friends of the Library.

Pronunciator provides instruction for learners ranging from beginners to those seeking advanced conversational skills. For structured learning, Pronunciator includes eight-week interactive courses at all levels that offer five days of study each week consisting of one to two 30-minute sessions per day.  For those who prefer to customize their own learning, Pronunciator makes it easy to select areas of focus such as core vocabulary, essential verbs or conversational practice along with the flexibility of mastering a language by topics of interest.  When using a microphone-enabled device, feedback on pronunciation skills is available.

Also included are units specifically geared toward both early learners (3 to 6-year-olds) and young learners (7 to 12-year-olds) and for those seeking to master vocabulary targeted toward travel, workplace or English as a second language.   Download lessons with apps for Apple and Android phones and tablets for access on the go.  Pronunciator also offers a wide range of special features such as movies, music and poetry to enhance study.  

Contributed by Dorothy Pawlowski, Head of Adult Services

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Why One at a Time?

Your family has taken out lots of books for Summer Reading, and now it is time to return them to the Library. You station yourself at the return slot, and the sign instructs you to drop in one item at a time and wait for the green light before proceeding.  What’s up with that, you sigh, as you look at the huge stack of items in your tote bag?

All materials sent through the slot go on to a conveyor belt and are checked in electronically using a Radio Frequency Identification tag, then sorted automatically by category. This system helps us to get items back on the shelves for the next user quickly with the least amount of handling by staff.
 It can only process one thing at a time, which is why each item should be sent through separately. Jumbles of multiple items put through the slot together cannot be distinguished and are passed to the end of the belt, where they must be handled manually.

Please note: The new Kindle Fires for kids must be returned directly to the Children’s Services desk.  We ask also that certain oversize volumes be brought to the Circulation Desk, as they can jam and be damaged in the sorting mechanism (you will find special instructions located on the cover).  

Friday, August 4, 2017

It's Definitely Not your Grandfather's Library

Sure, we have 100,000 books and other traditional library materials available for check-out.  We do scores of storytimes and other programs each year designed to aid in early childhood literacy skills development, and dozens of old-fashioned book discussions.  We offer familiar reference and readers’ advisory service and now-expected technology access.  But at the Ridgefield Library, there is always something completely unexpected on the horizon as well, all intended to bring the community together to read, discover, question, connect and thrive.  Mark your calendar now for some of the more exciting and unusual offerings coming in the next few months (more details about all will be publicized as event dates draw near, or visit www.ridgefieldlibrary.org or our Facebook page for updates).

August 11 & 12 – the 3rd Annual RidgeCon celebration of pop culture

August 21 – Activities at the Library and in Ballard Park on the rare occasion of a solar eclipse.  Along with Parks and Rec, we will be organizing safe eclipse viewings, educational presentations, crafts, games, music and more.

September 15 & 16 – Love your Library (LYL) returns, bigger and better – and featuring a teen playwriting contest and an 18-hole mini-golf course created in the Library!

Hope to see you at these events, or any day, at the Library!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Congratulations Are in Order

We are pleased to extend warm wishes and heartfelt thanks to the following members of the Ridgefield Library family:

To Ginny Canfield and Kirby Klump, winners of the Friends of Connecticut Libraries Individual Achievement Award for their tireless work fulfilling Internet sales orders for the Friends of the Ridgefield Library since 2014.  In that time, they packaged and shipped 12,521 items that netted over $156,000 the Friends can use to support Library programs and services.

To Circulation Clerk Megan Klein, who has left the Library to finish up the student teaching requirements for her Masters in Library Science; to shelver Fran Walton who has been promoted to take Megan’s place; and to long-time volunteer Anne Kain who has taken up Fran’s shelving duties.

To Bob Whitton and Mary Mann Smith, who are retiring from the Library Board at the completion of two, three-year terms of service.  Each was an invaluable part of the team that made our New Ridgefield Library a reality, and they will be missed.

To Karena Landler and McKinley Walsh, the Library’s 2017 Ridgefield High School interns, and all of their classmates, on their graduation and move onwards and upwards to college, career and other adventures.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Art in the Lodewick Children's Library

You may notice several new familiar faces in the Lodewick Children’s Library the next time you visit. Thanks to a grant from the Ridgefield Woman’s Club, we have added artwork depicting some of our favorite characters from children’s literature to the walls. Not only did we want to add more visual interest and recognizable friends for children to enjoy, we wish to continue exposing children to art, creativity, and visual information, essential components of their literacy development.

The Library continues to offer opportunities for children to create and experiment with new mediums, stretch the limits of imagination, and nurture new skills. Recently, children created art inspired by Caldecott Award-winning illustrators. This summer they are enjoying the Cardboard Challenge and Art at the Aldrich. Families can also borrow a museum pass and get acquainted with the work of historical and contemporary artists.

Another new addition to the Children’s Library is an empty frame, to be filled on a rotating basis with art created by your children. What better way to encourage creative expression than to celebrate their accomplishments by showcasing their visual inventions? Ask the Children’s Library staff for details and start creating!

“Creativity is contagious, pass it on” - Albert Einstein

Contributed by Children's Services Library Assistant Sonta Frindt

Friday, July 7, 2017

Introducing Kindle Fires for Kids

Just in time for summer leisure time - the Ridgefield Library is pleased to bring you six Kindle Fires for Kids! Released in June, this new Kindle tablet is available to our patrons at the Children’s Services desk. These supplement the LeapPad devices we have had available for some time.

There are four Kindle Fires available for in-house use in the Children’s Library, and two that can be checked out and brought home! One Kindle Fire can be checked out per family for 7 days with a current Ridgefield Library card.  They cannot be reserved or renewed and must be returned to the Children’s Services desk. For in-library use, you will need to leave keys or other valuables as collateral.

Each of the Library's Kindle for Kids is equipped with Amazon’s FreeTime Unlimited which offers unlimited access to over 13,000 kid-friendly books, educational apps, games, movies, and TV shows from top brands like Disney, Nickelodeon, PBS, Amazon Originals for Kids, and a child-safe web browser. There are three age profiles for children to use: Ages 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.

Stop by the Lodewick Children’s Library to bring Bumbersnoot or Bilbo (yes, your children’s librarians named them) home with you! 

Contributed by Head of Children's Services Kristina Lareau

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Self-Check Now Even More Convenient

In response to popular demand, we have moved one of our self-check stations into the Lodewick Children’s Library for the convenience of parents and caregivers who wish to check out their selections while a child is attending a program.  This is also a boon for those with curious children who tend to wander off while mom or dad are checking out, as it keeps the whole family safely together inside the Children’s Library until they are ready to leave.

Two self-check kiosks remain in the Bossidy Commons near the Circulation Desk, and there is also one on the Upper Level, to accommodate those using the Main Street door to come and go.

It’s easy - all you need is your Ridgefield Library card. Scanners electronically read Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags in the books, so you don’t even need to locate and scan the barcodes and can process a stack of several items at a time.  Please note that you will still need to go to the Circulation Desk to clear up fines or lost items or to pick up a reserve item. Ask a staff member for a quick introduction, and then check yourself out!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Temporary Interruption to Inter-Library Delivery Service

Once again, we are experiencing some temporary interruption to Inter-Library Loan availability due to changes at the state level.  From June 19 through mid-July, we will not be able to process any requests for items that are not owned by the Ridgefield Library (i.e. Inter-Library Loans).  The statewide library delivery service is being re-vamped and will not be accepting new items for delivery as the State Library transitions to a new system.  Service is expected to resume later this summer with a new delivery schedule and guidelines.

If you are interested in an item that does not appear in our catalog, please speak to any member of our staff about alternatives – we are here to help you obtain what you are looking for. These may include locating and securing a copy for you to pick up at another library; assisting you in finding and downloading an eBook or digital audio version of a title; or fast-tracking purchase of additional or replacement copies of selected items missing from our collection.

Please note: It is possible that we will receive shipment during this transition period of items you previously requested under the old system, but we will not be able to initiate any new Inter-Library Loan requests. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Introducing our New Head of Children's Services

I am so pleased to be welcomed to the Ridgefield Library and the Ridgefield community!

I received a BA in English and Education at Worcester State College (MA) and earned my MA in Children’s Literature and MS in Library & Information Sciences from Simmons College in Boston. I’ve worked in various Massachusetts libraries-from the Bibliothèque at the Alliance française to the Boston Arts Academy to the Westfield Athenaeum-though most recently, I was a Children’s Librarian at the Fairfield Public Library (CT) for four years.

I love to laugh and be silly, talk about books, recommend books, review books and read books with children. I am a proud Gryffindor who loves playing board games, listening to audiobooks, and critiquing picture books. I cannot live without coffee. Or cheese.

I also have 2 cats, 2 dogs (Hermione & Houdini, Mercedes & Lana) and a well-trained husband named Matt. I am a Steampunk who loves to dress up and consequently own more petticoats than actual coats.

My favorite book right now is Ben Clanton’s “Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea.” Stop by the Children’s Library to say “hi” and talk about your favorite children’s book!

I’m the one with the purple hair.

Contributed by Kristina Lareau, head of Children's Services

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Saving Time with the Library

Tempting as it might be, we don’t always have the time to come to the Library and settle in for the afternoon.  Here are a few ways we can help you cope on busy days.

Use one of the “express” check-out stations in the Bossidy Commons and on the Upper Level.  As long as you have your library card with you, you can check out most items without coming to the desk or standing in line. 

Pick a reading recommendation from one of our many thematic displays.  Topics range from seasonal holidays to favorite subjects and genres.  These hand-picked samplings, along with dozens of printed reading lists, provide a quick and convenient introduction to the myriad possibilities of our 100,000+ items. Specially shelved collections such as Book Club Corner and New & Now also help you zero in quickly on what you need.

Search our catalog or check your account online before you come, to see whether we have what you want and to check what items are due.  In many cases, you can renew an item once online if you can’t get here in person.

Sign up to receive updates on programs, schedule changes and more via e-newsletters, Facebook and Twitter, most with quick links to further information or registration forms.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Original Co-Working Space: Your Public Library

I had occasion to visit a new space recently that billed itself as a co-working facility.  The co-working concept basically creates a shared space where freelancers, solo entrepreneurs and others who might work from home can come to find a more work-conducive environment, technology and logistical support, and the creativity and sense of community that comes from collaborating, even casually, with others.  This particular space offered “amenities” including conference and meeting rooms, small private work spaces, free wifi, printers and other technology, and curated programming.

Sound familiar?  The Ridgefield Library makes available all these same amenities, and more. Shared resources include over 100,000 books, periodicals and other materials, including special collections on business and creativity. In addition to wifi and standard printers, we also offer 3D printing, color scanning, outgoing fax service and other creative technologies. We have meeting and study rooms for individual work, group meetings and public presentations. Our programming includes the Skillsbox series to help small and home-based businesses grow and thrive and Maker groups and coding classes to introduce people to new trends and technologies. And we can see idea sharing and collaboration happen all the time, between patrons and staff and among our users. Drop by and take advantage of your co-working space soon!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Nutmeg Book Awards News

The Nutmeg Book Award winners for 2017 have been announced, and the 2018 Nutmeg nominees have arrived in the Library!

Annually, in Connecticut, works of fiction published within the last five years that have been determined by librarians and school media specialists to be well-written, with strong characterization, well-constructed plots, rich settings and striking language are announced on May 1st.  The nominees are broken into four divisions with ten titles in each grade range: Elementary (grades 2-4), Intermediate (grades 4-6), Teen (grades 7-8), and High School (grades 9-12). Children and teens are encouraged to read these selected works of quality fiction throughout the year and vote for their favorite by April 30th.

This year’s winners are Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth by Judd Winnick, Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson, The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, and I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson.

Readers in several age divisions will be getting together at the Library over the summer to discuss many of the nominees. A full schedule of these meetings is available on our website. Come in to get your copies and checklists so you can keep track of your Nutmeg reading.

Contributed by Children's Services Library Assistant Sonta Frindt

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Library Helps Address Community Concerns

For many, a library is a place to come for peace and quiet, or to lose oneself in another time and place through a good book.  But contemporary libraries also serve as venues for discussion of serious and timely issues affecting their communities. The Ridgefield Library partners regularly with nonprofit groups, government agencies and other concerned citizens to inform, educate and encourage dialogue on several important topics.

With the League of Women Voters, we organized a panel discussion on Civility in Politics following the election. Working with the school district, we will be offering a presentation in June on how to acquire the information and media literacy necessary to navigate the fake news epidemic. 

The ongoing Parenting the Selfie Generation series brings together a wide range of partners to provide parents, teachers and community leaders with expert data and strategies for dealing with the many aspects of raising a resilient child in today’s world, from sexting and other social media trends to teen sleeping and eating habits.  

With the Ridgefield Community Coalition Against Substance Abuse, Ridgefield Prevention Council and others, we have hosted numerous programs touching on issues related to drugs, alcohol and safe and healthy use of technology, including the Council’s Parent Circle discussions for parents of children at key transitional ages.

Upcoming programs will focus on teen mental health and drug and alcohol use. Check our website at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org for the latest schedule of events.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Summer is Coming!

The seasons are changing, and so are some things at the Library.

First, we will be closed on Sunday, May 28 and Monday, May 29 for Memorial Day, but open on Saturday the 27th for your convenience.  Look for us in the town parade on Monday!
Our summer opening schedule will be in effect starting June 25th. Beginning that week, we will be closed on Sundays through Labor Day.  All other hours stay the same (Monday – Thursday 10 AM – 8 PM, Friday 10 AM – 6 PM and Saturday 9 AM – 5 PM) and, of course, our Virtual Library is open 24/7 all year ‘round at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org.

Summer Reading Programs for children, teens and adults begin on June 21st.  The theme this year is “Build a Better World,” and we have an exciting line-up of programs and activities in the works, in addition to the popular incentives for reading certain numbers of books.  We will be introducing a different reading log software this year, so stay tuned for a number of new features that will make this process easier and more fun. Stay tuned for all the details coming in school visits by our library staff and mailings to many families in town.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Mother's Day @ The Library

Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and the Ridgefield Library can help you celebrate.

Sunday the 14th is the Run Like a Mother 5K Race.  Even if you are not an athlete, we urge you to turn out to support those who are running.  Sponsorship proceeds from the race support the Library’s Noreen L. Papa: Mothers Live your Life fund, which offers informative and inspirational programs and resources dedicated to health and wellness, particularly for women.

The Library Store in the Library’s Bossidy Commons has a selection of gift items such as bound journal books, canvas book bags and decorative magnetic bookmarks, all certain to please the avid reader.

The Friends of the Library book sale starting on Friday the 12th offers many lovely gift quality books for mom, from miniature volumes of poetry and inspirational quotations to beautifully illustrated coffeetable books on a wide range of topics.

Mom doesn’t need any more “stuff” in her life?  Buy something for the Library in her honor instead.  Our online Wish List catalog includes options such as supplies for children’s craft programs, new audiobooks or popular fiction, refreshments for Books & Breakfast and many more, at various price ranges.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Celebrating Volunteers

April 23-29 is National Volunteer Week, and we have a lot of talented and generous people to thank for their volunteer service to the Ridgefield Library.  Their involvement ranges from one-time help with a special event like Love your Library Day to a multi-year commitment as a member of our Board of Directors. They come to us as individuals, families, students and groups like National Charity League, Boy and Girl Scouts, Lionsheart and the Boys and Girls Club.  They are young people, retirees and people of all ages doing community service.

One very special group of volunteers is the Friends of the Ridgefield Library, who organize popular used book sales, the proceeds of which support many favorite Library services and collections.  Their spring sale is coming up May 5-7 (children’s books only) and May 12-15.  Don’t miss it!

Teens going into grades 6-12 in the fall are invited to apply before June 5th to volunteer with the Summer Reading Program, assisting younger children with logging their reading and claiming their prizes.  Pick up an application in the Ellis Family Teen Center or print one from our website. 

Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has helped us during the past year!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Financial Literacy and Money Smart Week

Financial literacy is the combined knowledge and skills that allow you to manage your personal finances effectively and to make personal financial decisions confidently.

Money Smart Week (April 22-29) is a national initiative among the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and other organizations including the American Library Association to provide financial education programs for consumers.

Libraries play an important role in the education of their community and financial literacy is one of several literacies that libraries strive to support. The Ridgefield Library’s role in Money Smart Week will be to host three financial education programs:Women and Money Roundtable - Retiring Successfully on Tuesday, April 25 from 1:00-2:00 PM; Save Money on Electricity on Thursday, April 27 from 12:00-1:00 PM; First Time Homebuyers on Thursday, April 27 from 6:30-7:30 PM

Please register online at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org or by calling 203-438-2282 x12004.

We also encourage you to browse, either in person or online, our comprehensive collection of personal finance books, magazines, and newspapers. On the Library’s Business & Finance webpage (found by clicking on Research & Reference from the homepage at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org) you may access Value Line and Morningstar online investment resources and find a list of trusted financial websites. 

Contributed by Adult Services Librarian Christie Mitchell

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Libraries Transform during National Library Week

In the words of the American Library Association’s theme for National Library Week 2017 (April 9-15), “Libraries Transform.”  While not as easy to quantify as numbers of items borrowed or attendance at programs, individual transformative experiences are at the heart of what libraries today do. And while many of these interactions take place between staff and patrons, libraries are also places where we can all come together to share with and learn from each other. Here are just a few examples observed recently at the Ridgefield Library.

·         An elderly gentleman living alone breaks into a big grin when he encounters an enthusiastic 4-year-old passing through the Bossidy Commons on his way to storytime.

·         Two young mothers, both new to Ridgefield and to parenthood, linger after Baby & Me to exchange contact information and tips about kid-friendly restaurants, shopping bargains and other resources.

·         An experienced computer user at the Library’s Public Access Computers offers timely advice to a nearby neophyte struggling with formatting a business letter in Word.

·         A line forms at the Circulation Desk after Books & Breakfast, as attendees seek out the books their fellow readers have recommended at this popular monthly sharing of what people have been reading.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Introducing our New Children's Librarian

If you have been in the Lodewick Children’s Library in the last few weeks, you may have noticed a new face at the desk and facilitating some programs.  Shay Glass, our new Children’s Librarian, is originally from Georgia, but moved to Boston to get his masters degrees in library science and children's literature at Simmons College. After several years working at libraries in the mountains of North Carolina and in Portland, Oregon, he is excited to be back in New England and settled in one place. In addition to providing reference assistance and reading recommendations, Shay will be purchasing materials for the juvenile fiction (“chapter book”) collection and bringing his experience and fresh ideas to many of our programs, especially STEAM activities such as Lego Challenge, robotics, Maker Crafts and more. Shay  fills the position formerly held by Mary Beth Rassulo, who is now assistant Director at the Easton Public Library.

“I'm thrilled to be here,” Shay says. ”Some of my favorite things include reading children's books and talking about them, so I'd love hear about all the books you're reading and how you feel about them!” We invite you to stop by soon and welcome him to Ridgefield.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

New Microfilm Scanner Now Available

Good news for historians and genealogists! The Ridgefield Library has acquired a new ST ViewScan III microfilm scanner to provide improved access to the Ridgefield Press from 1875 to 2003 as well as other microform content needed for research and genealogy. The high-resolution camera allows users to see details more clearly and to digitally zoom in and out. Microfilm content will be scanned into a digital format of your choice such as PDF, JPEG, TIFF or PNG.  You can crop an article, section, or entire page and then enhance and adjust the content further for the best possible quality. 

The resulting files can be emailed quickly and easily or printed in the Library, saved to a USB flash drive, or distributed to Google Drive, Dropbox, or FamilySearch.  

Thanks to the Rotary Club of Ridgefield for a challenge grant to get us started on raising the full purchase price of this much-needed upgrade. Additional donations of any amount are now being accepted and can be made through the Library Wish List on our website at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org.

To learn more about this wonderful new resource, join us on Saturday, April 8 at 10:00 AM or 3:00 PM for a demonstration or contact the Adult Services Desk for an individual appointment.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Save these Spring Dates

Old Man Winter is giving up the ghost very reluctantly this year, but we are confident that Spring is on the way, and we have been planning some outdoor activities to take advantage of the coming warm weather. Make a note of these dates and stay tuned for more details as the snow melts!

April 29. Battle of Ridgefield 240th anniversary commemoration and battle re-enactment.  Stop by the Library to learn more about the history of the battle and the era, including performances by period musicians.

May 5-6. Spring Stroll. Enjoy chalk art and other activities up and down Main Street, including a family concert on the lawn by Ray and Jay, the Friends of the Library children’s book sale, and previews of coming attractions.

May 14. We’ll see you at the Run Like a Mother 5K Race with information about our Noreen L. Papa: Mothers Live your Life programs and resources focused on health and wellness for women and others, funded by race sponsorships.

May 29.  Watch for our contingent in the annual Memorial Day Parade. We haven’t picked our theme yet, but it is sure to be festive!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Finding your Next Read

Our librarians are always looking for ways to enhance our readers’ advisory services.  The Ridgefield Library online catalog now draws from NoveList, a trusted source of expert recommendations for help in finding that next good read.   

Click on the entry for any title to find read-alikes with an explanation of why the match has been chosen.  Find suggestions for other authors based on your reading interests.  Want to know the order of books in a favorite series?  Click on the entry for any series’ title, and all the books will be displayed in the proper order.   Do you like James Patterson novels because of their fast-paced quality or Paula McClain’s character-driven writing style?  You’ll find lists of other authors who capture these elements in their books.  This enhanced catalog content is available for children’s, teen, and adult fiction and non-fiction, as well as for audiobooks.

To explore the full content of NoveList, visit the Readers’ Resources page on our website. Here you’ll find book suggestions for all interests and all ages along with lists of award winners and discussion guides.

Finally, don’t hesitate to ask our staff for reading recommendations.  It’s what we love to do.

Contributed by Head of Adult Services Dorothy Pawlowski

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Sharing Across Generations

The Library is one of the few locations in town where residents of all ages come together in the same space, and we have created several programs to encourage positive intergenerational exchange.

On March 11th, our Teen Advisory Group will be on hand from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM to help adults and senior citizens with their technology needs.  Just bring in the gadgets that drive you crazy such as cell phones, laptops and digital cameras and let our teens unlock their secret power! 

Several times a year, we host Reading Is a Family Affair, in which elementary school children and their parents read a selected title together, then come to the Library as a family to talk about it over a pizza dinner, courtesy of the Friends of the Library.

2017 is the 4th year of our Books Building Bridges intergenerational literature program with Ridgefield High School.  A book is selected from the English curriculum, adults and students both read it, then come together for discussions led by some of the students.  The different generational perspectives make for very interesting conversation! In November we will be reading “Pride and Prejudice” together as part of an extended commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Caring for Library Media

Regular borrowers of DVDs and audiobooks on CD know that from time to time they encounter a disc that doesn’t play properly. We have a special machine for polishing and cleaning discs, but we do not subject them to this treatment unless there is a reported problem, as the process shortens the useful life of the item. The effect is similar to what happens to fine china if it is run repeatedly through the harsh elements of hot water and strong detergent in a dishwasher – over time important surface elements are worn away.

To help us maintain these items in the best condition possible, we rely on borrowers to let us know of problems, so we can address these specific situations by cleaning, polishing or replacing discs as needed.  To make this easier, we are now inserting a form into the cases of DVDs and audiobooks to allow users to report problems when they return the item, without having to come to the Circulation Desk in person.  Just indicate on the form which disc(s) did not work properly and describe the nature of the problem (skipping, sticking, garbled sound, whatever). We’ll take it from there!  Thanks for your help.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

WSJ Article from Home with your Library Card

Did you miss the Wall Street Journal coverage of the Super Bowl?  Want to read Gear & Gadgets reviews or just curious about a WSJ article you heard about?

Did you know that you have free access to full text Wall Street Journal articles?  The Wall Street Journal from ProQuest is a research resource available on Library computers, from the Library’s website, ridgefieldlibrary.org and from researchitct.org.  It covers the Wall Street Journal Eastern edition from 1984 through current, and includes same day coverage.

This Wall Street Journal research product is different from the wsj.com online product in that photographs and illustrations are excluded, but the complete text of each article is available and it is printable and free.

To find the Wall Street Journal link on the Ridgefield Library website click on Research & Reference and then on Magazines & Newspapers or on Databases A-Z to find WSJ listed alphabetically. You will need to enter your Connecticut library barcode number. To help find your articles, we recommend doing an “Advanced Search” to search by keywords, subject headings, names of companies and people, and by publication date or a range of dates.

We hope you make use of this Wall Street Journal resource!

Contributed by Adult Services Librarian Christie Mitchell

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Wall Street Journal Articles Available from Home

Did you miss the Wall Street Journal coverage of the Super Bowl?  Want to read Gear & Gadgets reviews or just curious about a WSJ article you heard about?

Did you know that you have free access to full text Wall Street Journal articles?  The Wall Street Journal from ProQuest is a research resource available on Library computers, from the Library’s website, ridgefieldlibrary.org and from researchITct.org.  It covers the Wall Street Journal Eastern edition from 1984 through current, and includes same day coverage.

This Wall Street Journal research product is different from the wsj.com online product in that photographs and illustrations are excluded, but the complete text of each article is available and it is printable and free.

To find the Wall Street Journal link on the Ridgefield Library website click on Research & Reference and then on Magazines & Newspapers or on Databases A-Z to find WSJ listed alphabetically. You will need to enter your Connecticut library barcode number. To help find your articles, we recommend doing an “Advanced Search” to search by keywords, subject headings, names of companies and people, and by publication date or a range of dates.

We hope you make use of this Wall Street Journal resource!

Contributed by Adult Services Librarian Christie Mitchell

Friday, February 10, 2017

Tax Help Is Here!

The income tax filing season is upon us, and the Ridgefield Library can help!  We now have copies of the most common IRS and Connecticut state forms and instruction booklets available on the Upper Level near the Adult Services Desk.  If you are looking for less common forms or ones for other states, we can help you find and print out what you need.  The Government and Legal Reference page on our website also includes links to many useful resources.

On Thursday mornings through April 13, IRS trained and certified volunteers from the AARP Foundation’s Tax-Aide program will be available in the Library’s Dayton Program Room to offer free, individualized help to low and moderate income taxpayers, especially those 60 and older.  Income tax assistance is available by appointment only; call 203-438-4288 for an appointment and a list of all the documents you will need to bring with you.

Don’t forget to make a copy of your completed return for your files – we have copiers on the Upper Level and in the Commons on the Main Level, with the very modest charge of 20 cents per page. And if you experience “sticker shock” once you have finished your return, check out one of our many books that outline tax strategies for the self-employed, those planning for retirement and more!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Take your Child to the Library Day Is February 4th

Take your Child to the Library Day is a national library promotion that was started a few years ago right here in Connecticut.  We are pleased to participate again this year on February 4th, when our new Library Director Brenda McKinley will be the guest reader at Drop-In Storytime at 10:30 AM. Stay for cider and cookies and a chance to chat with Brenda after storytime. 

While you are here, sign up for a library card for every member of your family, even the youngest child.  We have several fun designs to choose from.  All you need is proof of Ridgefield residence. And you can make a library card holder craft throughout the day in the Lodewick Family Children’s Library.

The Friends of the Library will be holding a pop-up children’s book sale as well so you can build up your own home library. Check our website for exact sale times.

Also on tap on the 4th is our hard Drive Smash recycling event from 1:00 – 4:00 PM and an opening reception from 4:00 – 6:00 for “Flowers Grow,” artist Pamela Stoddart’s new exhibit of flower-themed mixed media and paintings.

Come enjoy the Ridgefield Library every day, but especially on February 4th!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Paccadolmi Honors Awarded

The 2016 Paccadolmi Awards were given out on December 4th during a special holiday gathering of Library supporters and friends. The awards are named in honor of Phyllis Paccadolmi, Miss P to the generations of Ridgefielders she knew during more than 5 decades with the Ridgefield Library. This year’s honorees are Ellen Burns and Darwin Ellis, owners of Books on the Common, and Theresa Miller and Julie Yaun.

Ellen and Darwin support our many author talks with book sales, promotion, and a true love of contemporary books and authors.  They have donated an untold number of gift certificates and Grand Prize Shopping Sprees for our Summer Reading Programs for all ages and have been active participants in several community-wide reading initiatives.  Since 2005 they have hosted Library Days at Books on the Common during Thanksgiving weekend, engaging local shoppers and library users in a campaign to earn donations from the store for the Ridgefield Library. 

For the 3 years since our first Great Expectations gala, Julie and Theresa have been the backbone of this major fundraising effort, gracefully yet firmly organizing a multitude of logistics, from table lay-out to valet parking. Thanks to Theresa and Julie and their committee, these events are uniquely entertaining, smooth running and financially successful.  

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Introducing our New Library Director

Hello! I am Brenda McKinley, the new Library Director at the Ridgefield Library. I am honored to be entrusted with this position and thank Chris Nolan for her wonderful legacy. I come to Ridgefield from nearby Newtown, where I live with my husband and our four children. Most recently I served as the Cyrenius H. Booth Library Director in Newtown.

I have been a Librarian for over twenty years and passionately believe in the resources, support, and strength a library brings to the community it serves. The strong ties the Library enjoys with the Ridgefield community are testament that this belief is widely shared and is a big reason why I’m thrilled to be starting this new role.

I look forward to working with the stellar staff as we continue to provide excellent library service for our patrons and our town. It might take me a bit of time to learn all the new names, but I hope to meet you soon.

Please bring your little ones for “Take Your Child to the Library Day” on Saturday, February 4th at 10:30 AM. I’ll be guest reader at Drop-In Storytime and we’ll enjoy some cookies and conversation. I hope to see you then!

Contributed by Library Director Brenda McKinley

Monday, January 23, 2017

Keeping Those New Year's Resolutions

2017 New Year’s Resolution #1: Get everyone in your family their own Ridgefield Library card and use it to take advantage of so many resources at the Library (details available at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org).

·         Try JobNow for online help with resume writing, interviewing, and job search; career assessments; and live online coaching and feedback.

·         Sharpen your work and personal productivity skills with hands-on classes such as LinkedIn 101 and Introduction to 3D Printing. Try lynda.com online video tutorials for dozens of additional business and computer applications.

·         Learn or brush-up one of 72 languages with Mango online language learning programs for use on a computer or on the go.

·         Seeking to be a better parent? Our Parenting the Selfie Generation: Instilling Resilience series offers lectures and discussions on topics from teen social media behavior to breaking free of the overparenting trap.

·         Been thinking of finally turning that great idea into an actual business? Check out our SkillsBox workshops, including the upcoming 5-part Simple Steps for Starting a Small Business series beginning in February.

·         Take a deep breath and relax with Yoga workshops, adult coloring, musical performances and more activities to promote a calmer approach to life.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

New for the New Year

Children’s programs that start in February will be open for registration online beginning January 3rd.  We have several new arts and craft offerings, plus some new formats for our popular Lego and robotics classes, so visit www.ridgefieldlibrary.org soon.

Get tech for the holidays? Look for drop-in help sessions with our Library staff to get you going with that new device or gadget.  Ask also about tutorials through Lynda.com on just about every tech topic imaginable.

Addiction will be the theme of our 2017 Learn Through Film series beginning January 18th.  Join us for three evenings and on social media for difficult and great films along with moderated, civil discussion about this national – and local - epidemic.

Save the date for some upcoming special events: Take your Child to the Library Day on February 4th, Dr. Seuss’s Birthday Party on March 4th, our Great Expectations Gala on April 22nd and the Battle of Ridgefield re-enactment on April 29th. Much more to come about these and the many other activities we offer each week.

And, of course, our new Library Director Brenda McKinley begins work on January 3rd.  We are organizing many opportunities for members of the community to meet her, so stay tuned.