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!