Thursday, December 11, 2014

Getting to Project Gutenberg

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

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

Contributed by Teen Services Librarian Geri Dioro.  

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Introducing the New Head of Children's Services

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

Contributed by Head of Children's Services Gayle Pulley

Monday, November 24, 2014

Teen Trivia Comes to the Library

Do you know who the Lt. Governor of Connecticut is? Or what the boiling point of water is?

If you are (or know) a teen aged 13+ who knows the answers to these questions, then sign up now at for our first ever Teen Trivia Contest. The date is Saturday, December 13th, from 2:00 to 3:30 PM at the Library. Field your own team of 3 to 5 people or register individually to be placed on a team. Questions will be general interest, so it helps to put together a team of people who have varied interests and knowledge.  There will be snacks and drinks and the chance to win prizes such as NY Yankees tickets and gift cards for area restaurants and shops.  There is no charge to enter, thanks to local businesses and others who are sponsoring the teams (contact Laureen Bubniak at or 203-438-2282 x1029 if you would like to sponsor a team). Older and younger family members and friends – come along to cheer on your teen – and maybe learn a little something!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Shop Local and Support your Library at the Same Time

You can be part of the effort to Shop Small by shopping locally with the annual Ridgefield Library Days at Books on the Common during the weekend after Thanksgiving.  Just show your Ridgefield Library card at the register, and 15% of the proceeds of your purchase will be donated to the Library. To make your holiday shopping even easier, the bookstore will be open Friday the 28th from 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM, Saturday the 29th from 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM and Sunday the 30th from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM.

The 29th is also Small Business Saturday, when shoppers get a rebate on purchases made with an American Express card at participating small retailers including Books on the Common. As a special incentive that day, the bookstore will be participating in IndiesFirst, a program in which authors take a turn at being booksellers at their local independent bookstore – drop by and Lauren Tarshis, Roz Chast, Peter Spiegelman and Mark Slouka will be on hand to serve you!

The Library will be closed on Thursday the 27th and Friday the 28th, so be sure to come in before then if you don’t have a card. Stop by the Circulation Desk today; all you need is proof of Ridgefield residence. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

November Is Picture Book Month

November is a time for thanksgiving!  So what better opportunity to give thanks for children’s picture books? November has been designated as Picture Book Month, and we are celebrating this special genre with a display of time honored contributors – Margaret Wise Brown, Eric Carle, Bernard Waber, and Dr. Seuss – to mention just a few!  The America Library Association defines a picture book as one which “provides the child with a visual experience” and has a “collective unity of story-line, theme or concept.”  Beatrix Potter’s “Tale of Peter Rabbit” from 1902 is one of the first picture books and is still popular today! Picture books are a unique balance between story and illustration – in the best ones the story line and the picture complement each other. Since 1938, the Caldecott Medal has been given annually to the artist of the “most distinguished American picture book for children published by an American publisher.” In the Lodewick Children’s Library, we keep the Caldecott winners together in one shelving location so they are easy to find. Please drop by and explore our Caldecott collection or visit our special picture book display and introduce your children to some of your old favorites!

Contributed by Acting Head of Children's Services Kathy Cherniavsky

Thursday, November 6, 2014

New Partnership Serves Businesses

The Ridgefield Library, in partnership with the Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce and the Western Connecticut chapter of SCORE, is pleased to announce a new initiative to help small businesses, home-based professionals and entrepreneurs not only survive but thrive.
Under the heading of “Skillsbox: Tools for Business Success,” the centerpiece of the effort will be a series of programs on a wide range of practical topics, from social media to writing a business plan.  Regular offerings will feature the expertise of our reference librarians, experienced trainers from SCORE and talented practitioners from the Chamber membership. Formal training sessions will be supplemented by networking opportunities galore, with refreshments provided by sponsors such as Fairfield County Bank.

The initiative will take advantage of the hands-on training capabilities of the Library’s new Donofrio Family Technology Center as well as its meeting and program facilities. Library print and digital resources for businesses will be highlighted, including our new Small Business Reference Center database from EBSCO, along with the many other ways the Library can support business creation and development.  Find out more at or  We welcome suggestions for trainings, presentations and other activities to help your business thrive.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Reading Together Workshops

“Conversational Reading” is the theme for new parent-child reading together workshops at the Ridgefield Library.  Conversational Reading is about finding meaning in a story by asking questions and talking about the stories children are reading.  Families with children in Kindergarten through 4th grade can learn skills to create thought provoking conversations about books they read together with their children.  Parents can learn how to help their children express themselves and their reactions to literature. Questions that require speculation, pondering and prediction enhance children’s understanding of the story and their ability to relate their own experiences.  

The workshops, the first set of which are scheduled for November and December, begin with a delicious pizza dinner for all, followed by an engaging book discussion. Library staff will share techniques for creating thoughtful questions.  Attendees will receive a favorite picture or chapter book to read and discuss at home, together with “Reading Together,” a book by Diane Frankenstein which is a wonderful resource for creating discussions about children’s literature.   Space is limited in the workshops. Participants need to register on the library’s online program calendar, where you can find more details about each workshop.

Contributed by Children's Program Coordinator Diane Antezzo