Tips for Parents

The Ridgefield Library is here to partner with parents to foster a lifelong love of reading and to support children’s academic success.

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Talking to your Children about Tragedy

In this time of tragedy, we offer the following resources for parents seeking to explain the unimaginable to their children.
Parents Magazine
Children's Health on
American Psychological Association
NYU Child Study Center
National Institute of Mental Health
National Child Traumatic Stress Network
American Academy of Adolescent & Child Psychiatry

Special thanks to our colleagues at the Darien Library and the University of Connecticut Health Center for some of these links.

Parenting Workshops

Workshops, lectures and other programs are offered frequently on topics of interest to parents, from early literacy development to financing college tuition. Stay tuned for details.

Printable Resource Guides

PDF Welcome to Parents & Caregivers of Very Young Children
PDF Welcome to Elementary School Children & their Parents

Printable Brochures: Best Books for Holiday Giving
recommended by Connecticut librarians and compiled by the Connecticut Library Consortium

PDF For Babies and Toddlers ages 0-3
For Young Readers and Listeners ages 3-8
PDF For Junior Readers ages 8-12
PDF For Teens ages 12 and up

Help Us Help You

We believe that parents hold the ultimate responsibility for what their children read and view. We encourage you to preview materials and to read, watch or go online with your child to provide context for challenging materials.

Children under six may not be left unaccompanied anywhere in the Library. For preschool storytimes, we require that an adult remain in Children’s Services during the program.

Getting Off to a Good Start

Library Card

Library Cards are available for all Ridgefielders, regardless of age.  Young children love to have their own card (especially if you get them one of our special illustrated cards). Library ELF allows you to keep track of what is out on all your family’s cards through one convenient e-mail service.

Recommended Resources for Parents

Parents Collection
A specialized collection of books and other materials devoted to childhood development and parenting issues, from toilet training to the loss of a loved one.

Group Read Alouds
Our recommended titles for reading aloud to groups, all conveniently collected on one handy cart.  Perfect for classroom Mystery Readers! Ask at the Children's Services Desk.Net Cetera

Especially for Young People and Their Parents
Online Safety Rules and Suggestions/ Designed-for-Young-People Search Engines/ Educational Sites and more - from the American Library Association

"A Father-Daughter Bond, Page by Page"
Be inspired by Jim Brozina and The Streak of nightly reading with his daughter described in is NewYork Times article.

"Reason for Rhymes"
An article by our own Children's Programmer Diane Antezzo on The Motor Story, a website dedicated to childhood sensory motor development.

Connect With Your Kids @ Your Library
Use this great online guide from the American Library Association to help youl find ideas for activities you can do together as a family, from homework help, service opportunities, to games, and more -- at the library, at home and in your community.
Interested in keeping your kids active? Take a look at this comprehensive kid's camp and activity directory.

Growing with Reading

Our collections are carefully selected and organized to support the progressive levels of early childhood development and the acquisition of literacy skills.  Here’s how you can find books at the appropriate reading level for your child. 

Yellow DotBoard Books
Sturdy and sized for small hands. Books stored separately in bins. Look for the yellow BOARD label on the spine.

Yellow DotToddler Books
Simple stories and limited vocabulary, for children beginning to master concepts such as colors and numbers.  Look in separate shelving area for the yellow dot label.

Yellow DotEasy Readers 
For the newly independent reader, these are identified by green dots numbered 1, 2 and 3 to reflect the leveling system employed in the Ridgefield schools.

Yellow DotJuvenile Fiction & Non-Fiction: 
There’s a lot here for grade schoolers, from the simplest chapter books to the enormous Harry Potter volumes. Look for red dot labels for books ideal for grades 2 and 3. 

Picture Books
Old classics and new favorites, shelved alphabetically by the author’s last name.

Young Adult
Shelved in their own section, these books sport a YA label and are suitable for grade 6 and up.  YA labels also identify audiobooks and non-fiction of particular interest to teens.  Complexity of style and maturity level of content can vary widely in YA literature, so do not hesitate to consult with a librarian if you have any concerns about finding material appropriate for your child.

Learning and Playing Together

Library programs are also designed to benefit and interest specific age groups, from Mother Goose for infants to Young Adult Critics.  Click here for information on current programs, conveniently arranged by age.

Beyond Books

eBooks for the very young, accessible at the Library or from home. Enjoy the illustrations onscreen as you listen to favorite picture books read aloud. 

Favorite Easy Reader, Juvenile and Young Adult titles on CD and Playaways

Overdrive Downloadable Audiobooks and eBooks
Download Juvenile and YA Audiobooks and eBooks from our Dowloadable eMedia Catalog!

Printed books paired with an audio version of the material. Great for beginning readers.

DVDs and Videotapes
To help you choose appropriate viewing for your family, a rating is indicated on the spine of each film.  Please note that “N/R” means simply “Not Rated,” indicating that is has not been reviewed by MPAA or other organization.  It does not imply that content is appropriate for all ages.

Multimedia Learning Software
Reader Rabbit, Dora the Explorer and other favorite friends introduce youngsters to reading, math, problem-solving and more.  Borrow CD-ROMS to take home or visit the “games computers” in Children’s Services.

Instructional Media
Includes Muzzy and Little Pim™ language learning programs and documentary videos and DVDs on many topics.

For the Whole Family

Museum Passes
Free or discounted admission to the region’s best museums, zoos, science centers and more. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

Reading Is a Family Affair
Our seasonal adult-and-child book discussion program. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

Friends of the Library Book Sales
Friends used book sales are a convenient and inexpensive way to build up your home library.

Summer Reading Program
Summer Reading means activities and excitement for Grades K-5, Grades 6-12 and Adult Readers. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

Read Alouds for Families to Share
Asssociation for Library Service to Children Notable Books