Friends’ Gifts to the Library

Contact: Tom Madden, President,  email [email protected]

Donations from the Friends help fund library activities for all ages—from reading programs and folk concerts to author visits and museum passes. Their continued support also provides materials, equipment, and books that otherwise would not be funded. Even a quick look at the list below reveals how vital the Friends have been to so many aspects of the Library.

History of Generosity

The Friends’ fundraising efforts began in 1975 with a Tupperware party, and over the years various other fundraising events have included book and author luncheons, antiquarian book fairs, harpsichord recitals, museum bus trips, a tag sale, a celebrity auction, and numerous book sales. In 1983, the Friends conducted a major telephone campaign to muster support for the Town of Ridgefield–Library agreement, which was unanimous and led to the building addition of 1984.

The Friends have also sponsored many programs for patrons of the Library. A photography exhibit entitled “Ridgefield As We See It” and a “Lunch with an Author” event were among the most popular. For many years, the Friends bought and maintained the circulating art collection, now decommissioned. The Friends donate used books to Good Will, prisons, church fairs, Covenant House, and about 50 other worthy institutions. We are always looking to find new nonprofit groups to work with.

Since its incorporation in 1975, the Friends of the Ridgefield Library have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of materials and equipment.

The Friends were among the first contributors to a Capital Campaign for a proposed library expansion, with their generous gift of $150,000 made in 2008. Total Friends’ contributions to the Campaign for the New Ridgefield Library topped $300,000, and the Friends of the Ridgefield Library Reading Room in the historic Morris Memorial wing of the building recognizes their participation.

The Friends maintain close relationships with the librarians. The librarians give the Friends a list of titles they’re looking for and the Friends look through donations and share books with them whenever possible. The Friends have also established a process that prioritizes librarian requests to be considered for funding.

Ongoing Programs

  • Annual  Summer Reading Program for children, teens, and adults
  • Reading Is a Family Affair parent and child discussion series
  • Monthly Poetry Discussion Group
  • Ridgefield Folk concert series & other musical presentations
  • Writing & photography workshops
  • Tech Topics technology instruction workshops on 3D design and printing, coding, social media, productivity software, and more
  • Halloween Walk book giveaways

Special Programs and Events (Recent Years)

  • All About Jane: Celebrating 200 Years of Jane Austen 2017
  • Books Building Bridges intergenerational reading program with Ridgefield High
    School 2016: One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  • Curiouser and Curiouser: 150 Years of Alice in Wonderland 2015 
  • Books Building Bridges intergenerational reading program with Ridgefield High
    School 2015: The Catcher in the Rye
  • Ridgefield Comic Con 2015
  • Dr. Seuss Birthday Party 2015–2017
  • Hour of Code activities 2014–2015
  • The Big Read 2014: The Great Gatsby
  • Camp Snooze 4th grade sleepovers

Technology & Creativity

  • 3D printer and supplies
  • Motion capture cameras
  • iPads for reference and program use
  • Portable audio recording studio equipment 
  • Library Document Station public scanner and fax machine 
  • Laminating machine
  • Diecut machine

Special Services

Library Materials

Children's Services Furnishings & Equipment

    Self-check circulation station
  • Red tables and upholstered chairs
  • Puppet theater 
  • Button maker
  • Our very first “games computers”

Dayton Program Room Furnishings & Equipment

  • Wireless microphone system
  • Kitchen equipment
  • Clock
  • Steel hangers for art exhibits
  • Coat rack
  • Moving, re-conditioning, and regular tuning of piano, which was bequeathed by a

Other Library Furnishings & Equipment

  • Furnishings for the Friends Reading Room in the new library 
  • Outside benches at the Library entrance
  • Large-format color printer
  • Color scanner for public use
  • Presentation easels on wheels
  • Portable projection screen
  • Book and video display racks
  • Computer, software, and printer for program coordinator
  • Bicycle rack
  • Two Minolta microfilm reader printers
  • Microfiche cabinet 
  • Numerous work stations and chairs
  • Label maker
  • Furniture and supplies for staff lounge
  • Coat rack
  • Refurbishment of staff lounge (cabinets, paint, flooring, clock, and mirror)


  • READ display ad campaign in the Ridgefield Press

Staff Development

  • Connecticut Library Association membership dues and registration fees for
    professional staff
  • Travel expenses for Library Director participation in Public Library Association
  • Staff appreciation and hospitality

CVSBH Reading for the Blind Program

  • New furniture and refurbishment of recording studio, including paint and carpet