June 1 through August 26: Registration for the all-ages Ridgefield Library Summer Reading Program opens on June 1, 2023. On Saturday, June 17 at 2:00 pm Jester Jim kicks off the launch of Summer Reading, followed immediately by a Registration Dance Party for children of all ages. The Summer Reading Program runs through August 26 and this year’s theme – “All Together Now” – explores ideas of community, belonging, compassion and friendship. Activities include special programs, reading logs, raffles, prizes, the downtown Storywalk and more.
The Summer Reading Program will culminate with a Grand Prize raffle drawing awarding a participating child a ride to school with a Ridgefield Firefighter on a firetruck!
Teens in grades 6-12 and adults ages 18 and up are also invited to read and log for rewards and raffle baskets.
Individuals and families can register through the Beanstack app or website: https://ridgefieldlibraryct.beanstack.com/reader365 The Library’s annual Summer Reading Program is generously sponsored by the Friends of the Ridgefield Library with prize support by Books on the Common, Cake Box, Deborah Ann’s Sweet Shoppe, and the Toy Chest.
Sunday, June 11th @ 2:00pm: The Ridgefield Folk Concert Series continues with Marc Berger, whose life has been about pursuing his twin passions: creating, recording and performing his original songs and exploring the American West. He’s performed at Austin’s SXSW Music Festival and the Kerrville and Falcon Ridge Folk Festivals and has opened for Bob Dylan and other national acts. At this special concert, Marc and the fabulous RIDE Band will perform songs from his recent album and Marc will share some unforgettable stories about his experiences as an Easterner in the mountain and desert West.
The Ridgefield Folk Concert Series is made possible through the generous support of the Friends of the Ridgefield Library.
Tuesday, June 13th @ 7:00pm: ChatGPT debuted in November 2022, and has captured the imagination of the world. It has accelerated a broad discussion of the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in all aspects of our daily lives. In this general audience talk, we will begin with an overview of ChatGPT and discuss how it differs from traditional search engines. ChatGPT is an example of the emerging field of Generative AI, and we will briefly describe the related image generation application DALL-E. We will provide specific examples of ChatGPT illustrating its remarkable capabilities, and discuss some of its well-documented shortcomings including bias, misinformation and hallucination. Finally, we will touch on several societal issues in AI including ethical considerations, government regulation and the impact of AI on education and future career opportunities.
Presenter Rick Lawrence is a Ridgefield resident who received his B.S. from Stanford University in Chemical Engineering and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in Nuclear Engineering. His career has evolved from nuclear science to machine learning to quantitative finance, and most recently, to COVID data science.
Thursday, June 15th @ 7:00pm: Set in New York City in 1985, Scalzo’s new novel explores themes of art, immigration, reproductive rights, AIDS, assault, class and betrayal, all simmering beneath a dynamic plot that spans one life-altering year.
Books on the Common will have copies for purchase and signing.
Thursday, June 22nd @ 6:00pm: Join us as we celebrate! On June 22nd, the Ridgefield Library will be the location for very special recognitions. After a unanimous vote by the Board of Selectmen, Ira Joe Fisher will succeed Barb Jennes as Ridgefield’s Poet Laureate. Both will be on hand to celebrate. Additionally, June 22nd is the 120th anniversary of the dedication of the Library’s Morris Building. First Selectman Marconi will mark these occasions with remarks starting at 6:30pm. Light refreshments will be served.
A long-time Ridgfielder, known for his community involvement and support, Mr. Fisher is an Emmy-winning broadcaster, actor, poet and teacher. He currently teaches poetry and creative writing at UConn, Mercy College, and Founders Hall. He is honored to accept the Ridgefield Poet Laureate position and calls poetry the universal language which touches all hearts. Ms. Jennes, an award-winning poet and former teacher in Ridgefield Public Schools, was appointed Ridgefield’s first Poet Laureate in 2020. She found meaningful ways to create connections through poetry during the isolating days of the pandemic and has enthusiastically promoted poetry for the past three years at numerous community programs and events.
The E. W. Morris Memorial Library Building that forms the historic front wing of the Ridgefield Library opened its doors for the first time on June 22, 1903. After 120 years, the Morris Building continues to welcome Ridgefield residents to the Library. In addition to the June 22nd celebration, the Library is planning to commemorate this milestone anniversary in a variety of ways this summer, and the community is invited to share their memories of the Library and its place in their lives. A new project — part of the Library’s “All Together Now” Summer Reading activities – allows residents to create and share materials on a collaborative online platform, the Morris Building 120th Anniversary Community Collection. The submission process is free and easy; submissions can include pictures, old Library cards, programs, flyers, maps, posters and other visual memorabilia. Submission of original written material is also encouraged.
Visit our website to learn more about the June 22nd celebration as well as upcoming activities and programs at the Library, including the celebration of the Morris Memorial Building this summer.
The E. W. Morris Memorial Library Building that forms the historic front wing of the Ridgefield Library opened its doors for the first time on June 22, 1903. The Library is planning to commemorate this milestone anniversary in a variety of ways this summer, and the community is invited to share their memories of the Library and its place in their lives. A new project — part of the Library’s “All Together Now” Summer Reading activities — will allow residents to create and share materials on a collaborative online platform. The Library will be providing more information about this project in the coming weeks.
The E.W. Morris Memorial Library Building at 472 Main Street was not the first library to serve Ridgefield’s residents: in 1795 a subscription library opened in town with a collection of 150 volumes, followed by Hiram K. Scott’s Circulating Library in 1852. The Ridgefield Library and Historical Association was established in 1871 and incorporated by the State of Connecticut in 1901. Library services were offered in a variety of locations in town until the purchase of the former Smith Tavern property at the corner of Main and Prospect Streets in 1900, with construction of the Morris Memorial Building commencing in 1901. The building and land were purchased and donated by Library Board Member James N. Morris, a New York businessman who summered in Ridgefield, in memory of his late wife, Elizabeth. Architect Raleigh C. Gildersleeve’s design for the building blends the Art Deco, Beaux Arts and Chicago styles and makes beautiful use of marble, granite, brick, copper, bronze and decorative ironwork. The Morris Building is part of the Ridgefield Center Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.
Today, the Morris Building is comprised of the Friends of the Ridgefield Library Reading Room, which houses the Library’s periodical collection; the Sara and Rudy Ruggles, Jr. Reading Room, containing fine and performing arts collections; the Liz and Steven Goldstone Special Collections Room, containing poetry, plays and literary criticism; and the Randolph Board Room meeting space. In an active and vibrant 21st-century library, the Morris Building also serves as a Ridgefield Library designated quiet space. After 120 years, the Morris Building continues to welcome generations of Ridgefielders.
Check our website to learn more about upcoming activities and programs at the Library, including the celebration of the Morris Memorial Building this summer.
Tuesday, June 6th @ 7:00pm: Author Eliza Minot discusses her new novel about womanhood, modern family, and the interior landscape of maternal life, as seen through the life of a young wife and mother. Unfolding over the course of a single day in which Maisie and her husband take their children to pick apples, In the Orchard is luminous, masterfully crafted, revelatory—a shining exploration of motherhood, childhood and love.
Books on the Common will have copies available for purchase and signing.
Sunday, June 4th @ 2:00 pm: Interested in elections and voting in Connecticut? What is the status of early voting now that it has been passed in Connecticut and how will it work? Connecticut Secretary of the State Stephanie Thomas will speak about these and other related topics at the League of Women Voters of Ridgefield’s Annual Meeting. The League’s business meeting will be held prior to Thomas’s presentation. Members of the public are invited to attend the Keynote speech at 2:00 pm.
Secretary Thomas has spent her entire career in public service. Prior to her election as Secretary of the State, she served as State Representative for Connecticut’s 143rd District – Norwalk, Wilton, and Westport. As Vice-Chair of the Government Administration and Elections Committee, she sponsored and helped pass a variety of voter-focused bills, such as automatic voter registration and resolutions to advance early voting and universal access to absentee ballots. Secretary Thomas is committed to protecting voting rights and strengthening civic education in Connecticut.
The Library’s Museum Pass Program offers free or discounted admission to over 20 premiere educational and cultural institutions in Connecticut and New York. Passes are located at the Circulation Desk. They may be borrowed for two nights and are available on a first come, first served basis only (no reservations). The Museum Pass Program is made possible through the generous support of the Friends of the Ridgefield Library.
For more information, call the Circulation Department at 203-438-2282 x202 or email the Circulation Desk.
Thursday, June 1st @ 7:00pm: Journalist, documentarian and Ridgefield resident Todd Brewster will discuss his new book, a remarkable collection of over 200 stunning photographs of children—from the Civil War era to the present—that captures the ever-changing experience of childhood throughout American history.
Did Americans “invent” childhood? Brewster believes we did, or at least childhood as “a period of life cordoned off from that of full maturity, covered with a veil of protection, and subject to a program of nurture.” That’s the inspiration behind this rich, compelling volume of rarely seen historical images drawn from the photography collections at the Library of Congress, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Public Library, and the Magnum Photo Agency as well as dozens of other archives, flea markets, and antique shops. The result is a carefully curated paean to American youth: 200-plus photos from all parts of American history, joined by a series of deeply insightful essays on the topic of the American child.
Books on the Common will have copies available for purchase and signing.