January 9th through February 10th:  Poet and educator Barb Jennes’ three-year tenure as the inaugural Ridgefield Poet Laureate will end in March 2023. Jennes was selected in April 2020 for this Town-appointed position which was created to “promote an appreciation for poetry for the solace, enjoyment and delight of Ridgefield residents.”

“As Ridgefield’s First Poet Laureate I would like to congratulate and thank Barb Jennes for her wonderful contributions to our Community during so many events.  Her words have awakened many to the power of poetry,” said Ridgefield’s First Selectman Rudy Marconi.

Jennes began her tenure as COVID was causing widespread shutdowns. She quickly pivoted to online events and programs that encouraged people to discover poems outdoors, such as “Haiku Hunt on Main Street,” a poetry treasure hunt for families. She has written custom poems for several local events, including the Spirit of Martin Luther King event held yearly at the Ridgefield Playhouse and led numerous workshops and organized readings at the Ridgefield Library and other venues encouraging poetry lovers and poetry skeptics alike to “Read (and Love) Poetry,” as a recent workshop was titled. At The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum she organized a series of readings by nationally recognized poets and ran multiple workshops for people of all ages. Her series of summer evening poetry readings in the beautiful gardens of Keeler Tavern Museum and History Center were certainly a highlight for everyone who attended!

During this period, Barb Jennes published many poems, winning several competitions and awards, including for her chapbook Blinded Birds, which was awarded the 2022 International Book Award for a Poetry Chapbook.

The Ridgefield Poet Laureate initiative is coordinated by the Ridgefield Library and the Ridgefield Arts Council following criteria established by the Town of Ridgefield. Selection criteria were originally crafted in consultation with the CT Coalition of Poets Laureate. Those wishing to learn more or to be considered for the position of Ridgefield’s next Poet Laureate should click here for more information and application details.  Applications will be accepted by Lucy Handley, Adult Programming Coordinator, at the Ridgefield Library between Monday, January 9 and Friday, February 10, 2023. A panel of community members and poetry advocates will then consider the submissions and send its recommendations to Ridgefield’s Board of Selectmen in time for National Poetry Month in April.

For further information email [email protected] or call 203-438-2282 ext. 120.

February 4th:  Help us celebrate the 12th annual Take Your Child to the Library Day!  On the first Saturday in February, thousands of libraries across the world celebrate Take Your Child to the Library Day by offering free, fun, fabulous activities for families. The Ridgefield Library is an ideal place for children to play, discover, make friends and have fun.  And Take Your Child to the Library Day is the perfect time to discover something new:

9:00am – 5:00pm — Indoor Story Walk.

9:00am – 5:00pm — Library Scavenger Hunt.

10:30am -11:15am — Wild Things with We Grow Yoga.

Take Your Child to the Library Day activities are open to families with children of all ages.  No registration is required.

February 7th @ 1:00pm:  This educational learning session is brought to you in collaboration with the Ridgefield Commission on Aging as part of its 2023 Speaker Series. The program will be presented in person in the Library’s Main Program Room and online via Zoom.

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide provides in-person and virtual tax assistance to anyone, free of charge, with a focus on taxpayers who are over 50 and have low to moderate income. Tax-Aide volunteers are trained and IRS-certified every year to make sure they know about and understand the latest changes and additions to the tax code. Jon Elkow leads the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program for Ridgefield. Come join us, meet Jon, learn about some of the new tax changes and book your appointment to have your 2022 tax returns prepared. Appointments are limited and fill up fast!

Agenda:

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Educational Learning Session and Q & A

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm: Refreshments and Networking

Register here.

February 11th @ 9:00am to 5:00pm:   The Friends of the Ridgefield Library invite you to stop by the Friends Sorting Room on the Lower Level of the Library for their monthly Secret Stacks Book Sale, held on the second Saturday of the month.

The Friends of the Ridgefield Library accept book donations! Leave your donated books on the cart(s) outside the Friends Sorting Room on the lower level of the Library during regular open hours. (Please do not leave donations in the Library Lobby or anywhere outside the building.)

Save the Date for the Friends Big Book Sales in May!  

Children’s Sale:  May 5th – 7th
General Sale:  May 12th – 15th

January 25th @ 6:00pm:  Ridgefield Schools, the Ridgefield Library and SPHERE are proud to present Andrew Komarow (pictured right) of Planning Across the Spectrum and Steven Rubin (pictured left) of Drazen Rubin Law, who will cover the following topics in this online presentation:

  • Government Benefits
  • Spectrum of Decision Making (Guardianship, conservatorship etc.)
  • Healthcare
  • Trusts
  • And more!

Please register here to receive the Zoom link for this online program.

January 23rd @ 1:00pm:  This educational learning session is brought to you in collaboration with the Town of Ridgefield Commission on Aging as part of its 2023 Speaker Series.

Everyone needs an estate plan. It protects you and your assets during your life and after. Will you be prepared when life takes a turn? Who will pay your bills if you can’t? How will your estate be divided amongst your heirs? Connecticut estate planning, probate and elder law expert, Attorney Lynda Lee Arnold, will explain estate planning basics and the documents every adult should have. You will learn answers to questions like:

· What is the difference between a will and a trust? Why won’t a will be sufficient by itself?

· Do you need a power of attorney and what should it say?

· What are health care directives?

You will walk away knowing what you need to do to build an estate plan that will protect you and your assets. If you already have an estate plan in place, you will learn about important updates that you may be advantaged to make.

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Educational Learning Session and Q & A

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm: Refreshments and networking

Please register here for this hybrid event that you may join in person or remotely via Zoom. (The Zoom link will be provided when you register and also in a reminder email.)

January 13-28:  The 2023 Escape Room Fundraiser at the Ridgefield Library invites you to board a 1903 luxury passenger train — can you solve the clues to stop the runaway train before time (and track) run out?  This annual fundraiser helps to support the Library’s operating budget. Each private 60-minute session costs $250 and accommodates between 3-8 participants. This event is great for groups of adults, groups of teens and families with children ages 10 and up.  Click here to learn more and make a reservation.

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 available for use by patrons holding valid Ridgefield Library cards and 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.

January 12th @ 6:00pm:  Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that impacts children’s ability to read, write, and spell. Decades of research studies related to dyslexia have been conducted – however, there are still common misunderstandings about its identification and the types of instruction that are most effective. The presenter will define and explain dyslexia and how it may co-occur with other learning difficulties, including ADHD, executive function difficulties and dysgraphia.

Dr. Margie B. Gillis, Ed.D., CALT, is the founder and president of Literacy How, Inc. , a non-profit organization that provides professional learning opportunities and coaching for educators on how best to implement evidence-based practices in the classroom. She has worked at the policy level through the Connecticut State Department of Education and is an advisor for ReadWorks, Understood, and the International Foundation for Effective Reading Instruction. She is on the Editorial Board of IDA, Perspectives and The Reading League Journal. Margie believes that learning to read is a civil right and that all children can learn to read and benefit from evidence-based instruction.

This program is made possible thanks to the Couri Family Education Fund.

Please register here.

January 14th from 9:00am to 4:00pm:  Recycle Your Old Electronics Safely & Securely! Decluttering after the holidays? Here’s your chance to clean out your home or office, recycle responsibly, protect your private information, and support a great cause, all in one simple act! Bring your old phones, tablets, laptops, hard drives, PCs, Macs, printers, TVs, DVD players and other technology to the Lower Level of the Library. Computer parts will be destroyed and then safely recycled.  Other home electronics and small appliances will also be accepted for recycling, except for large kitchen appliances and any device containing mercury, Freon or hazardous liquids.

Secure e-waste recycling and final disposal will be provided by Take 2 Inc of Waterbury, the Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority’s certified electronics recycling provider.

Suggested donation is $20 per item, with proceeds supporting the Library’s technology initiatives, including STEAM programming for all ages.

(E-waste recycling is also available at no charge at the Ridgefield Recycling Center.)