Facts & Figures

Since the doors opened on its Morris Memorial building on Main Street in 1903, the Ridgefield Library has been a destination for Ridgefielders of all ages. Here are some highlights of activity, past and present.

Contact: Mary Rindfleisch, Assistant Director, 203-438-2282 x1009 mfrind@ridgefieldlibrary.org


Facts at a Glance | Then and Now | Accolades and Honors | Do You Remember This?

Ridgefield Library

Assignment Blog What's New with the New Ridgefield Library?

 


Facts at a Glance

A brief statistical snapshot of library activity during 2012-2013 PDF

State of the Library 2012-2013 Annual Report


Then and Now - Look how far we’ve come in 100+ years

 

1903

2013*

Ridgefield population

2,226

24,784

Library building (sq. feet)

4,000

10,000

Opening hours (per week)

10

60

Library staff (full-time equivalents)

2

26.4

Collection size

3,593

113,888

Annual circulation

7,124

312,756

Operating budget

$ 663

$2.278 million

Average daily visits

50

782

Adult programs

None

222

Children’s programs

None

638

Public computer stations

None

15

*2013 figures represent interim operations in smaller temporary location during construction of the New Ridgefield Library.


Accolades and Honors

 

2013 Library invited by NASA to participate in the 2nd year of Astro4Girls
2012

Library chosen to be one only 9 libraries nationwide to participate in a new pilot project with NASA and the American Library Association. "Astro4Girls and their Families" will offer numerous educational and hands-on astronomy activities during March 2012

2011

Library selected to serve as a Cooperating Collection of the prestigious Foundation Center in New York City

2010

Along with The Ridgefield Playhouse, Library is chosen to participate in "The Big Read: Ridgefield Reads The Grapes of Wrath," a program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts

2009

International Year of Astronomy - chosen in a competitive process as one of only 40 participating libraries nationwide to host the "Visions of the Universe: Four Centuries of Discovery" exhibit.  Presented by the Space Telescope Science Institute; the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory; and the American Library Association, through funding from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

2006

Excellence in Public Library Service Award for the “Inspiring Girls – and Others - in Science” initiative -  awarded by the Connecticut State Library and the Connecticut Library Association, Friends of Connecticut Libraries and the Association of Connecticut Library Boards

2005

“Einstein’s Big Idea” - chosen in a competitive process for an outreach grant from NOVA’s Big Idea Program, produced for PBS by the WGBH/NOVA Science Unit (one of only 20 sites nationwide)

2004

Outstanding Friends Group - awarded by the Friends of Connecticut Libraries

2003

Outstanding Library Trustee (Thomas R. Mantz) - awarded by the Association of CT Library Boards

2002

$10,000 Long-Range Planning Grant – chosen in a competitive process by the Connecticut State Library, serving as local administrator of the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant program

2002

“Steinbeck Centennial 1902-2002” – chosen in a competitive process by the American Library Association and the National Endowment for the Humanities to receive funding as a participating venue

1996 Outstanding Library Director (Anita Daubenspeck) - awarded by the CT Library Association

 


Do You Remember This?

A timeline of memorable moments

1795

First library opens, with 150 volumes

1852

Hiram K. Scott’s Circulating Library in operation (private subscription only)

1871

Ridgefield Library and Historical Association established

1880 By-laws adopted
1883

Building supplied by Phineas Lounsbury (on Bailey Avenue, then moved to Governor Street)

1892

Library open daily from 10-12; Wednesday 4-6 and Saturday 7-9 PM

1899

Dewey Decimal system implemented by Miss Jennie Smith, one of first librarians

1900

Current land purchased

1901

Elizabeth Morris Memorial building begun (donated by husband)

1901 RL&HA chartered by the state General Assembly as a Connecticut corporation
1903 Opening of Morris Memorial building & establishment of endowment fund to provide operating income
1961

First annual grant from the Town of Ridgefield (endowment income and private donations until then) -- $10,000

1974

Town grant doubles to $40,000 after 20 years of nearly static growth

1976

Friends of the Ridgefield Library established

1981

Town grant reaches the $100,000 mark

1984

Major renovation increases footprint from 7,200 to 24,000 sq. ft.

1984

Bibliomation automated circulation system instituted

1988

Current Summer Reading Program for children started

1989

First "games computer" in Children's Services

1990

Dayton Program Room built and adult programming blossoms

1993

Computerized Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) replaces card catalog

1996

Extensive renovation -- no appreciable change in square footage overall

1997

First public Internet access offered, on a handful of computers

2000

Technology Plan implemented, bringing # of public workstations to 24

2000

Anita Daubenspeck retires; Christina B. Nolan becomes new Library Director

2001

Storytime Sculpture Room built, to house life-size bronze sculpture by Glenna Goodacre, donated to the Library in honor of Anita Daubenspeck on her retirement

2002

Colonial Smith Tavern re-opens for business for Patriot Weekend

2003

Library Centennial Celebration & Ridgefield Reads “The Wizard of Oz”

2003

Teen Summer Reading Program launched

2005

Name changed to Ridgefield Library Association, inc. after establishment of Ridgefield Historical Society

2005

Summer Reading for adults added

2005

Wireless service first provided

2005

“Einstein’s Big Idea” and “Inspiring Girls in Science” initiative

2006

Colonial games, music, stories and food bring Rochambeau’s “March to Victory” to a transformed Library

2006

Print & time management system implemented for Public Access Computers

2007

Paccadolmi Awards established

2008

First self-service checkout station installed

2008

“Ridgefield Writes” celebrates the town’s 300th anniversary

2009

International Year of Astronomy “Visions of the Universe” exhibit and related activities

2009

Self-check expands to Children’s Services
2010

"The Big Read: Ridgefield Reads The Grapes of Wrath" (sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts)

2011

Library selected to serve as a Cooperating Collection of the prestigious Foundation Center in New York City

2011

Migration to open source Evergreen Integrated Library System

2012

New Town-Library operating agreement signed

2012

"Astro4Girls and their Families" pilot project with NASA and the Harvard/Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

2012

Town passes referendum for $5 million grant towards construction of the new Ridgefield Library; private fundraising nears $15 million goal

2012

Library sells adjacent theater/bank property to Ridgefielder Valerie Jensen and work begins to transform the space into the Prospector Theater

2012 Library operations move to temporary location at 21 Governor Street for the duration of construction

2012

Groundbreaking for major renovation and expansion project on the site of the original Library building

2013 $15 million private fundraising goal reached; construction well underway at 472 Main Street