Two major free San Juan Basin Public Health events at your library

Staff from San Juan Basin Public Health will be hosting two free events at your library that are of vital importance to you, your family and our community.

On Wednesday, February 1 from 1-2 p.m., a SJBPH representative will discuss the dangers of radon gas in homes and businesses, take your questions and distribute free radon test kits. January is the best time to test for the cancer-causing gas because levels are highest when windows and doors are closed.

The kits are pre-addressed so once you’ve finished the test you can just seal it up and drop it in the mail. You’ll get your results via email or mail from the lab that made the tests. The geology of Southwest Colorado leads to an increased risk of radon gas here so this is an important topic for us to understand. In fact, radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer, even in people who have never smoked.   

Then on Tuesday, February 7 from 1-3 p.m. SJBPH staff will be on hand to give you copies of their community health assessment and help you fill it out. This is a 15-minute anonymous survey to gather input and opinions from Archuleta and LaPlata residents on your major health priorities and needs.

Since both counties are now in the process of forming new individual public health departments to launch January 1, 2024, your input will be vital to setting their priorities as they set up their services.

If the February 7 date does not work for you, an alternative is for you to come to the library to fill out the survey online or pick it up on paper and return it to the library or SJBPH when you have completed it.

These two events are the beginning of a series of monthly outreach sessions hosted by SJBPH at your library. March will feature a nurse-family partnership discussion on Tuesday the 7th.

Events calendar

To be sure you don’t miss any of the free library activities available to you and your family, we encourage you to pick up a copy of the events calendar each month. Its new streamlined format combines all the activities and events for children, teens and adults on one handy two-sided page.

Flu season protocols

The curbside service that we began for COVID safety continues – and it’s also a healthful option in the cold and flu season. To save your energy and lessen germ exposure to other patrons, we recommend you use our curbside service – or add a name to your account authorizing that person to pick up items for you while you recuperate.

Library hours:

  • Monday, Wednesday and Friday open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays open 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Saturdays open 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Special teen and tween event

Teens and tweens will want to mark your calendars for next Friday, February 3 for our first-ever free Teen and Tween Takeover of the library from 2-4 p.m. During that time, our conversational computers will be reserved only for users aged 9-19.

Save the date for Friends book sale

On Saturday, February 11 the Friends of the Library will host a Cabin Fever Book Sale from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at your library. This is a great opportunity for you to find new treasures at bargain prices to keep you company this winter.

Save the date for library fundraiser

We hope you will note Saturday, April 15 on your calendar for the second annual Library Affair fundraiser for our building campaign to expand and renovate your library. This elegant event will feature a silent auction of different table settings designed by some of Pagosa’s most creative artists. If you want to decorate a table for this prestigious event, please call Cindi Galabota, library foundation director, at 970-264-2209.  

Gaming tomorrow

Enjoy free all-ages video gaming on the X-box 360 Kinect tomorrow, Friday, January 27 from 3-4 p.m.

LEGO Club on Saturday

Kids aged six and up are invited to bring your imaginations – LEGOs are provided – on Saturday, January 28 from 11 a.m.-noon for the free LEGO Club. LEGO challenges also are posted on Facebook if you can’t make it to the library.

Virtual Dungeons & Dragons

Next Thursday, February 2 from 4-6 p.m., join our online Dungeons & Dragons game free for teens and young adults on Discord. Registration is required because space is limited. Contact Josie@pagosalibrary.org to join.

More online author talks

On Tuesday, January 31 at noon we’ll meet with Randall Munroe, creator of “XKCD: What If,” a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math and language. This session is part of our free online virtual series featuring New York Times bestselling authors and thought-leaders giving live, professionally moderated book discussions you can view on your computer, tablet or smartphone with internet access. You will have an opportunity to ask questions of the authors.  

The author talks continue next month with three more sessions in February:

On Thursday, February 9 at 5 p.m. we’ll hear from Lena Harper, author of “Back in a Spell,” part of the Witches of Thistle Grove fantasy romance series. Thursday, February 16 at 11 a.m. showcases Grace M. Cho, author of “Tastes Like War,” a Korean American daughter’s exploration of food and family history in order to understand her mother’s schizophrenia. Tuesday, February 28 at 2 p.m., we’ll interact with Sadeqa Johnson, award-winning author of “The House of Eve.” Johnson has written four novels and is the recipient of the National Book Club Award, the Phillis Wheatley Award and the USA Best Book Award for best fiction.

Homework and tutoring help

Our highly popular free homework assistance and elementary tutoring are available for K-fourth grades on Wednesdays from 3:30-4:30 p.m. There is a registration packet for parents and guardians to fill out to enroll your child that you can get by emailing the library or coming in. This program has been a big hit because it helps build essential skills in core subjects. You still can register your child but you may be put on a waitlist.  

Family storytimes

Wednesdays from 10-11 a.m. join us for free in-person children’s stories, games and plenty of reasons to get up and move.  

ESL classes

Free in-person evening classes take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays with 4-5 p.m. reserved for beginners and 5-7 p.m. for both intermediate and advanced students. Please help us spread the word about these classes to others in our community who would be interested, and contact us by phone or email if you have any questions.  

Las clases de ESL

Las clases nocturnas gratuitas en persona se llevan a cabo los martes y jueves de 4 a 7 p.m. Los estudiantes principiantes asisten de 4 a 5 p.m., estudiantes intermedios de 5-6 p.m. y estudiantes avanzados de 7-8 p.m. Por favor, ayúdenos a correr la voz sobre estas clases a otras personas en nuestra comunidad que estén interesadas, y contáctenos por teléfono o correo electrónico si tiene alguna pregunta. 

PALS/GED adult education

Mark is available for his free PALS sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 – 8 p.m. to help with high school equivalency, GED, college prep, financial aid, tutoring and more. No registration required.

Tech Time

Free in-person slots are available from 10 a.m.-noon Tuesdays and 2-4 p.m. Thursdays. Judy will help you with basic questions relating to computers, smartphones and tablets and also provide assistance in accessing any of the library’s online resources. You do not need an appointment for these drop-in sessions.  

Writing challenge

A new all-ages writing challenge was posted January 16 on the library’s Facebook page. We hope you will challenge your creativity by participating in this free activity.

Downloadable books 

CloudLibrary has a wide variety of downloadable e-books and audiobooks for all ages and accessing this free digital collection is very easy. You just need to download the cloudLibrary app, answer a few simple questions, select AspenCat Union Catalog for the name of your library, then enter your library card number and 4-digit PIN. You are now ready to browse, borrow and read e-books and audiobooks using cloudLibrary. Library staff are happy to help you set up your device if you need assistance.

Spanish-edition books

“El Gran Gatsby” (“The Great Gatsby”) by F. Scott Fitzgerald is the classic novel set in the days of prohibition in the 1920s. “El Visitante” (“The Outsider”) by Stephen King is the horror thriller that became an HBO mini-series.


Many thanks to our anonymous donors for their donations of materials. When we are open, material donations are accepted for the Friends of the Library at the front desk – not down the outside returns slot at the library or the dropbox at City Market, please. The Friends take fiction published in 2013 or newer and nonfiction that is 2018 or newer. Limited workroom space means we can only accept one or two small boxes at a time. 

Quotable Quote

“I believe my longevity has depended a great deal on the amount of laughter I have had in my life.” – Norman Lear, age 100 years; American writer, producer and director of scores of TV series, most notably All in the Family, Sanford and Son and The Jeffersons.

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