Honoring our volunteers during National Library and Volunteer Weeks
Author Sherry Anderson once said that “Volunteers are not paid – not because they are worthless but because they are priceless.”  We agree.  Volunteers are everyday heroes who make a lasting impact on local nonprofits and communities.  As Archuleta County organizations join nonprofits around the U.S. in honoring our nation’s volunteers during National Volunteer Week April 10-16, we remember the words of Minnesota spiritual director Elizabeth Andrew: “Volunteers do not necessarily have more time; they just have more heart.”

That is certainly true of our volunteers, who are very busy people but still make time for unpaid service to your library.  Because this is also National Library Week, we are doubly delighted to honor them.  In 2015, our volunteers contributed 1,079 hours, a little more than one-half of a full-time position.  We also are hugely grateful to the Friends of the Library.  Ever since 1963 when this organization was formed, these caring, energetic and talented people have been tireless in raising money for the library.  Their most significant annual event is the book sale in the summer.  And we greatly appreciate the wisdom and expertise of our Board of Trustees.  All these volunteers make important contributions to our small, rural library with a limited budget.

Volunteers are vital to the operation of your library.  They help with shelving and making sure all the books and materials are in their proper place.  They help with special events.  They help on the circulation desk.  They help keep everything clean and spiffy year-round.  And they handle myriad other assignments that need doing so help us serve you well. “Please know how much we appreciate your time, energy and enthusiasm,” said director Jackie Welch of the volunteers.  “We could not operate the library without you.”

Do you have a special interest or skill that could benefit the library and our patrons?  If yes, we would love to have you join our volunteer team.  Please stop by the library to talk with Jackie or phone her at 264-2208.  You will be warmly welcomed.  And there will be health benefits to you.  Research continues to show that people who volunteer – especially seniors – have a dramatically increased ability to maintain cognitive function. The findings invariably show that interacting with others through work, social events or volunteerism keeps seniors engaged – emotionally and neurologically – and also helps you live longer.

Activities calendars available
To be sure you don’t miss any of the free activities available to you and your families at your library, we encourage you to pick up a copy of the events calendar each month.  There are three versions – kids, tweens/teens and adults.

Lifelong Learning tonight
This evening (Thursday, April 14) marks the start of the library’s free six-week spring Lifelong Leaning Lecture series, with a wide variety of interesting topics to enrich your life and keep your mind agile.  Join us for “Songs of Spring” by Becky Gillette of the Audubon Society, who will talk about birds – their colors, songs and other tips that will turn you into a lifelong birder as you enjoy our year-round residents and other birds just passing through.  All lectures take place on Thursday evenings from 5:30 – 7 p.m.  Pick up a brochure at the library for the full schedule, and watch for information on future talks in this column.  The lectures are free and no registration is necessary.

Free books for four-year-olds
Libraries across Colorado are giving a free copy of “Giraffes Can’t Dance,” a board book by Giles Andreae, in either English or Spanish, to every four-year-old from April 11-25 as part of a special family literacy project.   The goal is to encourage families to read together every day and add new books to home libraries. Come by your library or attend any program and pick up this free book for your four-year-old.  We also have arranged for special distribution at our community’s three preschools – Head Start, Seeds of Learning and Our Savior Lutheran School.

Local author donates book
A book with the clever title “Kids Supernaturally Natural: Mentoring Caterpillars into Butterflies” has been donated to your library by Tammy Searle, who moved to Pagosa with her husband from Boulder 20 years ago.   Tammy contributed the introduction and two chapters to the book, and worked closely with co-author and close friend Virginia Humphreys on the others.  The book is a guide to bringing God into the lives of children in a fun and spiritual way.  The authors provide anecdotes, lessons learned and checklists from their ministering and missionary experiences to make this a useful template for parents and others.

Automatic checkout station update
Our new automatic self-checkout station is here!  Now we have to get it hooked up and loaded with DVDs.  It will probably take a week or two to get it operational.  We will keep you posted.

Creative destruction for teens today
Teens are invited to join us for Blackout Poetry & Book Art from 4-5 p.m. today (Thursday, April 14) when we will turn old books into something new in a creative destruction session for seventh-12th grades.

Free all-ages karaoke tomorrow
Tomorrow (Friday, April 15) is all-ages karaoke from 2-3:15 p.m.  Sing your favorite songs with your friends and family.

Science Fun for kids
This month’s theme for the free science and technology club for kids in fourth through sixth grades is rubber bands.  Join this free fun group Saturday, April 16 from 1-2 p.m.  Registration is required so that we have enough supplies for everyone.

Free Otaku for teens
The Otaku (Anime/Manga) Club meets on Monday, April 18 from 4-5 p.m.  Join us to watch anime, talk about manga and Asian cultures, and enjoy snacks.   This club is for fifth-12th grades.

Free adult DIY crafts
Next Wednesday, April 20 is the latest DIY session at 1 p.m. when we’ll learn how to make your own shampoo, including variations for oily and color-treated hair.  No registration required.

Free Internet safety for parents
Next Thursday, April 21 from noon-1 p.m. Cheryl from Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program and our Meg will present on this important topic.  No registration required.

Free Pajama Time storytime
Pajama Time storytime takes place next Tuesday, April 19 from 6-6:30 p.m. for children aged seven and under and their families.  Little ones can come dressed in their PJs and bring their favorite snuggly toy.  We will sing, dance and read our way to bed.  This program takes place on the third Tuesday of every month.

Free tech sessions
Meg Wempe is available for the highly popular Tech Tuesdays and Thursdays sessions 10-noon Tuesdays and 3-5 p.m. Thursdays.  Drop in with your technology questions.

Free teen gaming
Teen gaming happens Tuesdays from 4 – 5:30 p.m. for teen gaming fans in the 7th-12th grades.  Enjoy X-box 360 Kinect, Wii and snacks.

Free preschool storytime
Join Miss Leah every Wednesday from 10-11 a.m. when preschoolers and their families are invited to enjoy an hour of stories, music and a craft to develop early literacy skills.  Recommended for three- to five-year-olds.

Free baby and toddler storytimes
Stories, songs and fingerplays with Miss Leah for you and your little ones on Saturdays.  Note split sessions:  Baby time from 9:05 to 9:25 for 0 to 12 months.  Toddlers from 9:30 – 10 a.m.  for 12-36 months.  If you have multiple little ones, please come to whatever storytime is most convenient for you and your family.

“The First Nazi” by Will Brownell and Denise Drace-Brown Nell is a biography of Erich Ludendorff, a German general who made Hitler’s career possible.  “Eco Living Japan” by Deanna MacDonald offers sustainable ideas for living green.

We now have three more 2016 Academy Award films – “Brooklyn, “The Big Short” and “Trumbo.”

Mysteries, thrillers and suspense
“Darkness” by Karen Robards begins with a plane crash in Alaska.  “Journey to Munich” by Jacqueline Winspear features British agent Maisie Dobbs on assignment in Nazi Germany.  “Cold Barrel Zero” by Matthew Quirk is a special ops thriller.  “The Infidel Stain” by M.J. Carter is a murder mystery set in Victorian England.  “The Widow” by Fiona Barton features a perfect wife who begins talking.

Other novels
“The Summer” by Helen Simonson tells of an attractive and free-thinking Latin teacher come to a small English town.  “The Story of Kullervo” by J.R.R. Tolkien focuses on perhaps the darkest and most tragic of Tolkien’s fantasy characters.

Large print
“Flinttlock: Kill or Die” by William W. and J.A. Johnstone is a mystery.  “Slatter’s Way” by Charles G. West is a western.  “No Safe Secret” by Fern Michaels unveils the secrets of the heroine.  “Fool Me Once” by Harlan Coben is a special ops story.  “Treachery at Lancaster Gate” by Anne Perry is a Charlotte and Thomas Pitt mystery.

Story CDs
“The High Mountains of Portugal” by Yann Martel is an allegorical novel by the author of “Life of Pi.”  “Crazy Blood” by T. Jefferson Parker follows a brothers’ rivalry in the world of Olympic skiing.  “Death of a Nurse” by M.C. Beaton is a Hamish Macbeth mystery.  “Cometh the Hour” by Jeffrey Archer is the second to last book in the Clifton Chronicles epic.  “Private Paris” by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan is the latest in the Private thriller series.  “A Few of the Girls” by Maeve Binchy is a collection of short stories.  “A Girl’s Guide to Moving On” by Debbie Macomber tells of a woman and her daughter-in-law as they recover from divorces.

Thanks to our donors
For books and materials this week, we thank Brenda Beverly, Ali Evans-Crawford, William Holmes, Jerry Modisette and our anonymous donors.

Quotable Quote
“Adventure is worthwhile in itself.” – Amelia Earhart (1897-disappeared 1937), American aviation pioneer and author.

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