Back-to-school resources for all ages

With youngsters heading back to school, we wanted to remind you that your library has a multitude of resources for students – and they’re useful for students of all ages.

You can find nonfiction books, periodicals and DVDs on a variety of topics from archaeology to zoology.  In addition to the collection of physical items in the library, you also can find online resources 24/7 at www.pagosalibrary.org.  Select the tab “Online Resources” at the top of the home page.  The resources are listed in alphabetical order. 

Britannica School is an online resource where you can discover encyclopedia articles, multimedia, primary sources, e-books and other learning resources that support student research and reinforce curriculum standards.  Another online resource is Middle Search Plus where you can access biographies, historical essays, encyclopedias and popular middle-school magazines.  Your library card number is needed to access this resource. 

If you do not see what you are looking for in our collection or online, talk with one of our friendly library staff who can help you search our larger AspenCat database.

Library closure

Your library will be closed Monday, September 5 for the Labor Day holiday.

Library fundraiser next weekend

We hope you will attend a special fundraiser on Saturday, September 10 at 6 p.m. for your library at the PLPOA Clubhouse at 230 Port Avenue that will feature professional storytelling and music.  Proceeds from this event will benefit the Ruby Sisson Library Foundation’s campaign to expand and renovate your library.    

Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 at the door.  They can be purchased by credit card at pagosalibrary.org/library-foundation/navigating-the-world-with-stories/.    You also may purchase tickets with cash or a check in person at the library.  

Featured in this unique program will be two talented performers.  Kathy Santopietro is an award-winning adult educator who has shared her storytelling skills with adult audiences for almost 30 years.  With the theme of  “Navigating the World With Stories,” she will unpack a bundle of stories as she takes us on a journey around the world.  Sharing the stage will be Pagosa’s own Sally Neel, a gifted musician well known to local audiences for her piano, organ and conducting skills at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church and with Curtains Up Pagosa.

Doors open at 6 p.m. with a cash bar.  Stories begin at 7 p.m.  After the entertainment the cash bar will reopen, accompanied by light hors d’oeuvres.

This is an adult fundraiser is aimed at ages 16 and up.  Earlier in the day, on September 10 from 1:30-2 p.m., Kathy will offer a free storytelling program at the library for youngsters in grades four and up while Josie will host a program for younger children.   

Library Speakers Consortium continues

There will be three events this month in our free Library Speakers Consortium virtual series featuring New York Times bestselling fiction and nonfiction authors giving live, professionally moderated book discussions you can view on your computer, tablet or smartphone with internet access.  You also will have an opportunity to ask questions.

Next Thursday, September 8 at noon we will hear from Dr. Michele Borba, author of “Raising Thrivers: Parenting Tips and Tools.”  She is an internationally renowned educator, award-winning author and parenting child expert recognized for her solution-based strategies to strengthen children’s empathy, social-emotional intelligence and character, and her efforts to reduce peer cruelty.

September 20 at 2 p.m. features prolific New York Times bestselling British-American author and journalist Simon Winchester.  In his career at The Guardian newspaper, Winchester covered numerous significant events including Bloody Sunday and the Watergate Scandal. He also has written or contributed to more than a dozen nonfiction books, has written one novel and has contributed to multiple travel magazines.

September 27 at 2 p.m. we’ll hear from Pulitzer Prize finalist Hernan Diaz.  He has written two novels which have been published in more than 20 languages, plus many  essays and short stories.  He also is the associate director of the Hispanic Institute for Latin American and Iberian Cultures at Columbia University.  He is known as a dynamic speaker who captivates audiences with witty conversations about foreignness, his theory of genre, literary history and what it means to do research for a novel.

Gaming tomorrow

Enjoy free all-ages video gaming on the X-box 360 Kinect tomorrow, Friday, September 2 from 3-4 p.m.

Makerspace on Saturday

Kids, tweens and teens are invited to a free Makerspace session on Saturday, September 3 from 11 a.m. to noon when we’ll provide the materials so you can build, design and create.

PALS/GED adult education

In response topopular demand, Mark has doubled the number of his free PALS sessions to 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.  This service is in great demand and is used by many people, so we are very happy to make it more available.  Note: No PALS September 8, 13, 20 and 22.

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 August 22 on the library’s Facebook page.  We hope you will challenge your creativity by participating in this free activity.

Family storytime

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. 

Library hours

Most of our programs happen in person and curbside service continues. Also, our hours are back to pre-COVID levels – and even more on weekdays:

  • 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.

Downloadable books 

CloudLibrary has a wide variety of downloadable e-books and audiobooks for all ages and accessing this free digital collection has never been easier. 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.

Books on CD

“Run Time” by Catherine Ryan Howard is a mystery about a horror movie being filmed in remote Ireland.  “The Last Housewife” by Ashley Winstead features a woman investigating a friend’s death.  “The Challenge” by Danielle Steel focuses on children who go missing while exploring on a Montana mountain.  “Dawnshard” by Brandon Sanderson is a novella in the Stormlight Archive fantasy series. 

Mysteries and thrillers

“The Deal Goes Down” by Larry Beinhart features a man who kills husbands for rich abused women. 

Other novels

“Blood, Flesh, Flame” by Lynn Moffett is book one of a new Woodridge paranormal romance series set at the time of the Salem witchcraft trials.


“Political Prisoner” by Paul Manafort is a memoir by this lobbyist and Republican political strategist.  “A Life in Light” by Mary Pipher contains essays by this psychologist who specializes in the effect of our culture on women’s mental health.  “If We Break” by Kathleen Buhle is a memoir by Hunter Biden’s wife.  “James Patterson” by James Patterson is a memoir by this bestselling American author. 


We are grateful to the Pagosa Springs High School class of 1960 for the generous gift in memory of Ruby Sisson, the library’s namesake, and to Joanne Ferko and our anonymous donors for their materials donations.  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) when we are open. The Friends take fiction published in 2012 or newer and nonfiction that is 2017 or newer. Limited workroom space means we can only accept one or two small boxes at a time. 

Quotable Quote

“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” – Oprah Winfrey, talk show host, TV producer, actress, author and philanthropist.            

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