Your library changes with technology to provide up-to-date services for all ages
What’s in a name?  Some people call it The Library.  Or they call it Our Library.  Some call it The Pagosa Library – but that’s not entirely accurate, as it serves all of Archuleta County.  The name on the sign out front is Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library.  The official name for tax purposes is the Upper San Juan Library District.

Regardless of what name you choose, your library is a center of learning and life-long education, a resource for everyone in the county from babies to seniors, students to retirees – and for visitors as well.  It also is a fun place to go for special programs.  And, library director Jackie Welch points out, it has changed with the times.

“Technology advances have affected every aspect of library service,” Jackie said.  “We now consider the physical library an ‘information commons’ with books, DVDs, databases and computers sharing the same space – a reminder to us all that valuable information comes in many forms.”

Your library debuted in 1896 with the personal collection of local attorney Frank Spickard.  He made his books available to a young ladies’ literary club whose members loved reading.  Meanwhile, a few years earlier a wealthy Methodist had died in New York, and his estate donated 48 books to be used as a library in Pagosa Springs.  On February 22, 1907, the collections merged and the Pagosa Springs Public Library opened in the basement of the Methodist Church.

At first the library was run by women volunteers.  Then in February of 1910, the Woman’s Civic Club was formed.  Its members – again, all volunteers – took over operation of the library, which by then had a collection of 202 books.  From 1910 until 1960, the Civic Club ran the library which, after residing in the church, moved to a log cabin and then to the town hall on the river.  In 1960, Civic Club members helped pay for a new town hall on the corner of Highway 160 and Lewis Street.  In 1966, Archuleta County took over the library.  But it became a “line item” in the county budget, receiving minimal financial support.

It remained the goal of the Civic Club to provide a permanent home for the library.  In 1963, the Friends of the Library formed to involve others with fundraising for a permanent facility.  It was not until l983 that Lenore Bright was hired as our first full-time librarian.  In 1985, the Upper San Juan Library District was formed to give the library a stable 1.5 mill levy funding base.

On February 7, 1989 the library opened debt-free on its current site, thanks to the Civic Club and Friends of the Library jointly raising more than $700,000 and Robert Lindner’s donation of the property.  At Lindner’s request, it was named the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library after a long-time supporter who was a member of the library’s first Friends group and also a generous contributor.

In 2005 the library completed a $600,000 expansion, entirely paid for with grants and individual donations saved over many years.  Not a penny of increased local tax dollars went toward the new building, one of only a few libraries in Colorado to accomplish such a feat.

“All our books, programs and other materials are available free of charge to anyone with a library card,” said Jackie.  “And don’t forget that a library card is free as well!”

Of course, everyone knows books are available at a library – in print or digital, as audio books on CDs, or in large-type editions.  Less well known is the fact that hundreds of magazines and newspapers are available in print or digitally, as are DVD movies and documentaries, music CDs and interlibrary loans.  There also are services for people with special needs, such as a machine that enlarges print material for those with eyesight problems and special books on tape for the disabled. As well, the library’s computers offer state-of-the-art computer services with filtering to ensure safe internet access. Additionally, the library hosts a variety of programs for all ages from the Preschool Storytime and Summer Reading Program to the Lifelong Learning lectures and the annual Friends of the Library book sale.

“We hope readers of this article who haven’t come by the library lately will visit us to see what we have available for you,” Jackie said. “Our goal is to have everyone in Archuleta County consider the library a valuable resource for yourselves and your families.  We want everyone to be aware of the many benefits of being a library card-holder, because we offer a wealth of free education and entertainment at your convenience.”

Labor Day closing
Your library will be closed September 7 for Labor Day.

Free book club
If you’re in the fourth-eighth grades, like to read and share what you read with friends, the Bookbuster’s Dare to Read Book Club is for you.  Please join us on Wednesday, September 9 from 4-5 p.m. we’ll be discussing “Surviving the Applewhites” by Stephanie Tolan.

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 (includes tweens), teens and adults.

Teen advisory group
Join us today (Thursday, September 3) from 4-5 p.m. for a meeting of our teen advisory group where we want to listen to your fun and innovative ideas for programs for the seventh-12th grades.

Free movie Fridays
Join us tomorrow, September 4, at two pm for popcorn and a PG movie suitable for all ages.   Our contract does not allow us to identify the movies in the media, but you can pick up the activities calendars in the library with the film names and their ratings (PG or PG-13).

Free teen gaming
Join us Tuesday, September 8 from 4 – 5:30 p.m. for teen gaming fans in the 7th-12th grades.  Practice your skills on the Wii and Xbox as well as board games.

Free baby/toddler time
This time is a half hour of playtime and socialization for you and your little ones on Saturdays from 9:30 – 10 a.m. Come meet other children and parents — we’ll pull out games for all to share.  Recommended for children from six months to three years of age.

Free technology classes
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 programmed Nooks
Reminder:  We have nine Nooks and three tablets programmed for your e-reading pleasure.  The eight adult content e-readers contain either fiction or nonfiction bestsellers.  The four youth e-readers contain books for children, juniors and young adults.

Free downloadable movies
For your viewing pleasure, we have purchased IndieFlix, a streaming movie service that gives library patrons unlimited access to more than 7,500 award-winning and popular independent shorts, feature films and documentaries from more than 50 countries – on your device, PC or Mac, with no apps needed.  Also, PBS content is now live on the IndieFlix website.  You can access IndieFlix through the Downloadable Content icon on our library website.

Large print
“Hope Harbor” by Irene Hannon is a Christian romance.  “Murder at Beechwood” by Alyssa Maxwell is a Gilded Newport mystery.  “The Tusk that Did the Damage” by Tania James is an O Magazine “Top Ten Books to Read Now.”  “Dexter is Dead” by Jeff Lindsay is the last in the Dexter Morgan thriller series.  “The Sweetness of Honey” by Alison Kent id a Hope Springs romance.

“Coming to America” and “Trading Places” is a comedy double-feature.  “The Dark Knight Rises” is the conclusion of the epic trilogy.  “The Breakfast Club” is a comedy.  “Gandhi” stars Sir Ben Kingsley.  “Mad Max” stars Mel Gibson.  “Alvin the Chipmunks” is a family animated film.  “Goldfinger” is part of the James Bond 007 series.  “House of Cards” is the complete third season.

Music CDs
Come in and take a look at the wide variety of music CDs we have available to borrow, thanks to donations from patrons like you.  You’ll find blue grass, classical, jazz, rock and more for your enjoyment.

 Thanks to our donors
For books and materials this week, we thank Sara Brinton, Cyndi DeBoer, Cindy Galabota, Bob and Carole Howard, Veronica Johnson, Karen Jones, Sara Wilson and our many anonymous donors.

Quotable Quote
“The best way to know your faults is to notice which ones you accuse others of.” – James Richardson, contemporary American poet, critic and professor at Princeton University.

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