Are you bored?  Try our free online learning resources

Do you have cabin fever?  What better time than now to take advantage of our many free online learning resources that can be accessed from your home with your library card.  Here are some examples:

Academic Search Premier is a collection of full-text articles and journals offering  information in nearly every area of academic study.  AutoMate provides repair information on 34,000 U.S. and imported vehicles.  Britannica for Kids has research materials for elementary, middle and high-school students.  Business Source Premier provides access to more than 1,000 business publications.  Consumer Health Complete contains consumer-oriented health content. 

Driving Tests includes practice tests for car, motorcycle and commercial drivers’ licenses.  Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia has thousands of entries.  GreenFile covers all aspects of human impact on the environment.  History Reference Center offers thousands of historical documents and maps. Legal Information Reference Center helps you address a wide range of legal issues. 

MasterFile Premier gives you access to 1,750 periodicals including Consumer Reports.  Middle Search Plus gives middle school kids access to biographies, historical essays, popular magazines and more.  MyHeritage helps you create your family tree and discover your family history.  Newspaper Sources gives you access to a multitude of newspapers as well as TV and radio news transcripts.  Science Reference Center contains hundreds of science publications.  Small Engine Repair Reference Center covers every type of engine. 

Transparent Language Learning offers nearly 100 languages to learn.  TumbleBook Library has books, e-books and videos for children in English and Spanish. Universal Class has intellectually stimulating courses for people interested in the lifelong pursuit of knowledge.

To see them all, go to our website at pagosalibrary.org and select the gray tab towards the top of the page that says “Online Resources.”

New free literacy program for babies

An exciting new free Colorado-based literacy program that helps families and caregivers build their babies’ vocabulary started in Archuleta County on January 11, thanks to a partnership involving your library, AmeriCorps and the San Juan BOCES.

You need to sign up for this special program, called LENA, in order to be enrolled in the workshops that will provide you with personalized information and ideas to help your child.  Please contact Michelle Salmeron-Ramierez at 970-585-4293 or nichelle@unitedway-swco.org.  The program is available in English and Spanish. It was created for babies from new-born to age three, and will help you use talking to build your child’s brain.

Library closure

Your library will be closed on Monday, January 18 for the Martin Luther King holiday.

Library foundation

Please consider a tax-deductible donation to the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library Foundation to help support the services and programs provided by your Ruby Sisson Library.  Mail checks to P.O. Box 2045, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147 or call Cindi Galabota at 970-264-2209.  Thank you!

Library operations update

Since our county has dropped to COVID Level Orange, we now can allow 30 patrons in the library at a time, up from 15 under Level Red.  Other than that, in an abundance of caution, our other safety protocols will remain in place.

Your library staff has been split into separate smaller workgroups in an attempt to lower exposure and keep the library open should somebody test positive.  Because of this, you may notice that occasionally service is a little slower than usual.

Here is the current status:

  • We remain open on Thursdays from 1 p.m.- 7 p.m. with 1-2 p.m. reserved for seniors and higher risk populations. 
  • Other hours: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. with 9 a.m.-10 a.m. for seniors and higher risk populations. Saturdays: 10 a.m-2 p.m.  Sundays: closed.
  • We are accepting meeting room reservations only for individuals or members of the same household, with library programs having first dibs on the rooms.  You can schedule only so far out, usually two weeks to a month, depending on where we are in the month. 
  • Hand sanitizers are available and there will be frequent cleanings inside the building throughout the day.  Please practice social distancing and wear facial coverings while you are in the building.  If you don’t have a mask, we are happy to give one to you.
  • Nine computers are available. In most cases usage will be allowed for three hours per day. Staff will clean and disinfect the computers between uses.
  • One early literacy computer is available for youngsters Monday-Saturday.
  • Curbside service continues Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. except for Thursdays when it’s from 9 a.m.-7 p.m., and on Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.  Phone 264-2209 when you are in the parking lot so staff can bring the items out for you.  If you put a hold on something, please wait for your usual alert (email, phone call or text) before coming to pick it up.  
  • You can drop your returns of books, CDs and DVDs in the dropbox at City Market, as well as in the dropbox at the library.  No donations in the City Market box, please.
  • Notary service is available on a very limited basis.  Please call for an appointment. Cost is $5 per notary.
  • You can place holds on items from other libraries.  They are in different stages of open, so items may take longer than usual.  
  • We’re happy to provide tech help in person or over the phone for our online resources.

Special note

“We want people to always feel welcome in the library, and to experience a very friendly vibe when they visit,” said Meg Wempe, library director.  “But we need to remind everyone that, similar to other public indoor spaces in Colorado, we must follow the executive order that requires people aged 11 or older to wear a covering over their noses and mouths when entering or moving within any public indoor space. If you are unable or unwilling to wear a mask, we are pleased to assist you outside the building through our curbside service.”

Activities calendars available

To be sure you don’t miss any of the free activities available to you and your family at your library, we encourage you to pick up a copy of the events calendar each month.  There are two versions – youth and adults.

Teen book club

The free tween book club has morphed to a teen book club for sixth-12th grades due to the age of the interested parties.  Join us for a lively discussion next Tuesday, January 19 from 4-5 p.m. on Zoom about this month’s book,  “Slay” by Brittany Morris.  Stop by the library to pick up a copy.  To join the session and help us decide what to read next, please go to https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82245964216.

Adult DIY on Facebook

Beginning tomorrow, January 15, your library will provide the common household ingredients needed to make your own liquid laundry soap.  Take-and-make ingredients will be available while supplies last.  Then join us on Facebook from 2-3 p.m. to view an easy tutorial from Brad on how to combine make a gallon of laundry soap that can be used for 64 loads of laundry. 

Calling all teens…

If you enjoy reading books, learning new skills and helping your community, we hope sixth-12th graders will sign up to volunteer at your library.  You’ll be invited to write book reviews, make artwork for the teen area, help plan new programs, judge our pumpkin decorating contest, prepare crafts for kids’ programs and help keep the library organized.  Please stop by the library or apply online.

Knitting takeaways

You can pick up free knitting takeaways at the library entrance during open hours to take for your in-home enjoyment.  We’ll have patterns craft ideas, instructions and some limited supplies available.

New writing challenge

On January 4  we posted a new writing challenge on the library’s Facebook page.  We hope you will challenge your creativity by participating.  This is a free all-ages activity.

After-school program

In response to COVID, we have revamped our free after-school program into STEAM enrichment kits, STEAM standing for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, for ages five and up.  Registration is required at 970-264-2209.  Pick up your kit and then bring your completed projects back to the library to be displayed in the last week of the month.

DIY craft takeaway for kids

Drop by your library for free DIY crafts takeaways for youngsters age 10 and older during open hours.  Pick up a packet outside the library.      

In-person gaming

Free in-person gaming is suspended due to COVID safety concerns.

Storywalk for kids

Weather permitting, every other Thursday Josie posts signs outside the library that follow the sidewalk up towards the Elementary School detailing a new free Storywalk for kids.  The January 14-27 theme is family traditions. After you finish the walk, pick up materials for a craft or activity at the library. 

Tech Time

Make a 15- to 30-minute appointment for one of three free in-person slots available noon-1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Brad will help one person (or one couple) at a time resolve issues with your computer, smartphone, tablet and other electronic devices. 


Free in-person classes take place Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-7 p.m. by appointment.  Please register so we can keep it to a small group in our limited open spaces.  No walk-ins, please. 

Dungeons & Dragons

Join us Wednesdays from 4-6 p.m. for Dungeons & Dragons free for teens and young adults on Google Meet.  Contact claire@pagosalibrary.org to learn how to join. If you don’t have internet access, contact us anyway – we may be able to accommodate you in the library. 

Children’s programs on Facebook

Wednesdays at 10 a.m. and Saturdays at 2:30 p.m., join us on the library’s Facebook page for free children’s programs.  Wednesday storytimes are on Facebook Live, so you can interact with Josie.  Saturday’s Discovery Times with games, art ideas, science experiments, history and more are prerecorded.   

Adult education

Our free PALS (Pagosa Adult Learning Services) accelerated GED course takes place in person where Mark helps with high school equivalency, GED, college prep, financial aid, tutoring and more.  Contact the library and Mark will work with you to schedule a date and time to meet.

Mysteries, suspense and thrillers

“Whispers of the Dead” by Spencer Kope features FBI agent and elite tracker Steps Craig.  “No. 17” by J. Jefferson Farjeon investigates a murder after the corpse disappears.  “Shadows of the Dead” by Spencer Kope is an FBI Special Tracking Unit mystery. 

Other novels  

“The Berlin Girl” by Mandy Robotham is an historical novel set in pre-war Berlin.  “A Girl Returned” by Donatella Di Peitrantonio begins when a 13-yeqar-old girl is sent away from the only family she has known.


“Startup 101” by Erick Walk describes how to build a successful business with crowdfunding.   “Aromatherapy” in Iside Sarmiento is a guide to using essential oils in everyday life.  “One Decision” by Mike Bayer is a life coach’s path to your best self.

Downloadable e-books and audiobooks 

We have a wide variety of downloadable e-books and audio books for patrons of all ages – children, tweens, teens and adults – in cloudLibrary.  The items in cloudLibrary are purchased separately from physical items, so the books available are different – and it continues to use the consortium’s contributions, not just those that we bought.  That is why you need to select AspenCat Union Catalog when setting up cloudLibrary for use.  Please email or phone us at 970-264-2209 if you need our help setting up this service on your device. 


For their generous monetary donations we thank Robyn Schulze as well as Sherry Spears in honor of Carole Shaw. . Pease put your material donations into the dropbox at the library – not at City Market, which is reserved for returns.  Donations undergo the same rigorous three-day quarantine process as returns.  

Quotable Quote

“A diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure.” – Henry Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State.

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