Strange Questions asked of librarians and new all-ages LEGO contest

Before Google, many people phoned their local library to get answers to questions on a wide variety of topics because they knew librarians were specially trained to help people find information, or simply to answer questions themselves.
For your reading pleasure, the New York Public Library recently released a cache of queries called in from the 1940s to the 1980s.   Here’s a sampling – and honestly, you can’t make this stuff up:

“What kind of an apple did Eve eat?”

“When did Moses first come into the public eye?”

“Why do 18th century English paintings have so many squirrels in them, and how were the squirrels tamed so they did not bite the painters?”

“Is it proper to go alone to Las Vegas to get a divorce?”

“Do camels have to be licensed in India?”

“How many neurotic people are there in the U.S.?”

“I have an etiquette question.  I went to a New Year’s Eve party and unexpectedly stayed overnight.  Should I send a thank-you note to the hostess?”

“Does the female human being belong to the mammal class?”

“Does anyone have the copyright on the Bible?”

All-ages LEGO contest

Turn in your original submissions for the free all-ages LEGO contest between January 18-24.  Entries must use only traditional LEGOs and be built ahead of time.  Prizes will be awarded for each of five age categories: preschool, ages 5-7, ages 8-11, ages 12-17, and adult 18 and up – plus one prize for the Judges’ Choice.  Winners will be announced on Saturday, January 25 at 12:15 p.m. after LEGO Club, which takes place from 11 a.m. – noon.   More rules and details are available in the Activities Calendars.

Library closures

Your library will be closed Monday, January 20 for Martin Luther King Day, and have a delayed opening at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, January 22 for a staff meeting.

Save the date

We hope you will mark your calendars for Sunday, February 23 for a fun Lanes & Links community and family event from 1-4 p.m. when your library will be transformed into a miniature golf and bowling center for one day only.  Cost is $10 per person or $30 per family, with tickets sold at the door.  More details to follow.

Credit and debit cards

Your library now accepts credit and debit card payments for charges of $10 or more.  You may use this feature to pay for any library costs, such as for your copying and faxing needs, to purchase your favorite used books, or to purchase a nifty Ruby Sisson Library bag to carry all of your borrowed and purchased items.

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.  We look forward to seeing you at your library. Se habla espanol.

New after-school club

The second session of a new after-school club for first-fifth graders takes place tomorrow, Friday, January 17 from 1:45-3:30 p.m. on the second, third and fourth Friday of every  month.  Participants will engage in literature-based science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (S.T.E.A.M.) learning activities and work up to an exhibition on the first Friday following each three-week session.  Registration is required by calling us at 970-264-2209 or dropping by the library.

Teen gaming

Free teen gaming happens on Tuesdays from 4–5:30 p.m. for teens in the 6th-12th grades.  Enjoy X-box 360 Kinect, Wii and snacks.

Teen role-playing

The free role-playing game for 7th-12th graders takes place next Wednesday, January 22 from 4-5:30 p.m. Use your imagination to go on adventures and battle monsters.  You can join this group any time.

Adult DIY

At this month’s free DIY event next Tuesday, January 21 from 1-2 p.m., you’ll make plastic bottle paper holders to store loose papers, mail and more, and help you declutter and become more organized in the new year.  No registration required.

Spanish conversation

Wednesday, January 22 from 3-4 p.m. practice your Spanish with others to help you increase your fluency at this free informal session. All are welcome, from beginners to native Spanish speakers.  Previous attendance not necessary.  No registration required.

ESL classes twice a week

Free English as a Second Language (ESL) classes take place on Tuesdays from 5-7 p.m. and Fridays from noon-2 p.m.  The classes are led by two highly experienced teachers —  Joyce Holdread for the intermediate/advanced group and Ellynn Ragone for beginners.  No registration is required.

Las clases son dos veces por semana 

Las clases gratuitas de inglés como segundo idioma (ESL) ocurren los martes de 5-7 PM y los viernes de 12-2 PM. Las clases son dirigidas por dos instructoras altamente experimentadas — Joyce Holdread enseña al grupo intermedio / avanzado y Ellen Ragone enseña a los principiantes. No es necesario registrarse. 

 Adult education

Our free PALS (Pagosa Adult Learning Services) accelerated GED course takes place Mondays from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. and Thursdays from 2-7 p.m.  Come to your library to get help from Mark with high school equivalency, GED, college prep, financial aid, tutoring and more.  

Free tech sessions

Drop in with your technology questions on Tuesdays from 10 a.m.-noon and Thursdays from 2-4 p.m.  

Family storytimes

Every Wednesday from 10-11 a.m. and Saturday from 2:30-3:30 p.m., join us for great stories, fun songs, toddler-friendly crafts and plenty of reasons to get up and move.    Both storytimes are open to babies, toddlers and youngsters of all ages to make it easier for parents to attend with their children depending on their busy schedules rather than the age of their little ones.  These free sessions are an excellent way for kids to have fun while building the skills they need to become independent readers.  

Large print

“Shadow Rider: Apache Sundown” by Jory Sherman is a western.  “Frontier America” by William W. and J.A. Johnstone is a Preachert & MacCallister western. 

Books on CD

“The Wicked Redhead” by Beatriz Williams is a Jazz Age tale featuring two women two generations apart.  “Cide of Honor” by Tom Clancyis a Jack Ryan adventure.  “Genesis” by Robin Cook is a medical thriller.  “Robert B. Parker’s Angel Eyes” by Ace Atkins is a Spenser mystery.   “Where Winter Finds You” by J.R. Ward is a Caldwell Christmas story.

How-to and self-help – diet and taxes

“Eat This Not That!” by David Zinczenko is an updated 2019 version describing the best and worst foods in restaurants and supermarkets in America.  “Breaking Up with Sugar” by Molly Carmel, eating disorder specialist, is a 66-day blueprint for dropping your sugar intake.  “Keto for Life” by Mark Sisson helps you reset your biological clock in 21 days.  “The Mediterranean Method” by Dr. Steven Masley is a complete plan and 50 recipes to harness the power of what is generally regarded as the healthiest diet on the planet.     

Also, we have two new J.K. Lasser books to help you with your taxes:  “Your Income Tax 2020” and “1001 Deductions & Tax Breaks 2020.”      

Programmed Nooks

We have nine free Nooks and three free 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.  

Downloadable e-books

Current New York Times bestseller downloadable e-books are being added regularly to our free 3M Cloud Library.  Access them by clicking on the 3M Cloud Library icon on the home page of our website.  While there, browse through a multitude of other adult, juvenile and children’s books, both bestsellers and classics in many genres.

Downloadable films

For your viewing pleasure, we offer IndieFlix, a free streaming movie service that gives you 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.  Access IndieFlix through the Downloadable Content icon on the library’s website.  Use “Quick Pick,” the discovery tool that lets you sample movies like you would music.

Thanks to our donors          

For their generous monetary donation, we are grateful to Joanne and Victor Lucariello. For books and materials this week we thank Joan Driesens and our anonymous donors.  

Quotable Quote

“Golf is 20 percent mechanics and technique.  The other 80 percent is philosophy, humor, tragedy, romance, melodrama, companionship, camaraderie, cussedness and conversation.” – Grantland Rice (1880-1954), early 20th-century American sportswriter known for his elegant prose.  His writing was published in newspapers and broadcast on the radio around the country.

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