New Year’s family project:  Encourage your child to read for fun

Recent research by Scholastic, the publishing and education company, showed that though 58 percent of the kids surveyed said they love or like reading book for fun, there has been an incremental decrease in reading frequency among children surveyed since 2010.  In what Scholastic called “decline by nine,” the percentage of kids who report reading books for fun five to seven days a week dropped from 57 percent of eight-year-olds to 35 percent of nine- year-olds.

These alarming findings are in the seventh edition of its Kids & Family Reading report, a national survey of school-age children and parents.  Lauren Tarshis, senior vice president at Scholastic, pointed to the focus on third grade as the pivotal year when children are expected to achieve full fluency as readers.  The worry is that the pressure – and the testing – at that stage may contribute to the perception in youngsters’ minds that reading is no longer so much fun.

How can parents help overcome this concerning situation?  The report highlighted the importance of “reading role models,” pointing out that children who are frequent readers have people in their lives who enjoy reading and parents who read frequently.  This is hardly a surprise – though in the digital age it might raise the question of how our children can tell what we are doing on our devices, so you might want to make it clear you are reading a book.

Clearly parents play an important role.  The enjoyment that parents take in reading helps shape children’s attitudes towards books for the rest of their lives.  Books that stimulate dialogue between parents and toddlers are also the child’s introduction to the pleasures of written language and stories.   Spending time together on fun reading might be a rewarding New Year’s project for your family.

T-shirt design contest

We’re looking for creative help in designing a t-shirt for this year’s Summer Reading Program.  The theme will be “oceans of possibilities.”  Pick up a flyer at the library or go online to our website at https://pagosalibrary.org for details.  The winner will receive a free t-shirt with their design.  The winning t-shirt will be worn by staff during the Summer Reading Program and a limited  number will be available for purchase. This contest is open to all ages.  Deadline for submissions is February 18.

S.T.E.A.M enrichment kits

Participants in this free enrichment program for youngsters aged five and up receive a kit guiding you through science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (S.T.E.A.M.) projects.  The kits are available all month but registration is required by calling your library at 970-264-2209. 

Therapy dog visit

Tomorrow, Friday, January 7 from 1:30 – 2:15 p.m. you are invited to come to the library for a free visit with a certified therapy dog.  The visits will be limited to 10-15 minutes – just the right amount of time to pet the dog, read to the dog or just say “Hi.”  This activity is for all ages.

LEGO Club on Saturday

Kids aged six to 12 are invited to bring your imaginations – LEGOs are provided – on Saturday, January 8 from 11 a.m.-noon for the free LEGO Club.  LEGO challenges also are posted on Facebook.

Adult book club next Tuesday

Ruby’s Book Club meets from 2-3 p.m. on Tuesday, January 11 to discuss “Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup” by John Carreyrou.  Copies are available for pickup at your library.  This book club is held the second Tuesday of each month, alternating between fiction and nonfiction titles. 

Writing challenge

A new all-ages writing challenge will be posted January 10  on the library’s Facebook page.  We hope you will challenge your creativity by participating in this free all-ages activity.

Dungeons & Dragons   

Join us every other Tuesday from 4-6 p.m. for our in-person Dungeons & Dragons game free for teens and young adults.  The next one is Tuesday, January 11.

Teen advisory board

Next Wednesday, January 12 the teen advisory board meets from 4-5 p.m. in the library.  Sixth-12th graders are invited to bring your fun and innovative ideas to help us plan teen events. 

Special 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.  Wednesday, January12 features silly stories with Miss Lisa and her friend Fluffy Dog with puppets, storytelling and lots of fun.

Storywalk takes a break

The snowy weather means we have had to take a break from our storywalk for kids. 

Tech Time

Free in-person slots are available from 10 a.m.-noon Tuesdays and 2-4 p.m. Thursdays.   Brad will help you resolve issues with your computer, smartphone, tablet and other electronic devices. 

ESL classes

Free in-person evening classes take place Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-7 p.m.  Beginning students attend from 4-5 p.m., intermediate students from 5-6 p.m. and advanced students from 7-8 p.m.   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. 

Adult education

Our free PALS (Pagosa Adult Learning Services) session take place on Thursdays  from 5:30-8 p.m. when Mark helps with high school equivalency, GED, college prep, financial aid, tutoring and more.

In-person gaming

Enjoy free all-ages video gaming on the X-box 360 Kinect on Fridays from 2:30 – 3:45 p.m.  

Library hours

Most of our programs are happening in person.  Also, our hours have returned 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.

 For those uncomfortable coming into the building, curbside service continues.  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. 

Activities calendars available

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


“The Jesus Music” is a documentary about the growth of the Christian contemporary music industry.  “Show Me the Father” is a documentary featuring true stories about the role of fathers in today’s society.  “A Timeless Christmas” tells of a time-travel Christmas.  “Shang-Chi: Legend of the Ten Rings” is a Marvel adventure. 

Books about food

“Fix It With Food” by Michael Symon offers simple and delicious recipes for people with autoimmune issues and inflammation.  “Food Town U.S.A.” by Mark Winne documents the author’s travels to seven of America’s top foodie cities, many surprising, that are the new face of healthy sustainable fare.  “Taste Makers” by Mayukh Sen retells America’s modern culinary history by featuring seven immigrant women who helped shape our appetite for cuisines from around the world.  “Skinnytaste Air Fryer Dinners” by Gina Homolka provides 75 air fryer recipes to make dinners easier and healthier.

Other nonfiction

“Breathing Lessons” by Dr. Meilan K. Han is a guide to how our lungs work and how best to protect them by the national spokesperson for the American Lung Association.   “The Defense Lawyer” by James Patterson is the true story of Barry Slotnick, considered by many the best criminal lawyer in the U.S.  “The President and the Freedom Fighter” by Brian Kilmeade documents how Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass steered America through the moral crisis of slavery.  “Betrayal” by ABC News journalist Jonathan Karl explores the final weeks and months of the Trump presidency.  “Entertaining Race” by Baptist minister Michael Eric Dyson is a compilation of decades of this Black leader’s writings, sermons and speeches.  “1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows” by artist Ai Weiwei is a memoir that presents a history of China while also illuminating the author’s artistic skills and political activism. 

Downloadable e-books and audiobooks 

We have a wide variety of downloadable e-books and audio books for 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 as well as those that we bought.  Select AspenCat Union Catalog when setting up cloudLibrary for use.  Email or phone us at 970-264-2209 if you need our help setting up this service on your device. 


Many thanks to our anonymous donors for their materials donations.  Please put your materials donations into the dropbox at the library – not at City Market, which is reserved for returns. 

Library foundation

Please consider a tax-deductible donation to the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library Foundation to support and enhance your library by raising funds for information resources, programs, services and facilities.  Mail checks to P.O. Box 2045, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147 or call Cindi Galabota at 970-264-2209. 

Quotable Quote

“They say somebody dies twice – when it happens and when nobody says your name anymore.  So, we say the names and take a minute to reflect.  Even carrying the wreath is a very personal thing.  Though [my daughter] Denise is buried near my home in Maine, her spirit is in Arlington.  And I hope someone is putting a wreath on her grave and honoring her that way.” – Gold Star mother Joyce Richmond, who volunteers with Wreaths Across America.

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