How to encourage “reluctant reader” youngsters. 

Hint: They may be visual readers  

For some early readers, a big block of text is like a giant stop sign – which is why these youngsters often get tagged with the “reluctant reader” label.   Here are some insights and tips from Pamela Paul and Maria Russo’s recent New York Times article on “How to Raise a Reader” to help inspire a less enthusiastic reader and find books your child will love:

  • Format doesn’t matter.  Many chapter books with highly visual, comics-influenced formats were written specifically to help reluctant readers and children with challenges like dyslexia.  Youngsters still learn reading skills with these more visually driven books.
  • Make room for comics and manga.  Don’t denigrate these genres.  Many of the most celebrated literary figures of our time not only grew up devouring comics but also incorporate comics-inspired themes into their prize-winning novels.
  • A book about a computer game is still a book.  If your child has a favorite computer or video game, you often can find a book counterpart, which is a great way to steer your child toward the pleasures of text.
  • Don’t forget nonfiction.  Some reluctant readers are fact-gatherers who may be more inspired by nonfiction, especially when it’s presented in a highly visual format.  Look for books about animals, the solar system, presidents, states, ancient history and other topics your child is interested in.
  • Never treat books as a chore.  Don’t say, “If you spend 30 minutes reading you’ll get to play.”  If you want your child to be excited about reading, you should be also.  Make sure your child sees you reading regularly, preferably daily.

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.

Teen advisory board today

Today (Thursday, March 1) the teen advisory board meets from 4-5 p.m.  Bring your fun and innovative ideas to help us plan teen programs.  Share an idea to pick out a free book.

 All-ages gaming tomorrow

Join us tomorrow (Friday, March 2) from 2-3:15 p.m. for a free all-ages gaming session where you can enjoy video gaming on Wii and X-box 360 Kinect with your friends and family.

 Free reading with therapy dogs

On Saturday, March 3 from 11 a.m.-noon,  youngsters from K-fifth grade are invited to share their favorite books with Hondo and Bacchus, therapy dogs who love listening to stories, at a Paws to Read session.  This is a great way for beginning readers to build confidence.

 Teen gaming

Free teen gaming happens on Tuesdays from 4–5:30 p.m. for teens in the 7th-12th grades.  Enjoy X-box 360 Kinect, Wii and snacks.

Spanish instruction

Join us for this free basic course next Wednesday, March 7 from 4-5 p.m. to improve your ability to speak and understand Spanish.  No registration required.

Teen role-playing

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

Computer/technology classes

Join us on Thursdays from 1-2 p.m. for free sessions to learn a technology skill or application.  Today (March 1) on Internet Searching you will learn how to find information you need from websites you trust.  March 8 on Microsoft Word-Intermediate you will explore tools that make working on long documents easier.  March 15 you will learn the basics of Facebook and how it can be an effective social media tool.  March 22 will focus on Learning Express Library, a comprehensive, interactive online learning platform that can be used to help students and other learners succeed.  This is a highly useful database to improve computer skills or receive training relevant to almost any job or responsibility.

Free tech sessions

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

Legal clinic next week

Next Friday, March 9 from 2-3 p.m. a free legal clinic for parties who have no attorney will take place via computer link.  Volunteer attorneys will answer questions, help fill out forms, and explain the process and procedure for legal issues in the areas of family law, civil litigation, property tax, probate law, collections, appeals, landlord-tenant law, veterans benefits and civil protection orders.  This clinic will take place the second Friday of every month.  You also can visit checkerboard.co to access legal forms and answers to many civil legal questions.

Changes to hunting license process

Hunters will want to save the date of Saturday afternoon, March 10 when Colorado Parks and Wildlife will discuss several items including key changes to the limited license application process from 1-3 p.m.  Paper applications no longer will be accepted.  As well, a session from 1-4:45 p.m. in a computer lab will help you apply for your hunting license and establish an email account.

Adult education 

Our PALS program – Pagosa Adult Learning Services – takes place three days a week: Mondays from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. plus Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 – 7 p.m.  Come to your library to get help with high school equivalency, college prep, financial aid, tutoring and more.

Family storytimes

Every Wednesday from 10-11 a.m. and Saturday from 9:30-10 a.m., join us for free great stories, fun songs and plenty of reasons to get up and move.  This is an excellent way for kids of all ages to have fun while building the skills they need to become independent readers.  Please note that both storytimes are now 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.


“The Big Sick” is nominated for original screenplay in this year’s Academy Awards.  “Only the Brave” is the true story of 20 American hot-shot firefighting heroes.  “Roots” is based on Alex Haley’s bestselling novel about one black man and his family kidnapped in Africa to become American slaves.  “Where Love Found Me” is a story of street kids inspired by true events.  “God’s Own Country” is a British drama that won a Sundance film festival award for directing.  “Wonder” is a hewartwarming family film about a young boy born with facial differences.

 How-to and self help  

“Food Therapist” by Shira Lenchewski helps you break bad habits, eat with intension and indulge without worry.  “How to Break Up with Your Phone” by Catherine Price offers tips to help you do just that.  “Commercial Driver License Manual” is the October 2016 is a handbook to help you get your DMV permit in Colorado.  “Southern California 2015” and Northern California 2015” are travel guides.

Other nonfiction

“Operation Chaos” by Matthew Sweet describes how the CIA tried to infiltrate a radical group of Vietnam War military deserters.  “Our Native Bees” by Paige Embry is a detailed look at the importance to our lives of  North America’s native bees.

Nonfiction CDs

“The Road Not Taken” by Max Boot is a fresh look at Edward Lansdale and the Vietnam War.  “Revolution Song” by Russell Shorto focuses on six lives from the American Revolution.  “Memory Rescue” by Dr. Daniel G. Amen describes a new program to change your brain and improve your memory.  “No Time to Spare” by Ursula K. Le Guin is a collection of the author’s online writing from the point of view of a senior.


“Surprise Me” by Sophie Kinsella tells of a couple who decide to bring surprises into their marriage.  “Persepolis Rising” by James S.A. Corey is an interplanetary adventure.

Large print

“Walking the Bones” by Randall Silvis is a Ryan DeMarco mystery.  “The Widows of Malabar Hill” by Sujata Massey is a mystery set in 1920s Bombay.  “Dark in Death” by J.D. Robb is an Eve Dallas mystery.  “The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place” by Alan Bradley features 12-year-old Flavia de Luce.  “Poison” by John Lescroart is a Dismas Hardy mystery.

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 for our donors        

For books and materials this week, we thank Julie Gates and our anonymous donors.

Quotable Quote

“Setting and achieving goals is a key part of working toward happiness, research has found.  Your brain releases dopamine – also known as the ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter – every time you accomplish a task you’ve lined up for yourself.” – The Week magazine.

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