National Library Week and Spring Lifelong Learning Lectures start today

As we join American libraries in commemorating National Library Week April 8-14 – and the 60th anniversary of this observance – it seems appropriate to reflect on the wide variety of free fun and educational activities available to you and your families at your Ruby Sisson Library.  You can learn about them every week in this Library News column.

One example:  The ever popular free spring Lifelong Learning Lecture series starts today, April 5, and continues every Thursday until May 17 with outstanding talks from 5 – 6:30 p.m. for seven weeks.

Today (Thursday, April 5) is a presentation by local author Marika Tatsumoto on how to write middle grade books.  She will guide you through the process of attracting parents, teachers and librarians to your work and writing stories that will capture and entertain kids.

April 12 features climate change awareness advocate Susan Atkinson describing effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint.  On April 19 Anthony Garcia from the U.S. Forest Service will tell the story of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, with emphasis on herds living in the Mountains surrounding Pagosa Springs.  April 26 brings Robin Young, who will lead a wildlife preparedness workshop to help you reduce your risk of wildfire and loss.

May presentations include town manager Andrea Phillips’ talking about local government and the town’s recent and future major projects on May 3, San Juan Basic Public Health discussing proper nutrition and healthy eating on a budget on May 10, and Andrew Guilliford, professor of history and environmental science at Fort Lewis College, reviewing the history of killing wolves in Colorado and the possibility of bringing them back to our wilderness on May 17.

We hope you will join us for these interesting and informative presentations.    For more details about all the talks, please pick up a brochure at your library.

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.

Free books for four-year-olds

Be sure to read this Library News column next week to learn how to get a free book for your four-year-old youngster.  We will have copies in English and Spanish.

Teen advisory board today

Today (Thursday, April 5) 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, April 6) 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.

Reading with a therapy dog

Saturday, April 7 from 11 a.m.-noon,  youngsters from K-fifth grade are invited to share their favorite books with Hondo, a therapy dog who loves listening to stories, at a free Paws to Read session.  This is a great way for beginning readers to build confidence.

SATs study break with therapy dog

Teens studying for the SATs can come on Monday, April 9 from 4-5:30 p.m. to hang out, play games and relax with Hondo, a therapy dog.

Health screenings

Staff from San Juan Basin Public Health will be on hand Monday, April 9 from 9 a.m. – noon to provide free health screenings to check cholesterol, blood glucose and blood pressure, and provide health coaching.  Please fast for nine hours prior to your screening for most accurate results.  Questions?  Call SJBPH at 264-2409 ext. 214.

Adult book club

Our free adult book club meets the second Tuesday of each month from 2-3 p.m. to discuss alternating fiction and nonfiction titles.  On April 10 we will discuss “Hidden Figures” by Margot Lee Shetterly.  Stop by to pick up a copy.  Light snacks and beverages will be served.  No registration required.

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.

Teen writers group

Join us next Wednesday, April 11 from 4-5 p.m. for our free teen writers meeting for seventh-12 graders.  This group’s interests include stories, poetry, graphic novels and fan fiction.

Free tech sessions

Drop in with your technology questions on Tuesdays from 10 a.m.-noon and Thursdays from 2-4 p.m.   Note: No Tech Time today, April 5.

Computer/technology classes

Join us on Thursdays from 1-2 p.m. for free sessions to learn a technology skill or application.  Note: No computer class today, April 5, or April 19.  April 12 will focus on internet searching and April 26 covers Transparent Language Online, which is packed full of pronunciation, speech, grammar, writing and vocabulary lessons accessible from your computer, smart phone or tablet.

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

Please note no storytimes on Saturday, April 7 or Wednesday, April 11.  Normally, 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.

Resources for contractors

We now have two 2006 International Residential Code books, one for reference and one for checkout, as well as the 2006 one- and two-family dwellings code book.  We also have the 2006 “Building Code Illustrated/second edition” to help you understand the other two books.  There are newer versions, such as the 2015 edition that we purchased a couple of years ago.  But we recently learned from some patrons that it is the 2006 code that Archuleta County uses for inspections.  After confirming this information with the county, our director Meg Wempe thought it would be helpful to have the code books with the information being inspected here.  “It is learning from patrons about their needs that we are better able to serve our community,” Meg said.

Other nonfiction

“The Island That Disappeared” by Tom Feiling reveals the lost history of the Mayflower’s sister ship and its rival Puritan colony.  “From the Left” by Bill Press is a memoir by this talk-show host and political commentator.  “Birds of the Photo Ark” is a National Geographic photographic guide to more than 300 species of birds.  “Odd Girl Out” by Laura James is the memoir of a successful autistic woman.  “Where There’s Hope” by Elizabeth Smart is a memoir describing how a woman overcame trauma, with guiding principles for others.

Academy Award DVDs

“The Shape of Water” had 12 nominations and won four Academy Awards, including best picture and best director.  “I, Tonya” had three nominations including best actress and best supporting actress.  “Lady Bird” had five nominations including best picture, best director, best actress and best supporting actress.  “Abacus,” a documentary about a Chinese immigrant bank-owning family, owners of the only bank prosecuted after the 2008 financial crisis, was nominated in the documentary feature category.


“The Disappeared” by C.J. Box features Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett.   “As You Wish” by Jude Deveraux is the story of three very different women who meet one fateful summer.  “Sweet Vengeance” by Fern Michaels follows a woman seeking justice for herself and other families.  “Death of an Honest Man” by M.C. Beaton is a Scottish Sgt. Hamish Macbeth mystery.

Mysteries and thrillers

“Crimson Lake” by Candice Fox features two people accused of murder, one convicted.  “Agent in Place” by Mark Greaney is a Gray Man thriller set in the Middle East.  “Barbed Wire Heart”” by Tess Sharpe follows a daughter of a drug lord.  “Accidental Heroes” by Danielle Steel is a thriller set on a flight from New York to San Francisco.         

Other novels

“Girls Burn Brighter” by Shobha Rao, set in India and America, features two heroines with an extraordinary bond.  “An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones tells of a young Southern couple whose lives are ripped apart by a crime.  “Alternate Side” by Anna Quindlen follows a New York City neighborhood after a terrible incident.  “The Italian Teacher” by Tom Rachman is about the son of a great painter striving to create his own legacy.          

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 Bob and Carole Howard and our anonymous donors.

Quotable Quote

“My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn’t prevent you doing well, and don’t regret the things it interferes with. Don’t be disabled in spirit, as well as physically.” – Stephen Hawking (1942-2018), world-renowned physicist, cosmologist, author and professor who died peacefully at home in March at the age of 76, long after was told at age 21 he would have only two years to live when diagnosed with a rare form of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).  He defied the odds and helped transform the way scientists view black holes and the universe.  He was portrayed in the 2014 biographical film by Eddie Redmayne in an Academy Award-winning role.

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