Tips from experts to encourage kids’ love of reading

Are you struggling to get your kids hooked on reading?  A love of reading is a gift for life, and a recent article in The Globe and Mail, a leading newspaper in Canada, offers tips from literacy experts that will help your youngsters love reading.

Part of the trick is expanding your view of what “reading” actually means and what libraries have to offer, says Maryn Ashdown with the Vancouver Public Library.  “We’re a hub where families and kids can find stories in any format that works for them.”

Here’s advice from authors, academics, librarians and booksellers featured in the article:

  • Let your child’s reading experience match their interests, be it basketball, baking, dance or dinosaurs.  There are children’s books on virtually any subject your kid enjoys.
  • If your child likes watching zombie movies, look for zombie books in the library.  If they are keen on LEGOS, look for books and DVDs about LEGOS.  Alyson Shaw at the University of Ottawa advises, “Reading books based on games or TV or movies can help kids realize that what’s inside a book is cool.”
  • Take advantage of new formats like graphic novels, which are books made up of comics content.  Young readers can be intimidated when they open a book and face a wall of words on every page.  Graphic novels – or hybrids filled with illustrations – offer a gentler alternative.
  • Introduce your child to audio books, which allow them to enjoy a story while using their imagination.  Audio books are a great way to keep children engaged when parents aren’t available to read with them – and during long car rides. 

More in-person activities

We are delighted that the robust local vaccination program for our community and your library staff means that more of our programs can happen in person starting in June – either inside the building with limited numbers or outside.  For example, family storytimes will take place live in the library garden next month and all-ages in-person gaming resumes on Friday, June 4.  Note details in the activity listings starting in next week’s Library News column.

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. That’s one additional hour on Fridays.
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays open 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.  That’s one additional hour each day.
  • Saturdays open 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.  That’s two hours fewer this day – but a total of 55 hours open each week, as compared to 54 in pre-COVID times.

For those uncomfortable with 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 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 three versions – children, teens and adults.

Summer Reading starts next week

Our annual Summer Reading Program is almost here.  Watch for details of the many fun and informative activities for all ages in next week’s Library News column.

Literary Ladies tomorrow

This free book club meets the fourth Friday of every month from 10:15 a.m. – noon via Zoom. Tomorrow, Friday, May 28, the ladies will discuss “The Giver of Stars” by Jo Jo Moyes.  Pick up a copy at your library. The Zoom meeting ID for this event is 859 2949 6860 with the passcode 81147.  Or send an email to brad@pagosalibrary.org and Brad will send you the invitation.  No registration required.

Writing challenge

On Monday, May 17we posted a new writing challenge on the library’s Facebook page.  We hope you will challenge your creativity by participating in this free all-ages activity.

Storywalk for kids

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 May 21-June 2 theme is hiking.  After you finish the walk, pick up materials for a craft or activity at the library. 

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. 


Free in-person classes take place Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-8 p.m. (note new hours). 

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 in library garden

Wednesday, June 2 at 10 a.m. join us in the library garden (note new day and location) for free in-person children’s stories, games and plenty of reasons to get up and move. This event will be cancelled if the weather is bad.  Saturday’s Discovery Times continue on Facebook at 2:30 p.m. with games, art ideas, science experiments, history and more.   

Adult education

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

Academy Award films on DVD

We have five movies on DVD that won Academy Awards this year.  “Judas and the Black Messiah” about a thief turned FBI informant infiltrating the Illinois Black Panthers won for best supporting actor and was nominated for four other Oscars including best picture.  “Another Round” with English subtitles is a comedy-drama that won for best international feature film and was nominated for best director.  “Soul” by Disney Pixar is a comedy that won best animated movie and best score.  “The Father” won best actor for Anthony Hopkins and best adapted screenplay and received four other nominations. “Minari” won best supporting actress and was nominated for five other Oscars.

Other DVDs

“Let Him Go” stars Kevin Costner and Diane Lane.  “Kim’s Convenience” is a comedy about a Korean Canadian family.  “Asian Americans” is a five-part documentary PBS series. 

How-to and self-help

“What Happened to You?” by trauma expert Dr. Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey features conversations on childhood trauma, resilience and healing.  “The 30-day Heart Tune-Up” by Dr. Steven Masley is an updated guide to heart health with 60 recipes.  “Let’s Talk About Hard Things” by Anna Sale brings the warmth and candor of the author’s award-winning podcast to tough conversations.  “Set Boundaries, Find Peace” by Nedra Glover Tawwab is a guide to setting healthy boundaries to achieve work/life balance and cope with toxic people.

Other nonfiction

“The Premonition” by Michael Lewis features the unexpected and unofficial heroes of the early response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.   “The Art of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge” uses commentary, sketches, blueprints and photos to provide details of this new attraction at Disney World and Disneyland.  “Facing the Mountain” by Daniel James Brown is the true story of Japanese American heroes of World War II.  “Finding the Mother Tree” by forest ecologist Suzanne Simard brings readers into the complicated, interdependent world of trees connected by underground networks.  “Persist” by Elizabeth Warren reveals six perspectives that have influenced the senator’s life and advocacy.  “Lincoln in Private” by historian Ronald C. White explores the 16th president’s private thoughts through private notes he wrote to himself on major issues and concerns.  “Madhouse at the End of the Earth” by Julian Sancton tells of the adventure and horror of a Belgian expedition to Antarctica.

Books on CD

“Ocean Prey” by John Sandford is a Lucas Davenport-Virgil Flowers mystery.  “The Red Book” by James Patterson and David Ellis features Chicago PD’s special operations section.

Mysteries, suspense and thrillers

“Nighthawking” by Russ Thomas begins with a body being found in a botanical garden.  “While Justice Sleeps” by Stacey Abrams is a thriller set within the Supreme Court.     “The Last Thing He Told Me” by Laura Dave centers on a note left by a man who disappears.  “Thief of Souls” is an Inspector Lu Fey mystery set in China.  “The Devil May Dance” by Jake Tapper is a thriller set in 1960’s Hollywood.  . 

Other novels

“A Little Hatred” by Joe Abercrombie is the first book in a new fantasy series.  “That Summer” by Jennifer Weiner features two women who become friends because of an errant email.  “A Summer to Remember” by Erika Montgomery begins with a mysterious package containing a surprise photograph.  “The Plot” by Jean Hankk Korelitz follows a professor who steals a student’s book plot for a bestseller.  “Ariadne” by Jennifer Saint is a fantasy featuring the forgotten women of Greek mythology.  “Fugitive Telemetry” by Martha Wells is the latest in the Murderbot Diaries featuring a droit with a heart.  “China” by Edward Rutherfurd is an epic history of China going back to the first Opium War in 1839.

Large print

“Kamala’s Way: An American Life” by Dan Morain is a biography of the first woman elected vice president of the U.S.  “Turn a Blind Eye” by Jeffrey Archer is book three in the William Warwick series.  “The Perfect Daughter” by D.J. Palmer features a teen accused of murder and locked in a psychiatric hospital.  “Robert B. Parker’s Payback” by Mike Lupica is a Sunny Randall mystery.  “Local Woman Missing” by Mary Kubica follows a missing woman who returns home after 11 years.

Downloadable e-books and audiobooks 

Perfect for COVID times, 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 Cheryl Kaumeyer-Wethey for her generous in-kind donation and to Medora Bass for her material 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 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. 

Quotable Quote

“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one!” – Dolly Parton, singer, songwriter, author and humanitarian. Inspired by her father’s inability to read and write, she started her Imagination Library in 1995 for children within her home county. Today, her program spans five countries and donates more than one million free books each month to children around the world.

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