Free Summer Reading Program offers myriad activities

for all ages

This year’s Summer Reading Program began this week with the theme “Tails and Tales.”  Pick up a bingo card because participants get a small prize every time you complete a bingo sheet.  We also have bonus challenges where entrants will be put into random drawings for gift certificates and other prizes.

The Summer Reading Program is one of our most popular events of the year.  It includes activities for all ages that are fun, free and educational.  As well, it will help your children avoid the dreaded “summer slide” in reading skills that has been documented so often when youngsters take a vacation from books in July and August – an especially important benefit now with the last school year being so disrupted by COVID.

First two Summer Reading bonus challenges

Week one’s bonus challenge June 7-12:  You’ve discovered a new dinosaur.  What do you want to call it and why?  Submit your answer by Saturday, June 12 at 3 p.m. for a chance to win – by emailing ruby@pagosalibrary.org, posting on the library Facebook page or dropping it off at the front desk.

Week two’s bonus challenge June 14-19:  Take a walk on the River Walk and identify three birds you see along the way.  Submit your answer by Saturday, June 19 at 3 p.m. for a chance to win – by emailing ruby@pagosalibrary.org, posting on the library Facebook page or dropping it off at the front desk.

More in-person activities

We are delighted that the robust local vaccination program for our community  means that more of our programs now can happen in person  – either inside the building with limited numbers or outside.  Please see more information in the activity listings below.

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. 

Summer Reading Club today

What’s it like to be a paleontologist?  Explore the world of fossils, digging and dinosaurs with in-person science experiments and activities for K-fifth grade today, Thursday, June 10 from 10-11:30 a.m. in the library garden.  Next week’s topic on June 17, also from 10-11:30 a.m. in the library garden, is fish and game.  Learn about the aquatic life in our local rivers and streams and participate in a watery craft.

Family storytime in Centennial Park

Next Wednesday, June 16 at 10 a.m. join us at the amphitheater in Centennial Park (by the geothermal domes) 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. 

Watercolor painting  classes

Patty Jones will lead two free two-hour watercolor painting classes via Zoom on Monday, June 15 and 22 from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. for ages 10 and older.  Registration is required; contact the library by phone or email to sign up and for additional information.  Some materials are required.

In-person birdwatching

Randy McCormick from the Weminuche Audubon Society will lead an outdoor excursion on  Saturday, June 12 from 9-10 a.m. for all ages starting next to the Geothermal Greenhouse Project domes downtown.  Registration is required for this event.

In-person gaming is back

Enjoy all-ages  video gaming on the X-box 360 Kinect on Fridays from 2:30 – 3:45 p.m.  Maximum of four participants in the gaming room at a time. 

Take-and make DIY:  Edible sprouts

You’re invited to join us via Facebook next Tuesday, June 15 as Brad will demonstrate how easy it is to grow edible sprouts using a mason jar, seeds and a few more items.  Edible sprouts are an excellent source of antioxidants when you put them in salads, sandwiches and other recipes.  Supplies and instructions will be available to pick up at your library on Monday, June 14, and video tutorials will appear the next day from 2-3 p.m. on Facebook and the library’s website at htps://pagosalibrary.org/adult-diy/

Legal clinic tomorrow

The free legal clinic each month is happening by appointment tomorrow, Friday, June 11 from 2 – 3 p.m. The volunteer attorney can phone you at home, or you can come into the library and meet privately via Zoom. To schedule an appointment, send an email titled “Sign-up for Free Legal Clinic,” with your first name and phone number to ruby@pagosalibrary.org, or phone or stop by the library. The volunteer attorney’s time is limited so it’s first-come first-served.  Visit http://checkerboard.co/ anytime to find many legal forms and other legal information.

LEGO challenge Saturday

Join us on June 12 at 10 a.m. for a free all-ages LEGO challenge via an image posted on Facebook and the library website.  Use your own pieces to create something that will fit the challenge. If you don’t have LEGOS, we have a few grab bags available at the library.

Writing challenge

On Monday, June 7we 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 June 7-19 theme is time flies.  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.   

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. 

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. 

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.

Guides to local natural wonders

Thanks to a generous donor, we have added five new books to our Hershey Collection, which covers Southwest Colorado and Four Corners topics:  “Night Skies of the American Southwest” by Christopher K. Eaton; Chaco Outliers: A Complete Guide”  about the Aztec Ruins, Chimney Rock, Salmon Ruins, Lowry Pueblo and Yucca House plus “Mesa Verde: A Complete Guide,” both by Gian Mercurio and Max Peschel; “The Ancient Southwest” by Gregory McNamee with photographs by Larry Lindahl; and “Chimney Rock National Monument” by Amron Gravett and Christine Robinette.

Large print westerns

“The Cowboy Way: Stories of the Old West” by Elmer Kelton contains 16 tales about the highs and lows of cowboy life.  “Ralph Compton: Ride for Justice” is part of the Gunfighter series by Robert J. Randisi.

Mysteries, suspense and thrillers

“Version Zero” by David Yoon features a data whiz at a social media giant who rebels when he’s fired for questioning his company’s use of collected data.  “Scorpion” by Christian Cantrell features a female CIA intelligence analyst investigating bizarre international assassinations.  “Like Lions” by Brian Panowich is a crime story featuring a small-town Georgia sheriff. 

Books on CD

“Shadow Storm” by Christine Feehan is the sixth book in the Shadow Riders series about a Chicago crime family.  “The Palm Beach Murders” by James Patterson contains three murder mysteries.


“Freedom” by Sebastian Junger is a look at the competing ideals of community and freedom.  “My Time Swill Come” by Ian Manuel of a memoir of a 14-year-old sentenced to life without parole for a non-homicide crime.  “The Tyranny of Big Tech” by Sen. Josh Hawley explores the power of powerful wealthy elites in all our lives.  “Punch Me Up to the Gods” by Brian Broome is a memoir of a young black boy trying to learn how to be a man.  “Chasing the Thrill” by Daniel Barbarisi is a first-person account of the treasure hunt across the Rocky Mountains created by an eccentric art dealer.  “The Anthropology of Religion, Magic, and Witchcraft” by Rebecca L. and Philip L. Stein is the fourth edition of this guide.

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 Lenore Bright for her generous monetary donation.  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

In response to a question asking what most he wanted his kids and grandchildren to learn from him:  “A work ethic. Courtesy to your fellow human beings.  And kindness.  Which are traits you have to work at and rehearse…. Particularly compassion… And also to teach them to be good citizens of the planet.  I am conscious of us all being in this together.” – Michael Douglas, actor and producer, winner of numerous accolades including two Academy Awards and five Golden Globes.

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