What should your child read this summer?

Do you have a plan to make sure your child has lots of reading opportunities this summer?  Several studies have documented a “summer slide” in reading skills once kids go on summer vacation.  And the loss compounds each year.

Research offers a surprisingly simple and affordable solution:  Bring your youngsters to the library and let them choose their own books. 

In a three-year study, researchers at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville found that simply giving children access to books  – and allowing them to choose books that interested them – had a significant effect on the summer reading gap.

Children who chose their own books and those who were given activity and puzzle books were tracked for three years.  Those who could select their own books posted significantly higher test scores than the children who received books from others.  The effect was equivalent to a child attending three years of summer school.  And the difference in scores was twice as high among the poorest children in the study.

Another of the notable findings of the study was that children improved their reading scores even though they typically weren’t selecting the curriculum books or classics that teachers normally assign for summer reading.  That conclusion confirms other studies suggesting that children learn best when they are allowed to select their own books.

Bottom line:  What should your children read this summer?  Being them to the library and let them decide for themselves, because any books will do! 

Summer Reading Program on now

Your library’s Summer Reading Program offers special events, fun surprises and reading incentives throughout June and July.  Register from home on our website or sign up at the library and pick up your first bingo cards at the desk. You will receive a free book each time you turn in a completed bingo sheet, and kids also will have the option of getting a small toy out of our treasure chest.

Each bingo sheet is filled with age-appropriate activities to help you learn, grow and stay engaged throughout the summer.  Completing bingo sheets also enters you into the drawing for our grand prizes that will be awarded for each age group at our closing Summer Reading party on Friday, July 26 from 4:30 –  6 p.m. when everyone will enjoy live music, food and crafts.  (Note that you must be present at the party to win a prize.)

We’ll be detailing the prizes in future columns. They will be divided into four age groups: babies to pre-K,  children K-5th grade,  6th-12th grades, and ages 18 – 100.

Watch for details and dates in this column every week, and pick up activities calendars so you don’t miss anything. 

Bike repair toolkit available

Did you know that your library has a bike repair toolkit available for free check out?  This toolkit includes a handbook entitled “Essential Road Bike Maintenance Handbook” by Todd Downs and a toolbox filled with the essential tools needed for basic bicycle repairs.  The handbook covers topics such as frame, pedals, brakes and more.  The library also offers a variety of other bicycle resources for people of all ages including maps, guidebooks, and historical information. 

This “Did you know…” section is part of a series prepared by Cindi Galabota, development officer, that will appear periodically in Library News columns.  We hope you find the information interesting and helpful.

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.  We look forward to seeing you at your library. Se habla español.

Summer Reading Club today

Youngsters K-5th grade are invited to a free special Summer Reading Club on Thursdays from 10-11:30 a.m. that will explore exciting adventures in outer space.  Today, June 20, features the moon when you will learn about our closest neighbor and participate in a moon craft or two.  June 27 centers on the planets, when you’ll view images of the planets taken by the Hubble telescope and create your own.

All-ages movie tomorrow

Join us tomorrow (Friday, June 21) from 2:30-4 p.m. for a PG movie suitable for all ages.  Our contract does not allow us to identify the film titles in the media but you can find them listed on the activities calendars.  Note the movies now start at 2:30 p.m. rather than 2 p.m. because of ESL class.

LEGO Club on Saturday    

Kids aged 6 – 12 are invited to bring your imaginations – LEGOs are provided – on Saturday, June 22 from 11 a.m. – noon for the free LEGO Club.

Tween gaming

Free gaming for 4th-8th grades is Monday, June 24 from 4-5 p.m.  Enjoy X-box 360 Kinect, Wii and snacks.

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 role-playing

The free role-playing game for 7th-12th graders takes place next Wednesday, June 26 from 3:30-5:30 p.m.    Use your imagination to go on adventures and battle monsters.  You can join this group any time.

ESL classes

We are now holding free English as a Second Language (ESL) classes twice weekly Wednesdays and Fridays from 12-2 pm with two highly experienced teachers.  Joyce Holdread is teaching the intermediate/advanced group and Ellynn Ragone is teaching beginners.  No registration is required. 

Su biblioteca está ofreciendo ahoraclases de inglés como segundo idioma (ESL). Las clases se llevan a cabo los miércoles y viernes desde el mediodia hasta las 2 pm.  Todas las clases son gratuitas y no es necesario registrarse.  Por favor ayúdanos a correr la voz sobre el regreso de las clases de íngles como segundo idioma en nuestra comunidad de Pagosa. 

Spanish conversation

Wednesday, June 26 from 3-4 p.m. practice your Spanish with others to help you increase your fluency at this free informal session. All are welcome, from beginners to native Spanish speakers.  Previous attendance not necessary.  No registration required.

Computer classes

The is a free program from 1-2 p.m. on alternating Thursdays to learn a useful technology skill or application. Today, June 20, is Transparent Language Learning, packed full of pronunciation, speech, grammar, writing and vocabulary building lessons.  No registration required.  

Adult education summer hours

Our free PALS (Pagosa Adult Learning Services) has moved to summer hours.  It now takes place on Tuesdays from 2 – 7 p.m.  Come to your library to get help from Mark with high school equivalency, GED, college prep, financial aid, tutoring and more.  

Free tech sessions

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

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.  Both storytimes are 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.  Note the special Spanish storytime with Mable Martinez Barber on Wednesday, June 26.

Short stories

“Orange World” by Karen Russell is a collection of eight comedic stories by this Pulitzer Prize finalist. 


“The Good Doctor” is season one.  “Broadchurch” is season three.  “The Outlander” is season four.  “Transformer” is a documentary about a former U.S. Marine and world record weightlifter outed as being transgender. 

Mysteries, thrillers and suspense

“Darkness on the Edge of Town” by Adam Christopher follows a detective facing his past when his young adopted daughter starts asking questions.  “Keep You Close” by Karen Cleveland tells of a detective working to clear her son’s name.  “Unsolved” by James Patterson and David Ellis is a thriller where everyone in the FBI is a suspect. 


“City of Girls” by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of “Eat, Pray, Love,”  features an 81-year-old lady looking back at her unconventional life in Manhattan.  “The Electric Hotel” by Dominic Smith is an historical fiction novel focusing on a French silent film  pioneer.  “The Victory Garden” by Rhys Bowen focuses on the life of a young war widow in World War I England.  “How Not to Die Alone” by Richard Roper is a love story.  “Queen Bee” by Dorothea Benton Frank is another of the author’s complicated family stories set in the Lowcountry.  “Star-crossed” by Minnie Darke is a love story revolving around altered astrology columns. 

Large print

“The Cattle Drive” by Ethan J. Wolfe and “The Jackals by William W. and J.A. Johnstone are westerns.  “The Exiles” by Greg Hunt is book two in the Borderland trilogy. 

Books on CD

“Blessing in Disguise” by Danielle Steel showcases a mother’s relationships with her three daughters.  “How to Raise Successful People” by Esther Wojcicki shares a mother’s secrets for raising happy, healthy, successful children.  “Outrageous Acts and everyday Rebellions” by Gloria Steinem is a collection of essays with new and updated material on the fight for women’s equality.   

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 to our donors

For books and materials this week we thank Barbara Ogletree and our anonymous donors.  

Quotable Quote  

“Each morning we are born again.  What we do today is what matters most.” – Buddha

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