Summer Reading Program underway with challenge #2 plus Hilltop Cemetery virtual tour

If you haven’t already signed up, you’re invited to do so now for this year’s free Summer Reading Program that runs from June 1 – July 31. Our theme, “Imagine Your Story,” is a celebration of reading, storytelling and imagination. Fun activities are open to people of all ages and abilities.

  • You will be given a “choose your own adventure” booklet full of activities and challenges designed to help you explore a world of stories. The activities are fun to do – and completing them makes you eligible to win weekly prizes purchased from local businesses. The booklets include a map of an imaginary island that needs saving or it will fade away.  As you travel to different places on the map and complete various tasks, you will save the island and be able to win prizes. The island is full of fun and interesting locations such as the Neighborhood Village, Fairytale Forest, Mythic Mountains, Cliffs of Adventure and more.
  • There are adventure booklets for four groups: pre-K, K-5, teen and adult. You can pick them up curbside at the library and view them on our website.  As well, many booklets are being delivered through the school lunch delivery program.
  • Are you ready to begin your journey? Contact the library to sign up! Call us at (970) 264-2209, email us at ruby@pagosalibrary.org or register online at pagosalibrary.org/summer-reading. We just need to know your name, contact information, and what age group to assign you to.
  • In addition to the adventure booklets, a new challenge will appear each week in this Library News column and be announced on KWUF radio. Anyone who completes the challenge will be entered to win a weekly drawing for various prizes.

Challenge 2: Bird photo

As part of the Summer Reading program, take a picture of a bird and email it to us at ruby@pagosalibrary.org, or post it on the library’s Facebook page. Tell us where you took the picture (e.g., “at Echo Lake”), and try to identify the species of bird to the best of your ability. If you don’t have access to email or Facebook, we can scan a print copy of your picture at the library, or you can make an appointment to use a library computer. Everyone can participate. Entries will be entered into a weekly prize drawing. Alternatively, you may sketch a picture of a bird if you do not want to take a photograph. 

Special note to parents and caregivers

The Summer Reading Program is one of our most popular events of the year.  It’s fun and it’s educational.  Also, 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 – an especially important benefit this year when the school year was so disrupted by the coronavirus.  One recent study showed that seventh graders lose on average 36 percent of the previous year’s reading gains and 50 percent of their math gains over a regular summer. 

Hilltop Cemetery virtual tour

To honor some of Archuleta County’s important residents of the past, Brad, our adult services librarian, visited several gravesites at Hilltop Cemetery and discussed the significance to our community of the individuals buried there in a virtual tour on Memorial Day.  If you missed that showing, there are several other ways for you to enjoy this informative and interesting look into local history.

The 13-minute video is on the library’s Facebook page, and it also can be viewed on the library’s website by going to pagosalibrary.org/adult-services, or go to the library’s homepage at pagosalibrary.org and click on the “Adult” tab. Some of the individuals highlighted in the video include the four Yamaguchi brothers, Dr. Mary Fisher, Lauriana Gallegos Archuleta and Ruby M Sisson, the namesake of your local library. Other people also are briefly mentioned in this video. Please let Brad know if you would like to see future cemetery visits to learn more about and remember Pagosa’s past. His email address is: brad@pagosalibrary.org

Special note regarding possible changes

There may be more changes after the governor’s next announcement scheduled for some time after June 1, which is after The SUN deadline for this week’s Library News column.  We’ll report any changes in the June 11 column.

Update to returns and donations policy

Your returns and donations now can be put into the dropbox at the library – but NOT into the dropbox at City Market because we still do not have any interlibrary courier service pickups.  For everyone’s safety, we will continue to quarantine returned items and get them safely ready for the next patron.  Please note that because returned items will be in quarantine for three full days, it could be five days before they are wiped down and checked off your account. 

Donations will undergo the same rigorous quarantine process.  And a gentle reminder: We can only accept fiction from the last 10 years and nonfiction from the past five. The publication date is usually in small type on the bottom of one of the first few pages of the book.

The census has never been easier 

If you haven’t already, please respond to the census right now even if you have not received an official invitation to respond. You do not need to wait for anything from the Census Bureau – you can do it online. Instead of using a unique census ID number you will be asked to enter your  physical address.

To complete the census online, go to www.my2020census.gov or by phone call 1-844-330-2020 for the English version and 1-844-468-2020 for the Spanish version.  You can visit our website at pagosalibrary.org/census-2020 to view a video that demonstrates how to fill out the census online.  Please phone the library at (970) 264-2209 or email us at ruby@pagosalibrary.org if you have any questions regarding the census. 

Your participation is very important because it will determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives, directly affect hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding for the next 10 years for local and regional agencies and projects like health clinics, fire departments, schools, social services like Medicaid, even roads and highways.   Archuleta County needs your participation to get our fair share of these federal dollars.

When you respond to the census, your answers are kept anonymous. They are used only to produce statistics.  The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to protect your answers and keep them strictly confidential. The law ensures that your private information is never published and that your answers cannot be used against you by any government agency or court.

Expanded Wi-Fi service

A reminder that the installation of a booster allows Wi-Fi to be used throughout the library’s entire parking lot. You no longer have to be parked right next to the building. This expansion allows you to park farther apart while safely accessing from your car or truck.  

Other services available now

Here’s a reminder of our other current services under the state’s Safer at Home guidelines.  Curbside service outside the front door allows you to pick up materials including holds, tax forms and things you email to us to print for you.  These services are available Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.  Call the library at 264-2209 when you are in the parking lot so that staff can place the items outside for you and walk away, thus maintaining physical distancing.  If you put a hold on something from home, please wait for your usual alert (email or text) before coming to pick it up. 

  1. If you do not have a library card but want to use our online resources, you now  can self-register.  From our website, click “My Account” in the top right.  It is the usual login page for current patrons, and it now has (in blue) an option to “Register for a new Library Card.”  There’s a short form and then staff will get back in touch with you to give you your login credentials.
  2. We are admitting a very limited number of people into specific areas of the building for computer appointments Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. If you want to make a computer appointment, call the library at 264-2209 or email ruby@pagosalibrary.org to schedule a time. With some possible exceptions, computer appointments will be 45 minutes. This shortened period allows time for staff to clean and disinfect the computers between uses.  Also note that in compliance with the San Juan Basin Public Health recommendations, you must wear a covering over your nose and mouth, such as a bandana or homemade cloth mask, reserving hospital-grade masks for medical workers and those who are sick.  The old adage of “No shirt, no shoes, no service” is now “No shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service.”   We are not able to provide such coverings; you must bring and wear your own.
  3. We’re also happy to help you with tech help over the phone for our online resources. 
  4.  Please note we are not accepting meeting room reservations or hosting any in-person programming at this time.  We hope you will join us for some of our virtual programs outlined in these Library News columns.

Dungeons & Dragons via Zoom

Go on an adventure from the comfort of your couch.  Join us via Zoom on Tuesdays from 2-4 pm for our new Dungeons & Dragons group.  This program is open to teens and young adults.  Please contact claire@pagosalibrary.org for details on how to join.  

Family storytimes on Facebook

Every Wednesday at 10 a.m. and Saturday at 2:30 p.m., join us for great stories and fun songs via prerecorded videos posted on the library’s Facebook page.  If you have a Facebook account, you can log in to Facebook and search for the Ruby Sisson Memorial Library. If you don’t have a Facebook account, you can access the page by visiting our website and clicking the Facebook icon (a lowercase f)  in the upper left hand corner of the screen. Or you can contact us and we can send you a direct link.  These sessions are available to watch for about two weeks after the initial posting.

How-to and self-help

“Reframed” by Stuart Shanker is the third book in his trilogy helping us build a compassionate society one mind at a time.  “Keep What You Love” by Irene Smith and Astrid van der Hulst is a whimsical yet practical guide to decluttering your life.  “Sorry Willie!” by John Dufresne with illustrations by Evan Wondolowski is a guide to writing fiction.  “How Children Learn” by John Holt is the 50th anniversary edition of this classic.  “Stem Cell Cure” by Drs. Gaurav K. Goswami and Kerry Johnson describes how to free yourself from chronic ailments without toxic medications or disabling surgery.  “What makes a Marriage Last” by Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue features the secrets to a happy life from 40 celebrated couples.  “Breath” by James Nestor reveals the hidden science behind ancient breathing practices for good health today.  “Becoming” by Michele Obama is a guided journal for discovering your voice, based on her memoir.  “Well-Trained Mind” by Susan Wise Bauer is a guide to classical education at home. 

Other nonfiction

“The Lincoln Conspiracy” by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch reveals the secret plot to kill America’s 16th president and why it failed.  “Pelosi” by award-winning political journalist Molly Ball is a biography of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  “Stray” by Stephanie Danler is a memoir of growing up in a family shattered by lies and addiction.  “The Bird Way” by Jennifer Ackerman upends the traditional view of how birds communicate and live.  “Dirt” by Bill Buford tells of an American writer who moves to France to learn the secrets of French cooking.


“To Wake the Giant” by Jeff Shaara is a novel about Pearl Harbor told through the eyes of widely diverse characters.  “Afterlife” by Julia Alvarez follows an immigrant writer who has just retired from her college teaching job when her life is uprooted in multiple ways.  “It Would Be Night in Caracas” by Karina Sainz Borgo is about a young woman whose mother has died trying to survive in Venezuela.  “The Alliance”  and “The Divide” by Jolina Petersheim make up this two-part series set in a Mennonite community.  “How the Light Gets In” by Jolina Petersheim is a romance, also set in a Mennonite community.


“Midway” is the epic movie about this pivotable battle in World War II.  “Just Mercy” is a story of justice and redemption in Alabama.  “The Last Full Measure” is the true story of a U.S. Air Force medic who saved more than 60 lives in Vietnam. 

Downloadable e-books and audiobooks 

Current New York Times bestseller downloadable e-books and audiobooks are available through cloudLibrary by Bibliotheca. Access cloudLibrary by clicking on the downloadable content 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.


We are grateful for the generous monetary donations from Bonni Pszola as well as Jan and Bob Clinkenbeard.  Your material donations now can be put into the dropbox at the library, effective immediately – but NOT into the dropbox at City Market because we still do not have any interlibrary courier service pickups there.  Donations will undergo the same rigorous three-day quarantine process as returns.  And a gentle reminder: We can only accept fiction from the last 10 years and nonfiction from the past five. The publication date is usually in small type on the bottom of one of the first few pages of the book.

Quotable Quote

“We often forget we’re at our best when we’re holding the hand – and having the back of – someone we care about.” – Marlo Thomas, American actress, producer, author and social activist best known for starring on the sitcom That Girl (1966–1971) and her award-winning children’s book and entertainment franchise “Free to Be… You and Me.”   

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