Library reopening usage shows healthy pent-up demand

Checkout numbers and computer uses in just the first week of your library building’s reopening show a healthy pent-up demand since our closing in the middle of March. 

There were 2,152 checkouts in the first week, a number that was so high that Meg Wempe, library director, felt she had to doublecheck it to be sure it is accurate.  (It is.)  And there were 82 computer uses in the same period.  

“It all seems to be going very well,” Meg said.  “People are excited to be back inside the library – and we’re happy to see them.”

Here’s a summary of your library’s current operations:

  • Up to 20 patrons at a time can come into the building Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. to return books, browse, register for a new library card, make copies, send FAXs and check out materials like books, DVDs, CDs and periodicals.
  • The first hour every weekday – from 9-10 a.m. – is reserved for seniors and other high-risk people.
  • Eight computers are available weekdays from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., three by advance appointment and five for walk-ins.  Call us at 264-2209 or email ruby@pagosalibrary.org to schedule a time. In most cases computer usage will be limited to two hours per day. Staff will clean and disinfect the computers between uses.
  • One early literacy computer is available for youngsters on a walk-in basis Monday-Saturday.
  • Saturday hours are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for building entry and 10 a.m.-1 p.m. for computer use.
  • Curbside service continues Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for those not comfortable coming into the building  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.  
  • Hand sanitizers are available and there will be frequent cleanings inside the building throughout the day.  Please  practice social distancing and wear facial coverings while you are in the building.  If you don’t have a mask, we are happy to give one to you.
  • Notary Public Service is available Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m..  Cost is $5 per notary.
  • Tech time, ESL and GED are available.  See details below.
  • You can place holds on items from other libraries.  They are in different stages of courier service and reopening, so items may take longer than usual. 
  • If you do not have a library card but want to use our online resources, you 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 provide your login credentials.  If you previously self-registered, you now can pick up your physical card after providing proof of address.
  • We’re happy to provide tech help over the phone for our online resources. 
  •  Please note we are not accepting meeting room reservations or hosting any large in-person programming at this time. 

Book sale cancelled

Because of the coronavirus, the Friends of the Library have cancelled this year’s book sale, which had been scheduled for August 4-6.  

Fundraiser bumper stickers

Your library’s foundation has launched a small fundraiser with two different bumper stickers that can be purchased at the library for $5 each.  Both say, “I (heart symbol) my library.” 

HVAC installation  

Our long-awaited HVAC project is well underway. We apologize for the noise and will have earplugs available at our front door greeter station.

Summer Reading Program

Here’s information on the free all-ages Summer Reading Program that runs until the end of August:

  • You receive a “choose your own adventure” booklet with fun activities and challenges. Completing them makes you eligible to win weekly prizes purchased from local businesses.
  • There are adventure booklets for four groups: pre-K, K-5, teen and adult. Pick them up at the library and view them on our website.  
  • To sign up, call us at (970) 264-2209, email ruby@pagosalibrary.org or register online at pagosalibrary.org/summer-reading. We need to know your name, contact information, and what age group to assign you to.
  • In addition to the adventure booklets, a new all-ages challenge appears each week in this Library News column. Anyone who completes the challenge will be entered to win a weekly drawing for various prizes.

Challenge 9:  What’s your favorite place in Pagosa?

Our final challenge:  Tell us about your favorite place to visit in or around Pagosa Springs. It could be a favorite fishing spot, a favorite park or restaurant, or another place you love. How did you first discover it? What is your favorite thing about this place?  Submit a brief description to ruby@pagosalibrary.org.  A photograph is welcome but not required. All ages can participate, and everyone who submits an entry will be entered into our weekly prize drawing. Please include a name and phone number with your submission.

New YA collection

We have added a new section to our Young Adult collection.  Called YA Series, it consists of shorter chapter books about 100 pages or fewer with content geared toward teens.  You’ll find it at the beginning of the Young Adult Fiction section.

Tech Time

Make an appointment for one of three slots available noon-1 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Brad will help one person (or one couple) at a time. 


Classes are resuming Tuesdays from 4-7 p.m.  Please register so we can keep it to a small group in our limited open spaces.  No walk-ins, as the front door will be locked. 

GED and a special thank-you

GEDclasses plus HiSet, CDL and other tutoring from Mark is available on Tuesdays from 2-7 p.m. by appointment for both new and returning students.  We also want to express our gratitude to LPEA for their donation of  $700 for our GED program.  We will use these funds for test scholarships, materials such as online practice tests that we purchase, and for materials aimed at further preparing students to pass.

Dungeons & Dragons via Zoom

Join us via Zoom on Tuesdays from 3-5 p.m. for Dungeons & Dragons open to teens and young adults.  Contact claire@pagosalibrary.org for details on how to join.  

Children’s programs on Facebook

Every Wednesday at 10 a.m. and Saturday at 2:30 p.m., join us on the library’s Facebook page.  Wednesday storytimes are now on Facebook Live, so if you go to Facebook at 10 a.m. you can interact with Josie.  Saturday’s Discovery Times with games, art ideas, science experiments, history and more are prerecorded.   If you have a Facebook account, log in to Facebook and search for the Ruby Sisson Memorial Library. If you don’t have a Facebook account, 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 contact us and we can send you a direct link.  

Storywalk program for kids

Every Thursday, Josie, your early literacy librarian, posts signs outside the library that follow the sidewalk up towards the Elementary School detailing a new Summer Reading Storywalk for kids.  The July 23-30 theme is monsters.  Get outdoors and follow the pages of a book for a fun-filled healthy activity.  After you finish, pick up materials for a craft or activity at the library. 

Please complete the census now 

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 directly affects 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.  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.


“The Ten Thousand Doors of January” by Alix E. Harrow begins with finding a book about secret doors.  “Friends and Strangers” by J. Courtney Sullivan explores a complicated friendship between two women.  “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett follows twins who chose to live in two different worlds, one black and one white.  “The Sisters of the Winter Wood” by Rena Rossner is a fantasy.  “The Book of M” by Peng Shepherd is set in a dangerous near-future world.  “Circe” by Madeline Miller, a fantasy, is the follow-up to “The Song of Achilles.”              “Utopia Avenue” by David Mitchell tells of a band in the psychedelic London music scene in the l960s.  “Mother Daughter Widow Wife” by Robin Wasserman is a compassionate look bat a woman with no money, no ID and no memory as people take advantage of her.

Books on CD

“Crooked River” by Preston & Child is a mystery that begins when dozens of shoes are washed up on a Florida beach.  “Robert Ludlum’s The Treadstone Resurrection” by Joshua Hood goes behind a top-secret CIA Black Ops program.  “A Reasonable Doubt” by Philip Margolin begins when a magician is murdered on stage.  “The Mirror & the Light” by Hilary Mantel is the third book in the Thomas Cromwell Wolf Hall trilogy.  “The Warsaw Protocol” by Steve Berry is the latest in the Corton Malone weapons of Christ relics series.  “Journey of the Pharaohs” by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown is a Kurt Austin NUMA adventure.  “You Are Not Alone” by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkahen is a thriller.  ”Blindside” by James Patterson and James O. Born is a Det. Michael Bennett thriller.


“Lady Romeo” by Tana Wojczuk is the biography of Charlotte Cushman, a U.S. actress famous around the world in the mid-1870s who is almost unknown today.  “Promised Land” by David Stebenne chronicles how the rise of the middle class transformed American from 1929-1968.  “Countdown 1945” by Chris Wallace follows the Manhattan Project’s development of the atomic bomb and the decision to drop it on Hiroshima.  “Me and White Supremacy” by Layla F. Saad teaches others how to understand their white privilege and change their often unconscious behaviors.  “When Truth Is All Youi Have” by Jim McCloskey is a memoir of faith, justice and freedom for the wrongly convicted helped by the Centurion Ministries.

Downloadable e-books and audiobooks 

Ever since March, we have been buying more downloadable e-books and downloadable audio books for patrons of all ages – children, tweens, teens and adults.  Using cloudLibrary, you can download a book to read or an audio book to listen to.  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, not just those that we bought.  That is why you need to select AspenCat Union Catalog when setting up cloudLibrary for use.  Please email or phone us at 970-264-2209 if you need our help setting up this service on your device. 


Material donations now can be put into the dropbox at the library – but NOT into the dropbox at City Market.  Donations will undergo the same rigorous three-day quarantine process as returns.  

Quotable Quote

“Conscience is the inner voice that warns us that someone may be looking.” – H. L. Mencken (1880-1956), American journalist, essayist and satirist.

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