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!

Did you know…

…that your library has several computers available for public use? These computers are available to all, even if you do not have a library card or do not live in Pagosa Springs.  There are 12 computers available in the main area of the library.  There also are two computers located in the teen area.  And, for our youngest guests, there are two early literacy computers in the children’s area.  Visit with any of our friendly staff members with computer questions and to gain access to a computer.

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

To learn more about your public library, call 970-264-2209 or email to ruby@pagosalibrary.org.

Sand art fun today

Fourth-12th graders are invited to join us today, Thursday, July 26, from 4-5 p.m. for a fun and colorful sand art event.

Summer Reading party tomorrow

All Summer Reading Program participants are invited to join us tomorrow (Friday, July 27) from 4:30-6 p.m. for your library’s free all-ages closing party.  Prizes will be given out – but you have to be present to win – and everyone will enjoy live music from the Narrow Gauge band, food, crafts and a cake walk.

For the youngest children (0-4 years), the grand prize is a box full of books and early literacy music toys.  For children K-6th grade and also for teens, the prize is a ukulele from the Music Shoppe in Pagosa Springs (one for each age group).  The adult grand prize is a $100 gift card.  

Friends of the Library book sale

One of the most popular events of the summer – the Friends of the Library book sale – takes place on Friday, August 10 and Saturday, August 11.  Friday’s potluck and preview sale for members starts at 5 p.m.  The Saturday sale for the public runs from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., an hour longer than last year, and unsold items will be marked down to half price in the afternoon.  Watch for more details in next week’s column and be sure to mark your calendars now so you don’t miss it.

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.

Literary Ladies tomorrow

This free book lovers group – formerly the Senior Book Club – meets on the fourth Friday of every month from 10:30 a.m.–noon. Tomorrow (Friday, July 27) they will discuss “Song of the Lion” by Anne Hillerman.  Stop by your library to pick up a copy.  For more information, contact Marilyn Stroud at Bakestroud@aol.com.

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.

Spanish instruction

Join us for this free basic course next Wednesday, August 1 from 4-5 p.m. to improve your ability to speak and understand Spanish.  We will go over double object pronouns.

Adult education summer schedule

Our free PALS (Pagosa Adult Learning Services) is working on a summer schedule – from 2-7 p.m. on Tuesdays.   Come to your library to get help 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.

Computer/technology classes

Join us on alternate Mondays and Thursdays from 1-2 p.m. for free sessions to learn a technology skill or application.  July 26 is saving photos to the cloud using a variety of online platforms.  July 30 is Google maps.


Please note no LEGO Club on Saturday, July 28.

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 babies, toddlers and youngsters of all ages to have fun while building the skills they need to become independent readers.  

How-to and self help

“What to Read and Why” by Francine Prose is a collection of writings on the pleasures of reading and the talents of the author’s favorite writers.  “A Walk in the Wood: Meditations on Mindfulness with a Bear Named Pooh” by Dr. Joseph and Nancy Parent offers life lessons from slowing down and being present moment by moment.  “Help Your Kids with Computer Science” is a DK step-by-step family guide to computers, coding languages and social media.  

Other nonfiction

“The Lost Chapters: Reclaiming My Life, One Book at a Time” by Leslie Schwartz is the memoir of a novelist saved in jail by the stories around her, in books and from her fellow inmates.  “Cancerland: A Medical Memoir” by  Dr. David Scaddon tells about people facing cancer and promising new therapies and drugs.   “The Promise of the Grand Canyon” by John F. Ross documents John Wesley Powell’s perilous journey and his vision for the American west.  “The Man Who Climbs Trees” by James Aldred is the memoir of a wilidlife camerman for the BBC and National Georgraphic.  “American Indian Myths and Legends” selected and edited by Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz provides a panorama of the Native American mythic heritage.  “New Zealand” is a DK Eyewitness Travel guide.


“Dear Mrs. Bird” by AJ Pearce follows the career of a young woman hired to type  letters for an advice columnist in World War II London.

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 our many anonymous donors.  For her generous donation, we thank Laurie Williams.

Quotable Quote

“One of the greatest gifts an adult can give – to their offspring and to their society —is to read to children.” – Carl Sagan (1934-1996), American astronomer, author and science communicator.

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