Best back-to-school gift, census event today and suffrage posters display

Do you know the value of a home library for your youngsters?  Research shows that kids who have books in their home have improved vocabulary and overall reading performance; do better in math, science and social studies; perform better on standardized tests and are more likely to go to college.

Those are impressive skills for your child to cultivate – and they are especially relevant now that Archuleta County kids are returning to school amid all the uncertainties and potential academic losses of the COVID-19 coronavirus environment.

Another valuable tip to help your youngster be successful in school and in life – reading aloud.  You are stimulating language and literacy skills, as well as building motivation, curiosity and memory. 

The free storytimes at your library can help build a love of reading in your children.  Family storytimes for kids of all ages happen on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. on Facebook Live and on Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. on Facebook. Storytime is a great way for kids to have fun while building the skills they need to become independent readers.  

As we start the new school year, this may be a good time for parents, grandparents and other caregivers to make a personal resolution to help build home libraries for your loved ones.

Census event today

Today, Thursday, August 27 from noon to 3 p.m., representatives from the Census Bureau are at the library hosting a Mobile Questionnaire Assistance Station to help anyone who has not completed the census to do so and to answer questions about the census. This assistance station will be outside near the front entrance of the library. Our computers and a public phone inside the building will also be available to anyone needing to complete the census.

This special event comes at a perfect time to help you respond easily and conveniently to the census because Archuleta County’s response rate so far is not good – only 40.3% — compared to the much higher rate of 67.5% for the State of Colorado.  If this poor showing continues we will not get our fair share of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds over next 10 years for local and regional agencies and projects like health clinics, fire departments, schools, social services like Medicaid, even roads and highways. 

Adding to the concern about our low participation is the fact that the deadline to respond to the census has been moved forward to September 30, so you do not have much time to participate if you have not already done so. 

It takes only 10 minutes to respond to the census online or by telephone – and  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.

Please contact Brad or Josie at the library if you have any census-related questions or visit 2020census.gov for more information.  And please take advantage of this special event if you have not filled out your census form.  Responding now will help decrease the number of homes census enumerators need to visit and will help ensure a more accurate count. 

Suffrage poster display

We hope you’ll stop by the library to view a display of 10 suffrage posters celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment.  Titled “Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence,” the exhibition is a joint effort of the Smithsonian Museum and the National Portrait Gallery.  The crusade for women’s suffrage was one of the longest reform movements in U.S. history.  The posters will be on display until September 22 on the maroon wall behind the computers, on the other side of the checkout desk. 

Community art project today

We hope you will join us for a collaborative creations project starting today, August 27, and continuing through September 4 as we create temporary community art projects together.  Three to five projects will be set up outside the library with instructions encouraging everyone to add to the art projects that will include a chalk drawing, stained glass creation, add-a-scale dragon and more.

Creations and instructions on how to add to them will be up for a week, weather permitting. Community members of all ages are invited to participate.

Details of our partial re-open

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

  • Up to 30 patrons at a time can come into the building Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • The first hour every weekday – from 9-10 a.m. – is reserved for seniors and other high-risk people.
  • 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.
  • Nine computers, up from eight, are available weekdays from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.. In most cases computer usage will be allowed for three hours per day, up from two. Staff will clean and disinfect the computers between uses.
  • One early literacy computer is available for youngsters 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.  
  • Our courier service has resumed, so you now can drop your returns of books, CDs and DVDs in the dropbox at City Market, as well as in the dropbox at the library.  No donations in the City Market box, please.
  • Notary Public Service is available Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m..  Cost is $5 per notary.
  • 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. 
  • 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.  

Tech Time

Make a 15- or 30-minute appointment for one of three free in-person slots available noon-1 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Brad will help one person (or one couple) at a time. 


Free in-person classes take place Tuesdays from 4-7 p.m. by appointment.  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. 

Adult learning

GEDclasses plus HiSet, CDL and other free in-person tutoring from Mark is available on Tuesdays from 2-7 p.m. by appointment for both new and returning students. 

New day and time for Dungeons & Dragons

Join us via Zoom on Wednesdays from 4-6 p.m. for Dungeons & Dragons free for teens and young adults.  Contact claire@pagosalibrary.org for details on how to join.   Note day and time change from Tuesdays.

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 for free children’s programs.  Wednesday storytimes are 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.  

Storywalks for kids

Every other Thursday, Josie, your early literacy librarian, posts signs outside the library that follow the sidewalk up towards the Elementary School detailing a new free Summer Reading Storywalk for kids.  The August 20-September 3 theme as school starts is new beginnings.  Get outdoors and follow the pages of a book as you stroll along.  After you finish, pick up materials for a craft or activity at the library.  By popular demand, Storywalks will continue until the snow makes it too difficult to proceed.


“The Genius Life” by health and science journalist Max Lugavere is a lifestyle program for resetting your brain and body.  “The Organ Thieves” by Chip Jones is the shocking story of the first heart transplant in the segregated south.  “Migraines Be Gone” by Kelsie Kenefick offers seven steps to taking control of your migraine headaches.  “How to Thrive in Spite of Mess, Stress, and Less!” by Patti Fralix provides techniques to help you find your passion, productivity and prosperity.

“The Fallacy Detective” by Nathaniel and Hans Bluedorn for ages 12 through adult offers 38 lessons on how to recognize bad reasoning and includes a game.  “The Islam Book” is a DK guide to the world’s fastest-growing religion.  “What’s Your Enneatype?” by Liz Carver and John Green describes nine personality types for personal growth.  “Separated” by award-winning journalist Jacob Soboroff is a first-hand report of the separation of migrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Large print

“The Girl From Widow Hills” by Megan Miranda is a mystery.  “Yes, I Do” by Janet Dailey contains two romances.  “Deadlock” by Catherine Coulter is an FBI thriller.  “The Friendship List” by Susan Mallery features a single mom.  “Near Dark” by Brad Thor is a Scot Harvath thriller.  “Choppy Water” by Stuart Woods is a Stone Barrington mystery.  “Hi Five” by Joe Ide is an Isaiah Quintabe mystery. 

Mysteries, suspense and thrillers

“Atomic Love” by Jennie Fields centers on a Manhattan Project scientist suspected of being a Russian spy.  “The Less Dead” by Denise Mina begins with a search for a birth mother. 

Other novels

“Beneath a Scarlet Sky” by Mark Sullivan features a young Italian man who becomes Hilter’s personal driver and a spy.  “Memoirs an Misinformation” is a semiautobiographical comedic novel by Jim Carrey and Dana Vachon.  “Royal” by Danielle Steel follows an English princess sent to the countryside for safety during World War II. 

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. 


We are grateful to Rusty Albers for the generous gift in memory of Susan Haney, and to Rice Reavis for the generous gift in memory of Tracy Reavis.  Please put your donations of materials into the dropbox at the library – not at City Market, which is reserved for returns.  Donations will undergo the same rigorous three-day quarantine process as returns.  

Quotable Quote

“Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.” – Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Irish poet and playwright.

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