How to help your babies and toddlers grow up loving to read

A recent New York Times article headlined “How to Raise a Reader” by Pamela Paul and Marcia Russo offers easy and practical tips on how you can make sure your young children grow up loving to read.

For babies:  Even newborns benefit from hearing stories.  Read out loud every day.  Any book will do – even an adult one.  What matters is not the content but the sound of your voice, the cadence of the text and the words themselves.

Research shows that the number of words an infant is exposed to has a direct impact on language development and literacy.  But note that the language has to be live – not from TV or an audio book.

For toddlers:  It’s hard to overestimate how important reading is to a toddler’s intellectual, social and emotional development.  When you read to them, they take it all in – vocabulary and language structure, numbers and math concepts, colors, shapes, animals and all kinds of useful information on how the world works.  And when you read out loud, your toddler connects books with the familiar, beloved sound of your voice, and the physical closeness that reading together brings.

Let your child turn the pages and choose the books he or she likes best.  Then try to steer them to other books as well, especially books about other children living in a variety of cultural traditions and family structures that coexist in our communities.  Exposing children to diversity in books will prepare them for life in a diverse world.

Please save the date of Thursday, August 17 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. for the launch of a new free reading program called “1,000 Books before Kindergarten” for children from birth to five years old.

Watch for articles in future Library News columns on how to keep your children loving books as they grow up.

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.

Book fair August 11-12

Please join us at the Friends of the Library book fair at the Centerpoint Church near Walmart – Friday, August 11 at 5 p.m. for the Friends’ potluck, annual meeting and advance book sale, and Saturday, August 12 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. for the public sale.  You’re welcome to become a Friend on Friday evening if you want to take advantage of the benefits of being a member of this important group in your library’s success.

New computer/technology classes

Join us each Monday from 2-3 p.m. to learn a useful or fun technology skill or application.  Topics will vary each week.  August 7 is Google Drive, August 14 is resume formatting, August 21 is Instagram and August 28 is Cloud Library (e-books and e-audio books).  No registration required.

Medicaid and Connect for Health today

Renee Burch from Archuleta County Human Services provides information and answers questions on Medicaid and Connect for Health today (Thursday, August 3) in this free session from 1 – 1:45 p.m.   No registration required. 

All-ages movie tomorrow

Join us tomorrow (Friday, August 4) from 2-3:30 p.m. for a free PG action 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.

Tween gaming

Free gaming for 4th-8th grades is Monday, August 7 from 4-5 p.m.  Enjoy X-box 360 Kinect, Wii and snacks.

Teen gaming

Free teen gaming happens every Tuesday from 4–5:30 p.m. for teens in the 7th-12th grades.  Enjoy X-box 360 Kinect, Wii and snacks.

Adult book club

Our free adult book club meets the second Tuesday of each month from 2-3 p.m. to discuss alternating fiction and nonfiction titles.  On August 8 we will discuss “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis” by J.D. Vance.  Stop by to pick up a copy.  No registration required. 

Read with a Ranger

Wednesday, August 9 from 1-2 p.m., youngsters are invited to join Pagosa Ranger Brandon from the U.S. Forest Service to learn about mammals in the San Juan National Forest.  Typically kids aged 6-10 attend, but these free fun sessions are open to all ages.

Teen role-playing

The free role-playing game for 7th-12th graders takes place next Thursday, August 10 from 4-5:30 p.m.  Use your imagination to go on adventures and battle monsters.  You can join this group any time.

Tech sessions

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

Adult education

Our free PALS (Pagosa Adult Learning Services) program is cutting back to one day a week for the summer.  Stop by on Tuesdays from 3-7 p.m. to let Mark help you with high school equivalency, college prep, financial aid, tutoring and more.  When school starts in the fall, we’ll expand the PALS hours. 

Kids storytime

Every Wednesday from 10-11 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. 

Baby storytime

Every Saturday from 9:05 to 9:25 a.m., join us for a free short session of stories, songs and fingerplays for you and your little ones.  Learn easy tips on how to include literacy skills into everyday family life.

Toddler storytime     

Every Saturday from 9:30–10 a.m., join us for 30 minutes of free stories, songs and fingerplays with open play afterwards.  Learn easy tips on how to include literacy skills in everyday family life.   


“Strays” by Britt Collins tells of a lost cat and a homeless man and their journey across America.  “The Range Bucket List” by James Dodson describes this golf writer’s list of things to do in the golf world.  “Guidebook to Relative Strangers” by Camille T. Dungy is a memoir about a professional black woman’s travels with her young daughter.  “Waking Energy” by wellness expert Jennifer Kries explores seven timeless practices to reboot your body.  “Dirt is Good” by Jack Gilbert and Bob Knight describes the advantage of germs for your child’s developing immune system.  “No Apparent Distress” by Dr. Rachel Pearson is a frank memoir about doctors and patients in a health care system that puts the poor at risk.  “The Art of Living” by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh offers a spiritual dimension to your life.

Spanish books

“Mi Mundo Adorado” is the Spanish translation of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s memoir.  “El Amante Japones” by Isabel Allende is a novel about elderly love.   


“Wired” by Julie Garwood features a topnotch hacker helping the FBI.  “Kiss Carlo” by Adriana Trigiani is the story of a multi-generational Italian-American family.  “Dangerous Minds” by Janet Evanovich is a mystery about an island 200 miles from Samoa.


“Mankind: The Story of All of Us” is the 12-part History Channel series.  “Adventure Time” is the complete second season.  “The Layover” is season one of the Anthony Bourdain show.  “The Natural Dog Training Method” explains dog behavior expert Joe Ardis Horn’s system.

Mysteries and thrillers

“House of Spies” by Daniel Silva is the latest in the Gabriel Allon series.  “Tornado Weather” by Deborah E. Kennedy begins with the disappearance of a little girl in a wheelchair.  “Two Nights” by Kathy Reichs is a standalone thriller featuring a heroine with a dark past.  “Down a Dark Road” by Linda Castillo is a Kate Burkholder Amish mystery.

Other novels

“A Distant View of Everything” by Alexander McCall Smith is an Isabel Dalhousie novel.  “Seven Stones to Stand or Fall” by Diana Gabaldon is a collection of short stories extending the Outlander story.  “The Duchess” by Danielle Steel features a high-born 19th century woman making her way alone in the world. “Quiet Until the Thaw” by Alexander Fuller spans generations and geography in the Lakota Oglala Sioux Nation.

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 Sue Ellen Haning, Yuriy Kosachepich, Michelle Smith, Dana Dellmore, Ali Sinclair and our anonymous donors.

Quotable Quote

“It is good to be idealistic.  But be prepared to be misunderstood.” – Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook.

Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.