Audio books and the return of storytelling

Now a recent opinion piece in The New York Times suggests that we may love audio books because they take us back to our childhood when our parents, grandparents and other caregivers read out loud to us.  There also is an historical context to our enjoyment of the spoken word.  As T.M. Luhrmann, a professor of anthropology at Stanford University, wrote in The Times: “For most of human history, literature has been spoken out loud.  The Iliad and the Odyssey were sung…. Even after narratives were written down, they were more often heard than read.” Upon reflection, today’s audio books may be another example of the old adage, the more things change, the more they stay the same. 

Second free diabetic session

Whether you are pre-diabetic, have just found out you are diabetic or have been living with diabetes for years, a new free diabetic education series of lectures can help answer questions and provide an opportunity for group support. The second session takes place at the library on Monday, May 12, from 4:30 – 6 p.m., and the last on May 19.  They are organized and presented by the Pagosa Springs Medical Center’s Wellness Center, where you need to register at 731-1533.  You can attend all sessions or just one, as you choose. 

Lifelong Learning Lecture tonight 

This evening (Thursday, May 8) marks the fourth week of the library’s free six-week spring Lifelong Leaning Lecture series, with a wide variety of interesting topics to enrich your life and keep your mind agile. Tonight’s topic is “The Near-Death Experience:  What Medical Professionals and Lay People Need to Know” by retired hospice doctor Pam Kircher.  She will show a 30-minute film created by the International Association of Near-Death Experiences and facilitate a Q&A session.  All lectures take place on Thursday evenings at 6 p.m. and last about an hour, with time for
questions.  Pick up a brochure at the library for the full schedule.  No registration required.

Program suspensions

The free adultFriday morning movies are taking a summer vacation.  They may return next winter. There will be no karaoke in May. We hope it will return in June when we have the meeting room available again.  Also, no Otaku Club for teens this month.

Free Wise Traditions

Join us for lively discussions and lectures on a variety of topics including dietary needs, agriculture, medical traditions and more on the second Saturday of each month – for May, on the 10th – from 2 – 4:30 p.m.  (Note earlier starting time this month,)  Carmen Ritz returns for this May meeting.  All ages welcome.  No registration required.

Free book club for adults

Join our book club for adults, which meets once a month to discuss fiction and nonfiction.  May’s book is “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption” by Laura Hillenbrand to be discussed Tuesday, May 13 from 2 – 3 p.m. Contact Meg at the library if you still need a copy of the book.  No registration required.

Free technology classes

Meg Wempe is available for the highly popular Tech Tuesdays and Thursdays sessions 10-noon Tuesdays and 3-5 p.m. Thursdays. Join her for one-on-one informal help with your computer or tablet issues.  A more formal session requiring registration is Skype on Wednesday, May 14 from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. when you will learn how to make free video calls on your computer.           

Free tweens bookclub

If you’re in the fourth-sixth grades, like to read and share what you read with friends, this is the club for you.  Tomorrow (Friday, May 9) from 2-3:15 p.m. we’ll be discussing our last book of this school year.  The club will disband for the summer and resume after the new school year starts. 

Free teen gaming

Every Tuesday from 4 – 5:30 p.m. we host Teen Gaming (X-box, Wii, board games and Pokemon Card Battles, and you are welcome to bring other trading card battle games.  Snacks provided.

Free LEGO Club

Kids aged 6-13 are invited to have fun with LEGOS this Saturday, May 10 from 10:30 – ll:45 a.m.  Bring your creativity – the LEGOS are provided.


“My Life, Your Inspiration” by Craig J. Boykin is an autobiography that inspires you to turn minor setbacks into a major comeback. “The Railway Man” by Eric Lomax is a POW’s account of war, brutality and forgiveness.  “Sisters in Sin” by Fort Lewis College history professor Duane A. Smith tells of the life of Nellie Spenser, now buried in Durango.  “Hands Free mama” by Rachel Macy Stafford is a guide to putting down the phone, burning the to-do list and letting go of perfection to enjoy what really matters. “Simple Fly Fishing” by Yvon Chouinard, Craig Mathews and Mauro Mazzo describes how to fish with a tenkara rod.            


“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” stars Ben Stiller.  “Berkeley Square” is a warm-hearted family drama set in London.  “Philomena” stars Judi Dench and Steve Coogan.  The Hobbit: The  Desolation of Smaug” is a two-disc special edition. “August: Osage County” stars Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts.  “Sofia the First” is a Disney Junior story of mermaids. “Hitchcock” stars Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren.  “De-Lovely” is a movie about Cole Porter.  “Alfie” stars Michael Caine.  “The Tree of Life” stars Brad Pitt and Sean Penn.  “Sunset Boulevard” stars Gloria
Swanson and William Holden.             

Large print

“Hometown Sheriff” by Cheryl St. John is a romance.  “When Shadows Fall” by J.T. Ellison is a mystery featuring forensic pathologist Dr. Samantha Owens.  “The Headmaster’s Wife” by Thomas Christopher Greene is a psychological thriller.  “Bone Deep” by Randy Wayne White is a Doc Ford mystery.  “Murder, She Barked” by Krista Davis is a Paws and Claws mystery. “Sinister” by Lisa Jackson, Nancy Bush and Rosalind Noonan is a romantic suspense story.  “And the Dark Sacred Night” by Julia Glass tells of a man searching for the identity of his father.  “Death on Blackheath” by Anne Perry is a Charlotte and Thomas Pitt mystery. “Waking the Dead” by Heather Graham is a Cafferty & Quinn is a mystery.  “Burn” by Julianna Baggott is book three of the Pure trilogy.  “The Blood of Renegades: The Loner” by J.A. Johnstone is a western.           

Mysteries, suspense and thrillers

“A Wanted Woman” by Eric Jerome Dickey is a steamy thriller set in tropical Barbados.  “Everything To Lose” by Andrew Gross is a thriller set after Hurricane Sandy. “Night Diver” by Elizabeth Lowell is a suspense story about underwater treasure hunters.  “The Target” is the latest in the series featuring assassin Will Robie.                        

Other novels

“The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August” by Claire North starts as a man nears the end of his 11th life.  “The King” by J.R. Ward is the latest in the Black Dagger Brotherhood paranormal romance series.  “First Citizen Emperor” by Charles David Eyer is book one in the new Roman Emperor series. “Tattered Heart” by Annie Jackson is a fantasy set in the kingdom of Amaranyllis.

Thanks to our donors

For books and materials this week, we thank Karen and Dean Cox, Debra Gatton, Arleta Gary, Steve Michel, Rachel Montoya and Tom Thorpe plus our many anonymous donors. 

Quotable Quote

“Don’t raise your voice; improve your argument.” – Desmond Tutu, retired South African Anglican archbishop and social activist.  


For more information on library books, services and programs – and to reserve books, e-books, CDs and DVDs from the comfort of your home – please visit our website at http://pagosa.colibraries.org/.



Benefits of reading to kids – and how your library can help

1. School preparation:  Reading aloud is the easiest and most effective way to prepare a child for school.  You are stimulating language and literacy skills, as well as building motivation, curiosity and memory.  Ever try to skip a page in your child’s favorite book?  You’ll be caught every time.

2. Vocabulary development: About 80 percent of a child’s brain develops before age five.  Kids are sponges when they are little.  Books build their vocabulary and give them a mastery of language.

3. Education advancement:  No matter who you are and how much you earn, multiple research studies show that the more age-appropriate books in a child’s home, the more schooling that youngster will finish.

4.  Passion for books:  Reading to children builds family relationships. Ever want a child to settle down? Break out a book and start reading aloud.  Your child will learn self-discipline while
enjoying special time with you.

5. Stress management:  Stories are a great way to help children transition from one milestone to another (starting school or moving, for example) and handle a stressful situation (losing a pet, gaining a new sibling).  There are relevant children’s books for almost every situation, and they can really help explain things to children on their level.

Kristine MacNeill, our Youth Services Librarian, can help you with reading to your child.  Every Monday morning she hosts Baby & Toddler Time, a half-hour storytime starting at 10 a.m. for our littlest patrons aged six months to three years.  And every Wednesday from 10 – 11 a.m. she hosts Preschool Storytime for pre-K kids aged three-five years and their families.  Kristine would also be happy to help you select books for your home reading to your child.

More news of our Kristine

Kristine MacNeill, our Youth Services Librarian, has been appointed one of Colorado’s representatives to the five-state ILEAD project in a competitive process that reflects well both on her and your library. ILEAD stands for Innovative Librarians Explore, Apply and Discover.  The ILEAD program combines leadership and technology skills to strengthen professional networks, share ideas and create needed community services.  Kristine’s team will meet in-person and virtually to identify a project to meet a community need.  Her community representative is Julie Loar from the Archuleta County Education Center.

Free Academy Award film today

Today (Thursday, March 21) we are showing an Academy Award-winning film from this year from 4 – 6 p.m.  Our movie license does not allow us to publicize its title in this column, so it will be a fun surprise for you.  Popcorn provided.

Teen crafts event tomorrow

Tomorrow (Friday, March 22)  from 1 – 2:30 p.m. Trina will host a free “Make It” crafts event for teens in the seventh through 12th grades where you will have the opportunity to make jewelry.  All supplies provided

Books on CD

“Touch & Go” by Lisa Gardner is a thriller about an apparently perfect family who are abducted.  “Guilt” by Jonathan Kellerman is the latest in the mystery series featuring detective Milo Sturgis and psychologist Alex Delaware.  “Alex Cross, Run” by James Patterson is the latest in the Alex Cross thriller series.  In “A Time for War” by Michael Savage, the U.S. is under secret attack and the situation can only be solved by a popular TV host hounded by left-wing forces in the media for his views.

Mysteries and thrillers

“Ghost Man” by Rogers Hobbs is about a mystery fixer named Jack who is called in after a disastrous casino robbery in Atlantic City.  “The Boyfriend” by Thomas Perry is a thriller about a PI chasing the killer of a series of high-class prostitutes.  “A Time for War” by Michael Savage, the U.S. is under secret attack and the situation can only be solved by a popular TV host hounded by left-wing forces in the media for his views.  “Guilt” by Jonathan Kellerman is the latest in the thriller series featuring psychologist Alex Delaware.  “Touch & Go” by Lisa Gardner is a mystery about an apparently perfect family vanishing without a trace.  “Bad Blood” by Dana Stabenow about two tribal communities at war is the latest in the Kate Shugak mystery series.

Other new novels

“The Storyteller” by Jodi Picoult follows a woman whose new friend confesses a long-buried secret that will dramatically affect both their lives. “The Bridesmaid” by Beverly Lewis is the latest Amish romance by this popular storyteller.  “Benediction” by Kent Haruf tells of several families facing life’s challenges in Holt, Colo.


“C.S. Lewis: A Life” by Oxford don Alister McGrath is a biography in honor of the 50th anniversary of the death of this great Englishman who spent his days teaching English literature to the brightest students in the world and his spare time writing a bestselling fantasy series for children.

Other nonfiction

“Digital Photography” by Scott Kelby offers step-by-step secrets that promise to show you how to make your photos like like the pro’s.

Thanks to our donors

For books and materials this week, we thank several anonymous donors. 

Quotable Quote

“Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” – Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States.        


For more information on library books, services and programs – and to reserve books from the comfort of your home – please visit our website at http://pagosa.colibraries.org/.


New free download service for audio books

Features of the new service include:

  • A wide selection of unabridged audio books from
    well-known publishers.
  • User-friendly browsing options.
  • Customized loan periods from one – 21 days, plus the
    ability to renew titles.
  • You can download and listen on your computer or
    laptop, or transfer the books to your iPod, MP3 player, Smartphone or other
    compatible device.

Titles are added to the collection every quarter. Recent new titles include “The Diary of Mattie Spenser” by Sandra Dallas, “Protector” and “Truth Seeker” by Dee Henderson, “Night Train to Memphis” by Elizabeth Peters, “Gamblers: Denver Draw” by Robert Randisi, “Maverick” by Lori Copeland, “Good Samaritan Strikes Again” by Patrick McManus, “Somewhat Saved” by Pat G’Orge-Walker, “Tempting Torment” by Jo Goodman, “Long Way Home” by Janis Reams Hudson, “Rescue” by William W. Johnstone, “Forever” by Timmothy McCann, “She Had it Coming” by Mary B. Monroe, “Wearing My Halo Tilted” by Stephanie Perry Moore and “Not Without You” by Janelle Taylor.

You will need your library barcode and PIN to use the service, and you will need to create an account and download the OneClick Media Manager software. You can do so by selecting the “Create a New Account” link in the upper right hand corner of the OneClick home page. Please note that OneClickDigital works best with the Mozilla Firefox browser. 

To learn more about this new service, you can attend a workshop on Monday, Jan. 14 from 1-3 p.m.  The first part will deal with the library’s new 3M e-book platform and the second will be about downloading audio books from OneClickDigital.  You are welcome to bring your devices for hands-on help during the workshop.

Free high-tech training

Our highly popular free high-tech learning sessions continue. Informal sessions with Cody are set for today (Thursday, Jan. 10) from 3 – 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15 from 10 a.m. – noon and Thursday, Jan. 17 from 3 – 5 p.m..  We also have a formal training session that requires advance registration for space reasons:  As described in the story above, you can attend a workshop on Monday, Jan. 14 from 1-3 p.m.  The first part will deal with the library’s new 3M e-book platform and the second will be about downloading audio books from OneClickDigital. You are welcome to bring your devices for hands-on help during the workshop.

Conversational Spanish

Join Roberta Strickland, local high school substitute Spanish teacher, for a free weekly five-week conversational Spanish class that started yesterday (Wednesday, Jan. 9) and will continue for four more Wednesdays from 4:30 – 5:30. The signup sheet at the library allows for 30 participants.  


Kids aged 6-13 are invited to join the monthly LEGO Club that meets this month on Saturday, Jan. 12 from 10:30 – 11:45 a.m.  Bring your imagination – the LEGOs are provided. 

Mysteries, thrillers and adventure

“Agenda 21” by Glenn Beck and Harriet Parke is a fictional account of what might happen if the actual Agenda 21 documents and UN promoters were to be carried out to their fullest.  “Cold Days” by Jim Butcher is the latest in the Dresden Files contemporary fantasy adventure series.

Other novels

“A Possible Life: A Novel in Five Parts” by Sebastian Faulks carries five seemingly unrelated tales about completely different characters in different places and times.  “The Twelve Tribes of Hattie” by Ayana Mathis, Oprah’s latest pick for her resurrected book club, is a debut novel about a struggling mother and her family in Philadelphia.             

Biographies and memoirs

“Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender: A Life in Pictures” showcases rare and better known photos of the Queen singer’s life.  “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road” is an entertaining new memoir by country music singer Willie Nelson.  “Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher” by National Book Award winner Timothy Egan covers the life and art of American
photographer Edward Curtis, who gave up a lucrative career as a society portraitist in Seattle to travel the West taking both action pictures and formal portraits of American Indians.

 Other nonfiction

“When God Talks Back” by T.M. Luhrmann helps readers understand the American evangelical relationship with God.  “The Hopkins Touch” by David L. Roll describes how FDR’s confidante organized the Lend-Lease program and steered the president to prepare the American public for war with Germany.  “Far From the Tree” by Andrew Solomon tells the inspiring story of parents who successfully deal with exceptional children facing issues such as disabilities, being conceived in rape, becoming criminals or being prodigies.  “Ice: Portraits of Vanishing Glaciers,” a coffee-table size book of photographs by James Balog, is the collection that inspired the award-winning film “Chasing Ice.”                                     

Large print

“Sweet Tooth” by Ian McEwan tells of a Cambridge student whose love of novels makes her a perfect recruit for MI5.  “Poseidon’s Arrow” by Clive and Dirk Cussler is the latest in the Dirk Pitt adventure series.  “On the Island” by Tracey Garvis Graves follows a young English teacher and her student after a plane crash strands them on an uninhabited island.  “Victory at Yorktown”
by Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen is the story of Washington and his army in this important battle.  

Thanks to our donors

For books and materials this week, we thank Randy Barlow, Bamma Laicure and Bonnie Stamford. 

Quotable Quote        

“For every minute you are angry, you lose 60 seconds of happiness.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), American essayist, lecturer and poet.


For more information on library books, services and programs – and to reserve books from the comfort of your home – please visit our website at http://pagosa.colibraries.org/.