Library’s free services offer great value to your family

With so many Archuleta County families facing financial difficulties in these tough economic times, we want to remind you of the huge variety of resources you have available to you and your family at the library — and everything is free.

If you’re worried about being able to afford to buy books and CDs or rent DVDs, come into your library and borrow them for free. And you and your family can use the computers and attend age-specific programs and activities — all for free as well.

“Libraries are always important to communities, but now, with so many people facing financial hardship, we feel we can be even more helpful to our patrons because of all our free services,” said library director Jackie Welch.

“We want to help people get the knowledge and entertainment they need and want. Our goal is to be seen as a bright light in the community in these dark economic times.”

The Library Research Service points out that library visits and the number of cardholders have increased statewide in recent months, so obviously many people in Colorado appreciate the value of their community library. Here in Pagosa we’ve also been very busy at the library. Comparing August/September numbers from last year to this, our patron usage is up 10.9 percent, our materials checked out figure is up 20.1 percent, and our program attendance is up dramatically — 54.1 percent for children and 150 percent for adults.

Meanwhile, Stephanie Graveson and Kristine MacNeill, our two staffers who specialize in our books and programs for youngsters and teens, are taking an online course called “What’s New in Children’s Literature” from the University of Wisconsin. It concentrates on books written after 2003, and has resulted in the library’s purchasing a great number of new books for our young patrons — easy books for parents to read to young ones, chapter books for kids to read on their own, plus books for pre-teens and teens. See the sections below for some of these wonderful additions to the library’s shelves, aimed at youngsters who’ve been brought up in the high-tech age where graphics are more important and stories jump around rather than proceed linearly. And keep reading future library columns for more new books for you and your family.

Lifelong Learning lecture

The fifth in the fall series of six free Lifelong Learning lectures at the library takes place this Saturday, Nov. 1, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. when Arthur Post, artistic director and conductor of the San Juan Symphony, presents “Musically Speaking: Where Giants Dare to Tread” about great composers and their symphonies.

Civic Club bazaar

We hope you’re planning to attend the Women’s Civic Club bazaar on Saturday, Nov. 15, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the community center.  Booths will offer a wide variety of treasures including fine art, pottery, jewelry, fabric arts (knitwear, weavings, handmade rugs, alpaca/llama products, embroidery), holiday crafts and ornaments, dried mixes for drinks and dips as well as jams and jellies. The library will have a booth where we’ll be selling hardback adult books, novels, nonfiction and mysteries.  As in previous years, there will be a bake sale, silent auction and raffle — and the Club Café serving lunch.  All proceeds benefit the library.

Easy books

Here is a selection of new books written for parents, grandparents and other family members to read to little ones:

“Clarabella’s Teeth” is a story about a crocodile.

“My America” is a tribute to country’s strength and beauty.

“Twilight Hunt” is a nature book about creatures in camouflage.

“Chester” is a story about a cat.

“Carmine: A Little More Red” is a fresh telling of the story of a little girl going to visit grandma.

“Silly Lili and the Four Seasons” is about a young child’s wonder throughout the year.

“Pictures from our Vacation” explores the places that memories are saved.

“On the Go with Mr. and Mrs. Green” is part of that popular series

Books for K-third grade

Here are some books aimed at youngsters in kindergarten through third grade:

“Cork and Fuzz: Good Sports” by Dori Chaconas, “By My Brother’s Side” by NFL superstars Tiki and Ronde Barber, and “An Egg is Quiet” by Dianna Aston and Sylvia Long.

Books for third through seventh grades

Here are books aimed at youngsters aged 9 through 13: “The Sisters Grimm: The Fairy-Tale Detectives” and “The Sisters Grimm: The Unusual Suspects” by Michael Buckley; “Where in the Wild? Camouflaged Creatures Concealed … and Revealed,” a book of poems and photos; “Warriors Refuge,” a graphic novel; “Paint the Wind,” the story of a young girl and a horse by Pam Munoz Ryan; “Ben Franklin’s Almanac: Being a True Account of the Good Gentleman’s Life,” a biography; “Rain Forests: Discover life in the trees” from the Plant Earth series: “Cheetahs” and “Bats” from the Animal Lives series; plus “Chemical Reactions” and “Materials” from the Core Chemistry series.

Seventh grade and older

Here are new books written for teens age 13 and older: “Star Wars Force Unleashed,” based on the new video game; “The Lost years of Merlin,” about the wizard, by T.A. Barron; “Brisingr,” a fantasy by Christopher Paolini; “River Secrets” from the magical Books of Bayyern series; “Poison,” a fantasy by Chris Wooding; and “Bottled Up,” the story of a teen in trouble with drinking, drugs and skipping school by Jaye Murray.

Quotable quote

“I cannot live without books.” — President Thomas Jefferson, June 10, 1815.

Thanks to our donors

For financial donations, we are grateful to John and Vickie Hershey, Karen Shway and Jean Stewart. For books and materials this week we thank Barbara Brashar, Jerry Dermody, Helen Hoff, Cher Logsdon, Lynne Seeger, Charlene Stipe and Jarrell Tyson.

PREVIEW photo/Carole Howard
These children are among many lucky youngsters in Archuleta County whose parents help them take advantage of free resources available at the Sisson Library.  Enjoying the books and games in the Children’s Room are, left to right, Alondra Hernandez, 6; Zochitl Caraveo, 5; Joselin Campuzano, 4; Zayne McMahon, 2; and Rylie McCabe, 3.  Comparing August/September numbers from last year to this, Sisson Library patron usage is up 10.9 percent, the materials checked out figure is up 20.1 percent, and program attendance is up dramatically — 54.1 percent for children and 150 percent for adults.  Librarians statewide attribute some of their recent increased business to the difficult economic times, when patrons are especially appreciative of all the free services available at community libraries.