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Libraries continue to expand technology services

A new study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation reinforces what so many Archuleta County residents know from personal experience — American libraries are actively adapting to a new role as vital technology hubs in the community by providing free access to the digital world.

In the U.S. today, 99 percent of public libraries, including your Sisson Library, offer free access to computers and the internet — and 67 percent report that they are the only source of such free access in their communities. Further, a majority of all libraries, including yours, offer free online access to many databases on a wide variety of subjects, many directly supporting educational opportunities and job searches.

Equally important, public libraries like your Sisson Library report that they are learning centers for those who need training on how to use computers and navigate the internet. In these troubled economic times, this training is increasingly essential to gain or upgrade computer knowledge for new employment opportunities.

One of your library’s most popular programs is Technology Tuesdays with Tessa, created as a result of your suggestions in last fall’s survey about library services. It’s obvious from the huge response that you have a lot of good computer questions and really appreciate having someone to answer them.

Your questions cover the waterfront — how to set up email, how to change Facebook privacy settings, how to change the margins in a text document, the difference between Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, and more. Sometimes you bring in your personal laptops with questions on how to set up iTunes and how to download audio books. Also, Tessa usually highlights a different computer program or skill each month.

Tessa enjoys helping people feel comfortable and successful with their computers and technology. The free two-hour drop-in sessions take place every Tuesday at the library, alternating between a morning time (10 a.m. to noon) to an afternoon time (3-5 p.m.) every other week to better meet your scheduling needs. If those times don’t work for you, call the library at 264-2208 to schedule an appointment with Tessa.

Craft Circle today

Needlework artists are invited to join our monthly get-together this afternoon (Thursday, July 22) from 1-3 p.m..

Bring a knitting, crocheting or needlework project to work on. No registration is necessary. Light refreshments are provided.

Note that this not a learn-to-knit class. However, attendees are welcome to trade advice and share their opinions and experiences.

New novels

“A Vintage Affair” by Isabel Wolff follows a woman who leaves a plum job at Sotheby’s auction house to open her own vintage clothing shop in London. “Work Song” by Ivan Doig returns to Butte, Montana a decade after the characters appeared in “The Whistling Season.” “The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet” by David Mitchell is set in 1799 in Japan at the farthest outpost of the Dutch East Indies Company.

Mysteries and suspense

“Broken” by Karen Slaughter follows Special Agent Will Trent, who arrives in Grant County to find a police department determined to protect its own.

“Private” is the latest in a new series by James Patterson featuring clients of the world’s most powerful investigation firm. “The Liar’s Lullaby” by Meg Gardiner follows the life and murder of the ex-wife of the president of the U.S. who is a washed-up country-pop singer trying to get her life back on track. “Ice Cold” by Tess Gerritsen, set in Wyoming, is the latest in the Jane Rizzoli mystery series. “Blockade Billy” by Stephen King is the story of the greatest Major League baseball player erased from the game and unknown to even the most die-hard fans.

History

“Mrs. Dred Scott” by Lea Vander Velde describes how slaves used the courts to establish their freedom and looks at the unique circumstances of slaves on the frontier of Indian territory. “Crossing the Continent 1527-1540” by Robert Goodwin is the story of Esteban Dorantes, a slave who was the first African-American explorer of the American south. “Beneath the Sands of Egypt” by Donald P. Ryan tells of a archeologist’s adventures from the hills of Southern California to the islands of Hawaii and Egypt’s Valley of the Kings. “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: The illustrated edition” is Dee Brown’s landmark account of the systematic destruction of the American Indian during the second half of the 19th century, now with colorful illustrations for the first time.

How-to and self-help

“Conquer the Chaos” by Clate Mask and Scott Martineau provides six strategies and a step-by-step approach to allow you to grow your business without being consumed by it. “Delivering Happiness: A path to profits, passion and purpose” by Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com, explains how this online retailer’s unique corporate culture makes it so successful. “If You’re Not First You’re Last” by Grant Cardone outlines tools and sales strategies to help you beat the competition in your career and business.

Healthy living

“Change Your Brain, Change Your Body” by Daniel G. Amen offers 15 solutions to a healthy brain involving nutritious foods, natural supplements, positive habits and when, necessary, highly targeted medications. “Pace: The 12-minute fitness resolution” by Dr. Al Sears offers an anti-aging program to help you expand and reinvigorate your lungs.

Diet and cookbooks

“Cook This, Not That” by David Kinczenko and Matt Goulding provides nutrition tips and illustrated recipes for dishes from well-known restaurants adapted to have fewer calories and much less fat. “Drink This, Not That” by the same authors shows you how to drop thousands of hidden calories from beverages like coffee, soft drinks, fruit drinks and smoothies. “What’s New, Cupcake?” by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson provides new, inspired, easy recipes for cupcake fun.

Inspiration

“Life Is What You Make It” by musician and philanthropist Peter Buffett, son of billionaire Warren Buffett, expounds on the strong set of values given him by his parents and many life teachers. “The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven” by Kevin and Alex Malarkey is the true story of a little boy who was in a car accident so horrific that he was presumed dead before he came out of his coma with the story of his time in Heaven. “Take Four” by Karen Kingsbury is the latest in the popular Baxter Family inspirational series.

Other nonfiction

“Blindsided” by Jim Cole describes survival from grizzly maulings and offers details of why he has such respect and admiration for the bears.

“Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and Her Family’s Feuds” by Gordon Lyndall is a new biography of the Dickinson family that reveals Emily as a very different woman than the pale, lovelorn recluse most people think they know.

Quotable quote

“How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.” — American author Henry David Thoreau in “Walden.”

Thanks to our donors

Our gratitude to Joan Russey for her generous donation. For books and materials this week, we thank Stu Eilson, Dan Evans, Scott Galabota, Beverly Hayes, Joan Jessen, Barbara Lindley, Pagosa Game Space and the Pope John Paul II Catholic Church.

Website

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/.