Library News: Last chance to participate in census — and Archuleta County needs your help


By Carole Howard
SUN Columnist, and the library staff

Have you completed your census questionnaire? The deadline has been moved forward to Sept. 30, so you don’t have much time.

There’s a lot at stake for our community if we do not participate as much as we should. Our response rate directly affects the number of representatives we have in Congress. It determines if we get our fair share of the $675 billion in federal funding for the next 10 years -— and our share of state funds — for local and regional agencies and projects like health clinics, fire departments, schools, Medicaid, assistance for American Indians, ESL and adult education programs, housing assistance, even roads and highways. 

The current self-response rate of Archuleta County households is only 42.3 percent, compared to 69.3 percent for the state of Colorado and the national rate of 66 percent. This self-response rate is a reflection of households that completed the census online, by phone or by mail. 

Before Sept. 30, Census Bureau enumerators will try to visit households of nonrespondents to ensure everyone is counted. The efforts of census enumerators combined with an area’s self-responses give us the total number of households counted so far for that area. A lot of work remains for census enumerators in our community. The best way to help them is to answer the door if you hear them knocking and respond right now to the census if you have not already done so. 

Our county needs your participation to get our fair share of these government dollars. If you have not already completed this important questionnaire, please do so now. You don’t have much time with the Sept. 30 deadline looming. 

It takes less than 10 minutes to respond to the census and your answers are kept anonymous. The law ensures that your private information is never published and that your answers cannot be used or shared by any government agency or court.

Please contact Brad or Josie at the library if you have any census-related questions or visit for more information. Library computers, phone and staff are available to help you access the census questionnaire.

Tax lien information via Zoom

Next Thursday, Oct. 1, from 5 to 6 p.m., the Archuleta County Treasurer’s Office will explain what a tax lien is and give you information on how to get started on investing in them if you want to do so. Zoom meeting ID: 856 6443 1537; password: 269665.

Voter tutorial via

Are you registered to vote? Do you know how to review your voter registration or update information to ensure you are eligible to vote? You can view an informative tutorial about these vital topics on the library’s website or share with friends.

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. 

Summary of our partial reopening

• We’re now open on Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. with 1 to 2 p.m. reserved for seniors and higher-risk populations. 

• Other hours: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. for seniors and higher-risk populations. Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays: closed.

• We are accepting meeting room reservations for small groups, with library programs having first dibs on the rooms for our programs. In addition, you can schedule only so far out, usually two weeks to a month, depending on where we are in the month. 

• Up to 30 patrons at a time can come into the building. 

• 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 are available. In most cases computer usage will be allowed for three hours per day. Staff will clean and disinfect the computers between uses.

• One early literacy computer is available for youngsters Monday through Saturday. 

• For those not comfortable coming into the building or unable to wear a mask, curbside service continues Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. except for Thursdays, when it’s available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 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. 

• You now can drop your returns of books, CDs and DVDs in the drop box at City Market, as well as in the drop box at the library. No donations in the City Market box, please.

• Notary service is available during open hours on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. The cost is $5 per notary. 

• You can place holds on items from other libraries. They are in different stages of reopening, so items may take longer than usual. 

• We’re happy to provide tech help in person or over the phone for our online resources.

Adult DIY on Facebook Live tomorrow

A free fall-themed DIY event will happen on Facebook Live tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 25, from 2 to 3 p.m. Join Brad to get some crafty ideas of how to create several fall-themed decorations. You also can watch the show later. 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. 

New Storywalk for kids

Every other Thursday, Josie posts signs outside the library that follow the sidewalk up toward the elementary school detailing a new free Storywalk for kids. The Sept. 24-Oct. 3 theme is fall transitions. Get outdoors and follow the pages of a book telling a beautiful autumn story 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.


Free in-person classes take place Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 7 p.m. by appointment. Please register so we can keep it to a small group in our limited open spaces. No walk-ins. 

Adult learning 

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

Dungeons and Dragons moves to Google Meet

Join us on Wednesdays from 4 to 6 p.m. for Dungeons and Dragons free for teens and young adults. Note that this fun fantasy role-playing game has moved from Zoom to Google Meet. Contact for details on how to join. 

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. 


“No Rules Rules” by co-founder Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer describes the management philosophy of flexibility and innovation that has allowed Netflix to successfully reinvent itself several times. “Everything Beautiful in Its Time” by Jenna Bush Hager shares moving, funny and wise stories about the former first daughter and granddaughter’s grandparents. “The Spy Masters” by Chris Whipple explores how CIA directors over the years have shaped American history. “Blackout” by political activist Candace Owens addresses the ways Democrat policies hurt the African-American community. 


“The Biggest Little Farm” is the true story of a couple who traded city living for 200 acres of barren farmland. “Project Blue Book” is inspired by the true story of a college professor recruited to a UFO project. 

Books on CD

“Lifeboat” by Maggie Craddock describes the skills necessary to survive and thrive in today’s turbulent times. “Six Days in August” by David King is the story of the hostage drama that created the term Stockholm Syndrome. 

Mysteries, suspense and thrillers

“Vince Flynn Total Power” by Kyle Mills is a Mitch Rapp thriller. “Troubled Blood” by Robert Galbraith is the fifth book in the Cormoran Strike series.

Other novels 

“Monogamy” by Sue Miller unveils a ruinous secret in a seemingly perfect marriage. “The Library of the Unwritten” by A.J. Hackwith is set in the Unwritten wing of Hell where stories unfinished by their authors reside. “Sleep in a Sea of Stars’ by Christopher Paolini is a sci-fi fantasy. 


We are grateful to Lenore Bright for her generous monetary contribution in honor of Lou Poma, and to Robert and Jeanette Pike for their generous donation, as well. 

Please put your material donations into the drop box 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

“It’s hard to overstate the importance of the census to everyday life in the United States. The vast amount of demographic information it gathers determines who gets how much political power in Congress and the states; it steers more than a trillion dollars in federal funding for health care and other critical services; it guides long-term economic decisions by governments, corporations and mom-and-pop stores; it helps determine the location of highways and schools, hospitals and housing, police and fire stations …

“Of the more than $1.5 trillion in federal funding allocated to the states based on census data, 75 percent goes to Medicare and Medicaid … Census data will be especially important over the next decade as the country confronts the long-term public health impact of the coronavirus pandemic. This will include, among other things, tracking the incidence of the virus, conducting epidemiological research and providing funds for medical equipment.

“Such data are also essential to the functioning of the national economy. They provide large and small businesses with information about work forces and markets. They drive federal regulation of small-business loans, home mortgages and equal-employment practices.” — Excerpted from an editorial in The New York Times, Sept. 13, 2020.


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