Library News: Money skills for kids and new after-school program


    By Carole Howard
    PREVIEW Columnist, and the library staff

    A new children’s book called “Journeys with Max: Life Skills for Young People — Understanding Money” by Pagosa resident Alan Powdermaker is an invaluable guide for families who want to help their children learn how to manage their money. 

    The story features a young boy named Max as his parents teach him the value of essential financial knowledge about saving, sharing, borrowing, budgeting, establishing a bank account and planning for major purchases — not to mention the difference between wanting and needing to buy something. 

    The reader-friendly text is written like a script of a movie starring Max, his parents and his sister with a fun quiz at the end. The story is beautifully illustrated by Pagosa resident Tashie Nevarez, who is attending college in Las Cruces, N.M., as an art major.

    Powdermaker believes kids should start receiving life skills information about money management from their families at home as early as kindergarten so the lessons can be practiced and perfected to carry them through life. 

    This book is the first of a two-volume set. 

    Powdermaker said the second book, to be published next year, “will be aimed at youth ages 12-18 and encompass broader life skills like managing credit cards, paying bills, getting a job, investing, even starting to save for retirement when you’re still a teenager.”

    A successful corporate executive at Canada Dry in New York, Powdermaker credits his father with “providing me lessons about life as well as cautions about forks in the road.” 

    He is passing that legacy forward as co-founder of the Dallas-based Love For Kids nonprofit that supports low-income families and those caring for special needs and chronically ill children. He also is head of his family foundation that assists inner-city youth who want to attend college. 

    Powdermaker donated 10 copies of this first Max book to your Pagosa library to share with the community via our Bookbarns and prizes for kids’ programs. One copy will become part of our permanent collection. You can find it in the Local Authors section. 

    New after-school program

    In response to COVID, we have revamped our free after-school program into STEAM enrichment kits, STEAM standing for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, for ages 5 and up. Registration is required at 264-2209. Pick up your kit and then bring your completed projects back to the library to be displayed in the last week of the month.

    Save the date for author discussion

    Mark your calendar for next Thursday, Nov. 12, from 5 to 7 p.m. for a Zoom discussion with local author Dennis Medina on the importance and power of place in storytelling. More details will be in next week’s “Library News” column. The Zoom meeting ID is 879 3124 8202, passcode 81147. 

    Book club for adults

    Ruby’s Book Club meets from 2 to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 10, via Zoom to discuss “Behind the Beautiful Forevers” by Katherine Boo. Please contact the library if you need a copy of the book. The Zoom meeting ID is 874 5826 9188, passcode 81147. This book club is held the second Tuesday of each month.

    Special note

    “We want people to always feel welcome in the library, and to experience a very friendly vibe when they visit,” said Meg Wempe, library director. “But we need to remind everyone that, similar to other public indoor spaces in Colorado, we must follow the executive order that requires people aged 11 or older to wear a covering over their noses and mouths when entering or moving within any public indoor space. If you are unable or unwilling to wear a mask, we have made reasonable accommodations and are pleased to assist you outside the building, through curbside assistance.”

    DIY craft takeaway for kids

    Drop by your library for free DIY crafts takeaways for youngsters age 10 and older. Just pick up a packet outside the library and follow the instructions.

    In-person gaming

    Free in-person gaming on the Xbox 360 Kinect for all ages has resumed on Fridays from 2 to 3 p.m. Due to COVID concerns, we are only allowing a maximum of four participants in the gaming room. Masks must be worn and social distancing maintained at all times.

    Storywalk for kids

    Every other Thursday, Josie posts signs outside the library that follow the sidewalk up towards the elementary school detailing a new free Storywalk for kids. The Nov. 5-18 theme is sharing. After you finish the walk, pick up materials for a craft or activity at the library. 

    Tech Time

    Make a 15- or 30-minute appointment for one of three free in-person slots available noon to 1 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Brad will help one person (or one couple) at a time. If you have a Tech Time appointment on Thursday, phone from the parking lot or knock loudly on the front door to be let in. 


    Free in-person classes take place Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 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, please. 

    Dungeons and Dragons 

    Join us Wednesdays from 4 to 6 p.m. for Dungeons and Dragons free for teens and young adults on Google Meet. Contact to learn how to join. If you don’t have Internet access, contact us anyway — we may be able to accommodate you in the library. 

    Children’s programs on Facebook 

    Wednesdays at 10 a.m. and Saturdays 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 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. 

    Adult education 

    Our free PALS (Pagosa Adult Learning Services) accelerated GED course takes place in person Mondays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Thursdays from 2 to 7 p.m. Come to your library to get help from Mark with high school equivalency, GED, college prep, financial aid, tutoring and more. Appointments required; please contact us by phone or email. Note there will be no PALS Nov. 9.

    Summary of our partial reopening

    • We’re now open on Thursdays from 1 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. 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, 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. 

    • Curbside service continues Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. except for Thursdays, when it’s 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 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 on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 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.

    Local author

    “The Zen of Money” and “The Zen of Bonds” by local author Victoria Rose are the first two books in her series offering readers a basic understanding of money, inflation, risks, available financial products and more.

    Books on CD

    “Coast to Coast Murders” by James Patterson and J.D. Parker is a psychological suspense story. “Magic Lessons” by Alice Hoffman is the prequel to “Practical Magic.” “The Last Agent” by Robert Dugoni is a thriller about an American agent in Russia. “Return to Virgin River” by Robyn Carr features the town that inspired the Netflix series.


    “The Great” and “The Prodigal Son” are both the complete first seasons.


    “Everything I Need to Know I Learned From My Yoga Teacher” by Benjamin Darling with drawings by Laura Braconnier contains yoga-themed instructions and meditations. “Grand Canyon: The Complete Guide” by James Kaiser includes maps, history and more. “High Crimes” by journalists Michael D’Antonio and Peter Eisner is an analysis of the impeachment of Donald Trump. 

    Large print

    “Hot Lead, Cold Justice” by Mickey Spillane and Mac Allan Collins is a Caleb York western. “Red Ruckus” by Brett Cogburn is book three of the Morgan Clyde western series.

    Thrillers, mysteries and suspense

    “Three Women Disappear” by James Patterson and Shan Sarafin begins with the murder of a manipulating accountant. 

    Downloadable e-books and audiobooks 

    We have a wide variety of downloadable e-books and downloadable audio books for patrons of all ages — children, tweens, teens and adults. Using cloudLibrary, you can download a book to read or an audio book to listen to. The items in cloudLibrary are purchased separately from physical items, so the books available are different — and it continues to use the consortium’s contributions, not just those that we bought. That is why you need to select AspenCat Union Catalog when setting up cloudLibrary for use. Please email or phone us at 264-2209 if you need our help setting up this service on your device. 


    Please put your material donations into the drop box at the library — not at City Market, which is reserved for returns. Donations undergo the same rigorous three-day quarantine process as returns. 

    Quotable quote

    “The objective of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.” — Robert Maynard Hutchins (1899-1977), American educator and philosopher.


    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