By Carole Howard
PREVIEW Columnist, and the library staff
The Colorado Talking Book Library (CTBL) is a free service from your library that lends audio and Braille books and magazines, as well as large-print books, for people who have eye issues, or have physical or learning disabilities that make it difficult to read regular books. All of the audiobooks and most Braille books are also available for on-demand downloads.
CTBL wants you to know that Talking Books are not just for blind people — although they are a godsend for people unable to see. The service is also available to people who experience physical disabilities or illnesses that prevent them from holding a book, sitting up for longer periods of time, have a learning disability or difficulty turning the pages of a book.
Importantly, Talking Books are completely free — no charge for the books, no charge for the talking book player and no charge for the postage to mail the books back to the library. Your books come through the U.S. Postal Service with all postage paid.
CTBL, located in Denver, serves people of all ages. Their youngest user is 3 years old and the oldest is 104. The library has more than 35,000 audiobooks, 7,000 Braille books and 22,000 large-print books, with new books added each month. You can even tell your preferences to CTBL.
To sign up, get an application from the library staff or go to http://www2.cde.state.co.us/ctbl/tbservices.htm and click on Getting Started/Application. Fill it out and have the first page signed by a nurse, doctor, librarian, therapist, activity director, social worker or teacher. In the case of a learning disability, a doctor must sign the application. Then send it in. You’ll receive a welcome packet and a player and a couple of audiobooks to get you started.
“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 ages 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 our curbside service.”
Adult DIY: Holiday treats
Join Brad on Facebook on Friday, Nov. 20, from 2 to 3 p.m. for a free food-themed DIY that will inspire you to create new appetizers and desserts for the holidays.
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. This event will be available on the library’s website for viewing afterwards.
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.
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.
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 toward the elementary school detailing a new free Storywalk for kids. The Nov. 19-Dec. 3 theme is gratitude. After you finish the walk, pick up materials for a craft or activity at the library.
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. Note: There will be no tech time Nov. 24 and 25.
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 email@example.com 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.
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.
To be sure you don’t miss any of the free activities available to you and your family at your library, we encourage you to pick up a copy of the events calendar each month. There are two versions — youth and adults.
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. 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.
“The Office of Historical Corrections” by Danielle Evans is a powerful collection of short stories that focus on race, culture and history.
Thrillers, mysteries and suspense
“Moonflower Murders” by Anthony Horowitz features literary detective Atticus Pund. “The Kingdom” by Jo Nesbo features two brothers who must make peace with their past. “The Law of Innocence” by Michael Connelly features defense attorney Mickey Haller, who has been framed for murder. “The Reckoning of Gossamer Pond” by Jaime Jo Wright features two women separated by a century. Also by the same author is “The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus” featuring a woman diving deep into the history of an old circus train depot.
“The Archer” by Paulo Coelho uses a bow and arrow expert to reveal the tenants of a meaningful life. “In the Lion’s Den” by Barbara Taylor Bradford is a historical novel set in London in the late 1800s. “The Mountains Sing” by Nguyen Phan Que Mai is a story of four generations set against the background of the Vietnam war. “The Weekend” explores growing old and growing up when three friends gather to mourn.
Books on CD
“Troubles in Paradise” by Elin Hilderbrand is the conclusion of the Paradise trilogy. “Shakeup” by Stuart Woods is a Stone Barrington mystery. “Love Your Life” features a woman who ditches her dating app for a writers’ retreat in Italy.
“Fatima” is an uplifting story about the power of faith. “The Crown” is the complete third season. “This is Us” is the complete second season.
“This Just Speaks to Me” by Hoda Kotb is the author’s second collection of quotes and inspirational stories. “Hidden in Plain Sight” by Jeffrey Archer is book two in the William Warwick saga. “Return to Virgin River” by Robyn Carr. “Marauder” by Clive Cussler and Boyd Morrison is the latest in the Oregon Files adventure series.
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.
For their generous monetary donation, we are grateful to Susan and Terry Arrington. For their materials donations, we thank Judy and Bill Slaton.
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.
“In 1948, the U.N. General Assembly came together and ratified a Universal Declaration of Human Rights, describing the world they wanted to build … To me, that begins with culture — the place where arts, sciences and society connect. When scientists from dozens of countries join hands to unlock the mysteries of our universe; when a filmmaker or musician lifts up voices and stories from the margins; when museums and concert halls redefine the communities they serve … that is taking action for a better future.” — Yo-yo Ma, American cellist and child prodigy.
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 pagosalibrary.org.