By Carole Howard
PREVIEW Columnist, and the library staff
This will be a highly unusual Thanksgiving holiday as COVID safety issues keep many of us from traditional celebrations with family and friends.
But, with all that we are missing, we still can take this opportunity to reflect thankfully on past joyful gatherings and perhaps also to take advantage of videoconferencing aids to help reinforce bonds with loved ones across town and across the miles.
The staff at your library are thankful all year-round for so many people who make their jobs easier and their service better for you, our patrons. On this Thanksgiving week, we want to publicly acknowledge some of the very special among them:
• We are thankful for the many volunteers who work every day to help us maintain the collection; shelve returned books, CDs and DVDs; and make sure all the books and materials are clean and in their proper place. Because of our small staff, these volunteers are vital to our service to you.
• We are grateful for the time and dedication of our library board. They also are unpaid volunteers who are committed to making the library an essential hub of our community.
• We also appreciate the members of our foundation board, also unpaid volunteers, with the mission to raise funds for information resources, programs, services and facilities.
• We also want to pay tribute to the Friends of the Library. Their generosity, enthusiasm and creativity result in so many benefits to your library, especially with the proceeds of their summer book sales.
Library director Meg Wempe said she has always appreciated the quote from Elizabeth Andrew, “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time, they have the heart.” If you’re interested in becoming a library volunteer or joining the Friends, please contact Meg at 264-2209. You will be warmly welcomed.
“We truly appreciate everyone who has given time or funding to the library to help us improve our collection, our service and our vision for ‘Mountains of opportunity to inspire ideas, enrich lives and create community,’” she said.
Your library will be closed Nov. 26-28 for the Thanksgiving holiday.
“We want people to always feel welcome in the library, and to experience a very friendly vibe when they visit,” said Wempe. “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 our curbside service.”
Calling all teens
If you enjoy reading books, learning new skills and helping your community, we hope you will sign up to volunteer at your library. You’ll be invited to write book reviews, make artwork for the teen area, help plan new programs, prepare crafts for kids’ programs and help keep the library organized.
Please stop by the library or apply online.
Adult DIY: Holiday treats
You can access our food-themed DIY from Nov. 20 that will inspire you to create new appetizers and desserts for the holidays on the library’s website.
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-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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
“Bill and Ted Face the Music” is a time travel story. “To Be of Service” is a documentary about veterans with PTSD who are paired with service dogs.
“Fortune and Glory” by Janet Evanovich is a Stephanie Plum mystery. “Elsewhere” by Dean Koontz is a novel of wonder and terror. “Truly, Madly, Deeply” by Christian author Karen Kingsbury unveils multiple family secrets. “Invisible Girl” by Lisa Jewell is a mystery. “Shakeup” by Stuart Woods is a Stone Barrington mystery.
Books on CD
“All That Glitters” by Danielle Steel follows a woman whose parents are killed in a terrorist attack in France. “Dolly Parton Storyteller: My Life in Lyrics” showcases 100 of her most popular songs with the stories behind the lyrics. “A Time For Mercy” by John Grisham is a legal thriller.
Thrillers, mysteries and suspense
“Echoes Among the Stones” by Jaime Jo Wright features a young woman who travels to Wisconsin to live with her eccentric grandmother. Also by the same author is “The Curse of Misty Wayfair” featuring a woman searching for her mother after being left in an orphanage as a baby. “The Curse of Misty Wayfair” by Jaime Jo Wright features a woman searching for her mother.
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 donations, we are grateful to Linda King Ttee and John Penter. For books donations, we thank our many anonymous donors.
“God gave you 86,400 seconds a day. Have you used one to say ‘Thank you’?” — William Arthur Ward (1921-1994), American writer of articles, poems and meditations.
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.