Library News: Christmas books to enjoy or give as gifts plus latest building code manuals available


By Carole Howard
PREVIEW Columnist, and the library staff

With Thanksgiving in our rear-view mirrors, you now probably are thinking about Christmas. So we wanted to give you some ideas about new holiday books that might be good for you to read or give as gifts to family and friends.

Large-print Christmas books include “Christmas Cupcake Murder” by Joanne Flake, a Hannah Swenson holiday mystery; “The Brightest Star” by Fern Michaels, featuring the owner of a small Christmas shop; and “Return to Virgin River” by Robyn Carr, featuring a rescue dog with puppies.

Offerings from bestselling authors include “Jingle All the Way” by Debbie Macomber, “A Christmas Resolution” mystery by Anne Perry and “The Noel Letters” by Richard Paul Evans. 

Holiday books by other popular authors include “The Christmas Table” by Donna VanLiere, “In a Holidaze” by Christina Lauren, “A Dog’s Perfect Christmas” by W. Bruce Cameron, a “Christmas Card Murder” large-print collection and “Manchester Christmas” by John Gray.

Current building code manuals

We now have five 2015 international building code manuals, which is the year currently being used by the Archuleta County Building Department: IBC, IEBC, IRC, IMC and IFGC.

Library closure

Your library will be closed next Thursday, Dec. 10, for staff education.

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 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.”

New writing challenge

Twice this month, we are posting a new writing challenge on the library’s Facebook page. Details will be posted Dec. 7 and 21. We hope you will challenge your creativity by participating. This is an all-ages activity.

Book club for adults

Ruby’s Book Club meets from 2 to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 8, via Zoom to discuss “The Dreamers” by Karen Thompson Walker. 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.

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.

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 toward the elementary school detailing a new free Storywalk for kids. The Dec. 3-16 theme is dream time. 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. 

Activities calendars

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 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.

Thrillers, mysteries and suspense

“Hot to Trot” by M.C. Beaton is an Agatha Raisin mystery. “Deadly Cross” by James Patterson is an Alex Cross mystery.

Other novels

“Rhythm of War” by Brandon Sanderson is book four of the Stormlight Archive fantasy series. “V2” by Robert Harris is a novel about espionage in World War II. “Ready Player Two” by Ernest Cline is the author’s second adventure through his virtual universe. “All That Glitters” by Danielle Steel follows a young woman after her parents are killed in a terrorist attack in France.

Large print

“Riviera Gold” by Leslie B. King is a suspense story featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes. “Why Did I Come Into This Room” by Joan Lunden is a candid conversation about aging. “Tom Clancy: Shadow of the Dragon” by Marc Cameron is a Jack Ryan adventure.


“Words on Bathroom Walls” is an inspirational love story about mental illness. “Words From a Bear” is a biography of N. Scott Momaday, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature and is a founding member of the Native American Renaissance. “Country Music” is the eight-part, 16-hour PBS documentary by Ken Burns.

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 Sue King and the Galles Properties Community Fund. For their material donations, we thank Gary Snider, Codie Wilson and Amie Lemley. 

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

“Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly and most underrated agent of human change. Kindness that catches us by surprise brings out the best in our natures.” — Bob Kerrey, former governor and senator from Nebraska.


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