Library News: 1,000 Books before Kindergarten an ideal program for babies and toddlers in COVID times


By Carole Howard
PREVIEW Columnist, and the library staff

One of the greatest gifts you can give your babies and toddlers is to sign them up for a free early literacy reading program called “1,000 Books before Kindergarten” for children from birth to 5 years old. And what better time than now when they are spending more time at home than usual because of COVID? 

You can sign up any time at your library. You will receive a folder with bubbles to keep track of the books you read to your child. The concept is simple: Read 1,000 books to your newborn, infant or toddler — yes, you can repeat books — before your precious one starts kindergarten. You’ll get a free book each time your child completes 100 books.

One thousand may sound like a huge number of books, but it’s not really. If you read just one book a night, you will have read 365 books in a year. That is 730 books in two years and 1,095 books in three years. If you consider that most children start kindergarten at around 5 years of age, you have more time than you may think.

Hours back to
pre-COVID levels

We are delighted that the robust local vaccination program for our community and your library staff means that our hours have returned to pre-COVID levels — and even more on weekdays:

• Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the library is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. That’s one additional hour on Fridays.

• Tuesdays and Thursdays, the library is open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. That’s one additional hour each day.

• Saturdays, the library is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. That’s two hours fewer this day — but a total of 55 hours open each week, as compared to 54 in pre-COVID times.

For those uncomfortable with coming into the building, curbside service continues. Phone (970) 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. 

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 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 properly wear a mask when entering or moving within any public indoor space. If you are unable or unwilling to wear a mask, we are pleased to assist you outside the building through our curbside service. If you don’t have a mask, we are happy to give one to you.”

Spotlight on
graphic novels

Learn more about graphic novels — books made up of comics content — and what makes them special, enjoyable and important by joining the all-ages graphic novel reading challenge beginning on Monday, May 10. This spotlight will involve a display at the library, Facebook posts, a reading challenge and resources available online or in the library. They will be up for a few weeks. 

In-person family
storytimes today

Today, Thursday, May 13, from 10 to 11 a.m., Josie will host by-appointment storytimes in person for individual family groups. The free 15-minute sessions will include a story, movement activity, rhymes and other fun things, and will be accompanied by a craft to do at home. One family group at a time. All participants over age 2 must wear a mask. This personalized service will be available once a month. Phone the library at (970) 264-2209 for your appointment.

Legal clinic tomorrow

The free legal clinic each month is happening by appointment tomorrow, Friday, May 14, from 2 to 3 p.m. The volunteer attorney can phone you at home or you can come into the library and meet privately via Zoom. To sign up for these calls, send an email titled “Sign-up for Free Legal Clinic,” with your first name and phone number, to, or phone or stop by the library. The volunteer attorney’s time is limited, so it’s first-come, first-served. Visit anytime to find many legal forms and other legal information.

New writing challenge 

On Monday, May 17, we will post a new writing challenge on the library’s Facebook page. We hope you will challenge your creativity by participating in this free all-ages activity.

Online Spanish

Next Monday, May 17, from 4 to 5 p.m., our online Spanish conversation group will gather on Zoom (note the move from Google Meet) to practice speaking and listening skills together. The Zoom meeting ID is 882 6203 1887; passcode is 81147. Contact Brad if you prefer to join the group via a link. 

DIY crafts takeaway
for kids

Drop by during open hours to pick up free DIY crafts takeaways for youngsters age 10 and older outside the building.

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. We are beginning a new adventure this month, so it’s the perfect time for new players to begin.

Children’s programs
on Facebook 

Thursdays at 10 a.m. and Saturdays at 2:30 p.m., join us on the library’s Facebook page for free children’s programs. Thursday 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. 

Adult education — no appointment needed

Our free PALS (Pagosa Adult Learning Services) session takes place in person Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m. (note the new time), where Mark helps with high school equivalency, GED, college prep, financial aid, tutoring and more. Appointments are no longer required, but we will honor any appointments that were previously made. Note there will be no PALS today, May 13.

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.


 “Susan, Linda, Nina and Cokie” by Lisa Napoli is a history of NPR public radio explored through the lives of its four most talented, innovative and trail-blazing female reporters. “Cook This Book” by Molly Baz offers techniques to becoming a smarter, faster and more creative cook.

Short stories and essays

“Tiny Tales” by Alexander McCall Smith is a collection of 30 short stories about romance, ambition, kindness and happiness with illustrations by Iain McIntosh. “You Are Your Best Thing” by Tarana Burke and Brene Brown is a collection of essays on Black shame and healing. 

Mysteries, suspense
and thrillers

“A Gambling Man” by David Baldacci is the second thriller in the series featuring a World War II veteran fresh out of prison and looking for a fresh start. “Mirrorland” by Carole Johnstone is a psychological suspense novel featuring a twin who returns to their Gothic home in Edinburgh when her sister disappears. 

Other novels

“Finding Ashley” by Danielle Steel tells of two estranged sisters who get the chance to connect and confront together a wrenching loss from the past. “Winning the Gentleman” by Kristi Ann Hunter is a romance that combines Regency Society intrigue, struggles of faith and a love of horses. “Blackberry Beach” by Irene Hannon is the latest in the Hope Harbor romance series set in Oregon. “Sooley” by John Grisham follows a young basketball star with a fierce determination to bring his family to America from South Sudan. “Whereabouts” by Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri features an urban woman trying to find her place in the world. “Northern Spy” by Flynn Berry tells of two sisters who may be on opposite sides of renewed IRA movement.

Large print 

“Return to Gila Bend” by Carlton Stowers is a Ralph Compton western in the Gunfighter series. “Ocean Prey” by John Sanford is a Lucas Davenport mystery. “Bury the Hatchet” by William W. and J.A. Johnstone is book two in the Buck Trammel western series. 

Books on CD

“Finding Ashley” by Danielle Steel tells of two estranged sisters who get the chance to connect and confront together a wrenching loss from the past. “Dark Sky” by C.J. Box features Wyoming game warden Joe Picket. “The Lady Has a Past” by Amanda Quick is a mystery about a woman’s disappearance from a luxurious health spa.


“God’s Not Dead” is a double feature about a student defending his faith in a class taught by an atheist professor. “Princess of the Row” is the inspiring tale of a runaway foster child. “The House That Rob Built” is a documentary about the University of Montana’s Lady Griz basketball team. 


Many thanks to Rebecca Battles for her generous monetary donation. 

Please put your materials donations into the drop box at the library — not at City Market, which is reserved for returns. 

Library foundation

Please consider a tax-deductible donation to the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library Foundation to help support the services and programs provided by your Ruby Sisson Library. Mail checks to P.O. Box 2045, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147 or call Cindi Galabota at (970)264-2209. 


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