Library News: Free Colorado Talking Book Library ideal for those with difficulty reading

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    By Carole Howard
    PREVIEW Columnist, and the library staff

    The Colorado Talking Book Library (CTBL) is a free service from your library that lends talking (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 audio books and most Braille books are also available for on-demand downloads.

    The 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 — there is 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.

    The 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 6,500 talking (audio) books, 23,000 Braille books and 24,000 large-print books, with new books added each month. You can even tell your preferences to CTBL.

    To sign up, go to https://myctbl.cde.state.co.us/ and click on Getting Started/Application. 

    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. 

    Masks are encouraged in the library, but are no longer required.

    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. 

    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.

    LEGO challenge
    Saturday

    Join us on May 22 at 10 a.m. for a free all-ages LEGO challenge via an image posted on Facebook and the library website. Use your own pieces to create something that will fit the challenge. If you don’t have LEGOs, we have a few grab bags available at the library. 

    Teen advisory board

    Next Tuesday, May 25, the teen advisory board meets from 4 to 5 p.m. on Zoom. Sixth- through 12th-graders are invited to bring your fun and innovative ideas to help us plan teen programs. 

    New writing challenge 

    On Monday, May 17, we posted 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.

    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 May 21-June 2 theme is hiking. After you finish the walk, pick up materials for a craft or activity at the library. 

    Knitting takeaways

    Pick up free knitting takeaways at the library entrance during open hours to take for your in-home enjoyment. We’ll have patterns, craft ideas, instructions and some limited supplies available. 

    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 (970) 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 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.

    Tech Time — no
    appointment needed 

    Free in-person slots are available from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and 2 to 4 p.m. Thursdays. Appointments are no longer required, but we will honor any appointments that were previously made. Brad will help you resolve issues with your computer, smartphone, tablet and other electronic devices. 

    ESL — no appointment needed

    Free in-person classes take place Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 8 p.m. (note the new hours). Appointments are no longer required, but we will honor any appointments that were previously made. 

    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 claire@pagosalibrary.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. 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. 

    Mysteries, suspense and thrillers

    “Olympus, Texas” by Stacey Swann combines classical mythology and psychological complexity with a modern family saga. “Hour of the Witch” by Chris Bohjalian is a historical thriller set in Boston in 1662. “Basil’s War” by Stephen Hunter features an undercover British spy searching for an ecclesiastic manuscript. “21st Birthday” by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro is the latest in the Women’s Murder Club series.

    Other novels

    “Thrawn Ascendancy” by Timothy Zahn is the second book in this Star Wars sci-fi/fantasy trilogy. “The Last Green Valley” by Mark Sullivan follows a Ukrainian family of German heritage who must decide between following the Nazis or the Soviets. “Family Reunion” by Nancy Thayer is a multigenerational story set on Nantucket. “Project Hail Mary” by Andy Weir features a man who faces an impossible task in space. “A Dog’s Courage” by W. Bruce Cameron tells of a brave dog caught in a raging wildfire. “Great Circle” by Maggie Shipstead is the tale of two women whose fates collide across geographies and centuries. 

    Large print

    “How to Age Without Getting Old” by Joyce Meyer offers advice on how to embrace God’s grace for the changing seasons in our lives. 

    Nonfiction

    “Buses Are a Comin’” by Civil Rights pioneer Charles Person is the memoir of the youngest of the original Freedom Riders. “Everything Is Fine” by Vince Granata explores the tragedy of the author’s mother’s violent death in the hands of his brother who has schizophrenia.

    Books on CD

    “Reunion Beach” is an anthology of short stories, letters, poems and essays in tribute to Dorothea Benton Frank by bestselling authors and writers. “A Gambling Man” by David Baldacci is a thriller featuring Aloysius Archer, the straight-talking World War II veteran. 

    Downloadable e-books and audiobooks 

    Perfect for COVID times, we have a wide variety of downloadable e-books and audio books for all ages — children, tweens, teens and adults — in cloudLibrary. 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 as well as those that we bought. Select AspenCat Union Catalog when setting up cloudLibrary for use. Email or phone us at (970) 264-2209 if you need our help setting up this service on your device. 

    Donations 

    Many thanks to the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners for their generous monetary gift, and to Medora Bass and our anonymous donors for their materials donations. 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. 

    Quotable quote

    “A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.” — Saint Francis of Assisi.

    Website

    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.