How to raise a reader and free back-to-school barbecue tomorrow


    By Carole Howard 
    PREVIEW Columnist, and the library staff

    With the ongoing demands of parenthood, made more complicated by COVID concerns, it’s easy to forget that if you want your children to be excited about reading, they should see that you are also. Here are some tips from Pamela Paul and Maria Russo’s New York Times article “How to Raise a Reader” to help you:

    • Make reading a group activity. Instead of organizing family leisure time around TV, movies or video games, schedule a regular family reading time. As your youngsters begin to choose their own books and read independently, they may be less inclined to talk to you about what they’re reading. But if they’re reading right next to you, you’ll hear them laugh, exclaim or make some other response, which gives you an opening for conversation.

    • Create impromptu reading opportunities for your child by leaving books in place where they may be picked up in an idle moment. Photography books on a coffee table. Big, visual, information-rich book like David Macaulay’s “The Way Things Work” in the bathroom. Magazines anywhere in the house where they might catch a young reader’s eye.

    • Join — or start — a parent-child or caregiver-child book club. Being in a book club together increases the opportunities for you to start conversations about books, which may lead to deeper conversations about other topics. 

    • Encourage your child to read the book before the movie version comes out. You do the same. Then you can discuss how the story was told in different ways.

    Free barbecue tomorrow 

    Youngsters, tweens and teens are invited to drop by our back garden to celebrate with a free back-to-school barbecue tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 10, from 2 to 4 p.m. We’ll have hot dogs, veggie burgers, Popsicles and other treats to share — plus free books for students of all ages. 

    In-person activities

    We are delighted that the robust local vaccination program for our community means that most of our programs now can happen in person. Also, our hours have returned to pre-COVID levels — and even more on weekdays:

    • Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 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 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. 

    Legal clinic tomorrow

    The free legal clinic each month is happening by appointment tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 10, 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 schedule an appointment, 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.

    In-person gaming

    Enjoy free all-ages video gaming on the Xbox 360 Kinect on Fridays from 2:30 to 3:45 p.m. Note there will be no gaming tomorrow because of the back-to-school barbecue event.

    LEGO Club on Saturday

    Kids aged 6 to 12 are invited to bring your imaginations — LEGOs are provided — on Saturday, Sept. 11, from 10 to 11 a.m. for the free LEGO Club. LEGO challenges also are posted on Facebook.

    Spanish conversation

    Next Monday, Sept. 13, from 4 to 5 p.m., we will gather in person at the library to practice speaking and listening skills together. There is no minimum skill level required to attend. 

    As an alternative, you can learn Spanish and many other languages using the Transparent Language Learning database available at

    Teen makerspace crafts

    Fourth- through 12th-graders are invited to a free makerspace event on Monday, Sept. 13, from 4 to 5 p.m. Come to the library to enjoy making assorted crafts.

    Book club for adults

    Ruby’s Book Club meets from 2 to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 14, in the library’s garden to discuss “A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson. Copies of the book are available at your library. This book club is held the second Tuesday of each month.

    Writing challenge 

    A new all-ages writing challenge was posted Sept. 7 on the library’s Facebook page. We hope you will challenge your creativity by participating in this free all-ages activity.

    Special family storytime 

    Wednesdays from 10 to 11 a.m., join us in the library garden for free in-person children’s stories, games and plenty of reasons to get up and move. On Sept. 15, we will have a special storytime when guest storyteller Lori Lucero from the Wildlife Park will provide animal facts and fun. 

    Saturday’s Discovery Times continue on Facebook at 2:30 p.m. with games, art ideas, science experiments, history and more. 

    Special in-person
    Dungeons and Dragons 

    Sixth- through 12th-graders are invited to come to the library on Wednesday, Sept. 15, from 4 to 6 p.m. for a special one-session mini-game. Registration is preferred as space is limited. 

    Tech Time 

    Free in-person slots are available from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and 2 to 4 p.m. Thursdays. Brad will help you resolve issues with your computer, smartphone, tablet and other electronic devices. 


     Free in-person classes take place Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 8 p.m. Beginning students are encouraged to attend from 4 to 6 p.m. and intermediate students from 6-8 p.m. 

    Las clases gratuitas se llevan a cabo en persona los martes y jueves de 4-8 p.m. Los estudiantes principiantes deben asistir de 4-6 p.m. y a los estudiantes intermedios de 6-8 p.m.

    Adult education 

    Our free PALS (Pagosa Adult Learning Services) session takes place in person Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m., when Mark helps with high school equivalency, GED, college prep, financial aid, tutoring and more. Note there will be no PALS today, Thursday, Sept. 9.

    Activities calendars

    To be sure you don’t miss any of the free library activities available to you and your family, we encourage you to pick up a copy of the events calendar each month. There are three versions — children, teens and adults.

    Books on CD

    “Lighting Strike” by William Kent Kroeger is a prequel to the Cork O’Connor mystery series. “Another Kind of Eden” by James Lee Burke is the latest installment in the Holland family saga set in the 1960s American West. “Chasing the Boogeyman” by Richard Chizmar is a psychological horror and true crime story. 

    Mysteries, suspense
    and thrillers

    “Dark Roads” by Chevy Stevens features a teen escaping from a bullying uncle. “Lightning Strike” by William Kent Krueger is a prequel to the Cork O’Connor mystery series. “Mrs. March” by Virginia Feito showcases a wife who begins to decode her husband’s secrets. 

    Other novels

    “The King of Infinite Space” by Lyndsay Faye is a queer and feminist take on “Hamlet” set in modern-day New York City. “What Strange Paradise” by Omar El Akkad looks at the global refugee crisis through the eyes of a 9-year-old Syrian boy. “While We Were Dating” by Jasmine Guillory is a romantic comedy involving an actress and a advertising manager.

    Large print mysteries and thrillers

    “Murder Most Fowl” by Donna Andrews is a Meg Langslow mystery. “Irish Parade Murder” by Leslie Meier is a Lucy Stone mystery. “The Bone Code” by Kathy Reichs is book 20 featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. “The Therapist” by B.A. Paris takes place in a gated community of exclusive houses.

    Downloadable e-books and audiobooks 

    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. 


    Many thanks to our anonymous donors for their books donations. Please put your materials donations into the drop box at the library — not at City Market, which is reserved for returns. 

    Quotable quote

    “The easiest way to avoid wrong notes is to never open your mouth and sing. What a mistake that would be.” — Pete Seeger (1919-2014), American folk singer and social activist.


    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