How to suspend holds when you’re busy with travels, visitors and other holiday activities

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By Carole Howard  | PREVIEW Columnist, and the library staff

If your life is unusually busy at this time of year with travels, visitors and so many fun holiday activities, you may want to take advantage of the library’s program that allows you to freeze — or suspend — your holds at any time. 

The best part is you do not lose your place in line. When your hold is thawed, or released, you go right back in to the same place in your hold line; you do not go to the end of the line.

To freeze your holds online, first log into your account. On the left side of the page, click on “Titles on Hold.” A list of all items you have on hold will appear. If they are not currently in transit, you can freeze the hold until you return from your travels or are ready to receive your hold again. To freeze your hold, click on the button that says “Freeze Hold.” The freeze will begin immediately. 

Christmas and New Year’s closures

Your library will close at noon on Dec. 24 and also be closed on Dec. 26 because Christmas falls on a Sunday this year. Similarly, we’ll close at noon Dec. 31 and also be closed on Jan. 2 for New Year’s.

Flu season protocols

The curbside service that we began for COVID safety continues — and it’s also a healthful option in the cold and flu season. To save your energy and lessen germ exposure to other patrons, we recommend you use our curbside service — or add a name to your account authorizing that person to pick up items for you while you recuperate. Library hours:

• Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, your library is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

• Tuesdays and Thursdays, your library is open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

• Saturdays, your library is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Activities calendar

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. Its streamlined format combines all the activities and events for children, teens and adults on one handy two-sided page.

Gaming tomorrow

Enjoy free all-ages video gaming on the Xbox 360 Kinect tomorrow, Friday, Dec. 23, and Dec. 30 from 3 to 4 p.m. 

Homework help
and tutoring

Free homework assistance and elementary tutoring are available for students in kindergarten through fourth grade on Wednesdays from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. There is a registration packet for parents and guardians to fill out to enroll your child that you can get by emailing the library or coming in. This program has been a big hit because it helps build essential skills in core subjects. You still can register your child, but you may be put on a wait list. 

Family storytimes

Wednesdays from 10 to 11 a.m., join us for free in-person children’s stories, games and plenty of reasons to get up and move. 

ESL classes

Free in-person evening classes take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with 4 to 5 p.m. reserved for beginners and 5 to 7 p.m. for both intermediate and advanced students. Please help us spread the word about these classes to others in our community who would be interested, and contact us by phone or email if you have any questions. 

PALS/GED adult
education 

Mark is available for his free PALS sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 to 8 p.m. to help with high school equivalency, GED, college prep, financial aid, tutoring and more. No registration is required. 

Tech Time 

Free in-person slots are available from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and 2 to 4 p.m. Thursdays. Judy will help you with basic questions relating to computers, smartphones and tablets and also provide assistance in accessing any of the library’s online resources. You do not need an appointment for these drop-in sessions. Note there will be no Tech Time today, Dec. 22.

Writing challenge 

A new all-ages writing challenge was posted Dec. 12 on the library’s Facebook page. We hope you will challenge your creativity by participating in this free activity.

Downloadable books 

CloudLibrary has a wide variety of downloadable e-books and audiobooks for all ages, and accessing this free digital collection has never been easier. You just need to download the cloudLibrary app, answer a few simple questions, select AspenCat Union Catalog for the name of your library, then enter your library card number and four-digit PIN. You are now ready to browse, borrow and read e-books and audiobooks using cloudLibrary. Library staff are happy to help you set up your device if you need assistance.

Christmas book

“The Penguin Book of Christmas Stories” edited by Jessica Harrison is a collection of holiday classics and little-known treasures from around the world. 

Large print

“Dawnlands” by Philippa Gregory is book three of the Fairmile historical fiction series. “Robert Ludlum’s The Blackbriar Genesis” by Simon Gervais is a Blackbriar thriller set in Prague. “Clive Cussler’s The Sea Wolves” by Jack Du Brul is an Isaac Bell adventure. 

Books on CD 

“A World of Curiosities” by Louise Penny is a Chief Inspector Armand Gamache mystery set in Quebec. “The Murder Sorority” by Marshall Karp is an NYPD Red mystery. “Hunting Time” by Jeffery Deaver is a mystery about a woman and her daughter on the run. “Murder at Black Oaks” by Philip Margolin features Robin Lockwood, defense attorney. 

DVDs

“Reacher” is season one. “Recipes for Love and Murder” is series one. “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile” is based on the bestselling children’s book series. “Call Jane” follows a woman with a life-threatening pregnancy. “Theodore Roosevelt” is the History Channel documentary. “Ghosts” is season one. “The Homeschool Awakening” is a documentary exploring frequently asked questions about home-schooling. “Optimizing Brain Fitness” is part of the Great Courses series. 

Mysteries and thrillers 

“The Couple at the Table” by Sophie Hannah is a psychological thriller set at a posh couples-only resort. “I Am The Light of This World” by Michael Parker follows a man released from prison 40 years after being sentenced for a crime he did not commit. “The Lemon” by S.E. Boyd looks at the aftermath of the apparent suicide of a famous culinary travel show host. “Oath of Loyalty” by Kyle Mills is a Mitch Rapp adventure. 

Other novels

“The Fall of Numenor” by J.R.R. Tolkien is a new chronicle of Middle-earth. “The Presence of Absence” by Simon Van Booy explores the views of a young writer who lies dying. “The Color Line” by Igiaba Scego, based on true events, intertwines the lives of two Black female artists. “Honor” by Thrity Umrigar explores love across a cultural divide. “Her Hidden Genius” by Marie Benedict focuses on a scientist who sacrifices her life to discover the nature of DNA.

Nonfiction

“How To Read The Wilderness” by the Nature Study Guild is an illustrated guide to North American flora and fauna. “The Stories We Tell” by Joanna Gaines is a memoir in which the author shares stories of her personal journey. “Born to Run 2” by Christopher McDougall and Eric Orton draws on lessons from Mexico’s legendary Raramuri and decades of running research. “The Light We Carry” by Michelle Obama offers readers insights into handling change, challenges and self-doubt.

“Polar Exposure” by Felicity Aston documents the experiences of women from 10 countries on their expedition to the North Pole. “Surrender” by Bono tells the story of his life weaved around 40 U2 songs. “Tiny Beautiful Things” by Cheryl Strayed is the updated 10th anniversary edition of this book by the advice columnist Dear Sugar.

Donations 

Many thanks to Gayle and Thomas Broadbent for their generous monetary donation in memory of Jacky Reese, and also to Sheila and Patrick McKenzie for their generous monetary donation. We also are grateful to our anonymous donors for their materials donations. 

When we are open, material donations are accepted for the Friends of the Library at the front desk — not through the outside returns slot at the library or the drop box at City Market, please. 

The Friends take fiction published in 2012 or newer and nonfiction that is 2017 or newer. Limited workroom space means we can only accept one or two small boxes at a time. 

Quotable quote

“The holidays make me very creative because I’m happy … And I draw from the spirit of Christmas. That Christ spirit. Even if you don’t believe in Jesus, the spirit is really about giving and tolerance, understanding and acceptance.” — Dolly Parton, country music singer-songwriter, actress, philanthropist and businesswoman.

Website

For more information on library books, services and programs — and to reserve books, e-books, books on CD and DVDs from the comfort of your home — please visit our website at https://pagosalibrary.org.