Free all-ages special event Saturday with Forest Service rangers will launch Summer Reading Program


By Carole Howard | PREVIEW Columnist, and the library staff 

You are cordially invited to a free all-ages special Camp Out Read Out event on Saturday, June 3, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. as you join rangers from the Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest to kick off the 2023 Summer Reading Program. 

Enjoy reading, storytime, crafts, educational displays, hands-on activities, camping-skills demonstrations and more as we celebrate literacy and the great outdoors. 

There will be multiple activities throughout the day for children, tweens/teens, adults and families. Come for an hour or stay for the day and enjoy reading in hammocks, making nature-inspired crafts such as building solar ovens to bake s’mores, and participating in interactive presentations such as how to set up a tent, make a bear bag, read a trail map and compass, or how to become a junior ranger. 

Other activities will include a scavenger hunt through the library for prizes, educational displays, storytime and outdoor activities. Special guest Smokey Bear will visit from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for photos and to share some important fire safety information.

For more information and a full schedule of this special day, visit 

Sign up for Summer Reading Program

Be sure to sign up in person or on the library’s website at for the free Summer Reading Program to enjoy special programs, storytimes, a reading club and much more from June 2 through July 28. 

It is open to everyone with weekly prize drawings for completed bingo cards and will conclude with a fun celebratory party July 28. Pick up monthly events calendars at the library so you don’t miss any of the free library activities available to you and your family this summer.

Local author

“Taming Wild Hearts” by Betty J. Slade is a novel about a woman on the run after witnessing a murder in San Francisco. She hitchhikes to a ranch in the heart of the Rocky Mountains and becomes involved in a rescue group working to save the curly sulphur mustang breed from extinction.

Slade is well-known in Pagosa for her impressive writing skills. She has written more than 600 columns titled “Artist’s Lane” for The Pagosa Springs SUN. They showcase stories about her family and friends, and they pass along down-to-earth advice and lessons learned based on her Christian faith in a nonjudgmental way. She also has played a leadership role in the Wolf Creek Christian Writers Network since its creation in 2015.

Rhythm and rhymes

Youngsters aged 1-5 are invited to a free music-based storytime with movement and singing tomorrow, Friday, June 2, from 10 to 11 a.m.

Tween/teen takeover tomorrow

Teens and tweens will want to join us tomorrow, Friday, June 2, for our free Teen and Tween Takeover of the library from 2 to 4 p.m. During that time, our conversational computers will be reserved only for users aged 9-19.

Board games tomorrow

Tomorrow, Friday, June 2, is our free Board Game Central from 4 to 6 p.m. If you love board games, we invite you to bring your favorite game or explore the library’s collection.

Music fun

Pagosa Unplugged is free from 4 to 6 p.m. on Monday, June 5, for amateur musicians who want a safe, supportive, non-bar setting to play, sing or both with other people. Anyone under age 18 is welcome with a signed parental permission, available at your library. For program information, contact Susan at (970) 946-3396 (not the library).

New book club for kids 

Our newest free book club — Junior Page Turners for elementary students in the third through fifth grades — happens next Tuesday, June 6, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. 

Their book will be “An Elephant in the Garden” by Michael Morpurgo. Copies are available at your library. This book club is geared for kids reading at or above grade level. 

Dungeons and Dragons

Next Tuesday, June 6, from 4 to 5:30 p.m., join our Dungeons and Dragons game free for teens and young adults. Registration is required because space is limited. Contact to join.

STEAM program 

Camp Connect is a free STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) program for fifth- through eighth-graders next Wednesday, June 7, from noon to 2 p.m.. Registration is required. 

Wacky Wednesdays
for kids 

Ages 6-11 are invited to get silly and play next Wednesday, June 7, and every Wednesday in June, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Writers support group

Thursdays from 9 to 11 a.m. Ruby’s Writers Guild welcomes writers looking for opportunities, support, resources and camaraderie with other writers. 

Online author talks 

There will be three talks in June in our free online virtual series featuring New York Times bestselling authors with an opportunity to ask questions. 

Wednesday, June 7, at 2 p.m. will features “The Fun Habit: How the Pursuit of Joy and Wonder Can Change Your Life” by Mike Rucker, Ph.D. 

Thursday, June 15, at noon will showcase “An American in Provence: Art, Life and Photography” by photographer Jamie Beck. 

On Wednesday, June 28, at 6 p.m., you can interact with Tananarive Due, co-author of “Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda.”

Family storytimes

Wednesdays from 10 to 11 a.m,. join us for a free educational hour of reading, singing and free play to build early literacy skills. 

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

Join Mark or Sally for free PALS sessions Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 to 8 p.m. to help with high school equivalency, GED, college prep, financial aid, tutoring and more. 

Tech Time 

Free in-person slots are available from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and 2 to 4 p.m. Thursdays. Judy helps you with basic questions relating to computers, smartphones and tablets and also provide assistance in accessing any of the library’s online resources. No appointment is needed for these drop-in sessions. 

Downloadable books 

CloudLibrary has a wide variety of downloadable e-books and audiobooks for all ages. To access this free digital collection, 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. Library staff are happy to help you set up your device if you need assistance.

Books on CD

“Lassiter” by J.R. Ward is part of the Black Dagger Brotherhood urban fantasy series. “Simply” by David Baldacci is a psychological thriller. “Things I Wish I Told My Mother” by Susan Patterson and Susan DiLallo focuses on secrets from a mother-daughter trip to Paris. “Happy Place” by Emily Henry features a perfect couple since college on the verge of breaking up. “Where Are The Children Now?” by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke is a sequel to Clark’s first book that greatly influenced the psychological thriller genre. “The Only Survivors” by Megan Miranda follows nine survivors of a car accident who meet annually on the anniversary of the crash.

Large print

“The Soulmate” by Sally Hepworth centers on a man who saves potential suicides in a sleepy coastal town. “Texarkana” by William W. and J.A. Johnstone is a Perley Gates western.


“The Making of Hong Kong” by Vaudine England explores the diverse peoples who have made this port city a multicultural world metropolis. “King: A Life” by Jonathan Eig is the first major biography in a decade of civil rights leader Martin Luther King. “When the Heavens Went on Sale” by Ashlee Vance looks at the private companies building a revolutionary new economy in space. “Calm Moments for Anxious Days” by Pastor Max Lucado offers a 90-day devotional journey.

Mysteries, suspense
and thrillers

“Before We Were Innocent” by Ella Berman follows two teen best friends’ lives after their friend dies on their summer trip to Greece. “Fire with Fire” by Candice Fox describes an ultimatum after a young woman’s mysterious disappearance. 

Other novels

“Hello Beautiful” by Ann Napolitano, an Oprah book club selection, tells of a tragedy from the hero’s past that jeopardizes his and three sisters’ relationships. “Where Coyotes Howl” by Sandra Dallas is a romance set in rural Wyoming. “The Long March Home” by Marcus Brotherton and Tosca Lee follows three friends subjected to the horrors of the Bataan Death March in World War II. “The Unbreakable Heart of Oliva Denaro” by Viola Ardone is based on a true story of a strong young woman spurning a forced marriage in Sicily. “The Book That Wouldn’t Burn” by Mark Lawrence is the first book in a new fantasy series. “Close to Home” by Michael McGee is a portrait of working class Ireland during The Troubles. “The Garnett Girls” by Georgina Moore, set on a beautiful beach, asks if children can ever be free of mistakes their parents made.


We are grateful to Linda Lutomski Connor for 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 2013 or newer and nonfiction from 2018 or newer. Limited workroom space means we can only accept one or two small boxes at a time. 

Quotable quote

“We need your voice to speak for knowledge, for justice and for truth. Sometimes we just need your reasoning born of learning, your sober thinking and real experiences that elevate our problem solving. And not everything requires an instant immediate response. Take a chance. Learn to pause, to be silent. To pick your moment based on knowledge and full understanding. Foster an informed debate.” — Lester Holt, award-winning anchor of “NBC Nightly News,” in a commencement speech to the Villanova University graduating class of 2023 on May 19.


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