Backpacks and bike repair kit ideal tools for late summer and fall fun


By Carole Howard | PREVIEW Columnist, and the library staff

Thanks to a partnership between the Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Colorado State Library, we have two backpacks for free checkout that contain a state park pass, binoculars, a wildlife guide, a trees and wildlife guide, a book about the 42 state parks, and more. 

The backpacks can be checked out for a full week and renewed for an additional week. They cannot be placed on hold. Consider it a “Lucky Day” pickup item, meaning that if you come in and it’s available, you can check it out. 

Also, your library has a bike repair toolkit available for free check out.  

This toolkit includes a handbook entitled “Essential Road Bike Maintenance Handbook” by Todd Downs and a toolbox filled with the essential tools needed for basic bicycle repairs.  The handbook covers topics such as frame, pedals, brakes and more.  The library also offers a variety of other bicycle resources for people of all ages including maps, guidebooks and historical information. 

Activities calendars

Pick up monthly events calendars at the library so you don’t miss any of the free activities available to you and your family.

Kickoff to Kindergarten

The last session in our free four-week school readiness program for ages 4.5 to 6 to prepare youngsters for the first year of school happens today, Thursday, Aug. 24, from 10 to 11 a.m. Activities will include circle time, group activities, playtime and storytime while exploring reading, writing and math. Parents can participate for limited time periods each week. Preregistration is required in person or by phone at (970) 264-2209. Attendance at all sessions is recommended.

Read Baby Read

Babies up to 18 months will love this free interactive storytime from 10 to 11 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 25, where we will sing, bounce and laugh as we enjoy age-appropriate books and songs.

Video gaming tomorrow

Play free age-appropriate video games on an Xbox, Wii and other game systems Friday, Aug. 25, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Magic the Gathering tomorrow

Teens and tweens are invited to join us for this strategic fantasy card game on Friday, Aug. 25, from 4 to 6 p.m. All playing levels are welcome. Bring your own deck.

LEGO Club Saturday

Kids aged 6-11 are invited to bring your imaginations on Saturday, Aug. 26 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the free LEGO Club. Note the extended time of two hours rather than one. Bring your own LEGOs or use ours.

Adult knitting Saturday

Join new and experienced knitters this Saturday, Aug. 26, for our free Knitters Circle from 1 to 3 p.m. It is aimed at anyone over the age of 18 who would like to knit together or get some help if you are stuck on your project.

Action Drawing for teens, tweens

This month we have a free art program for teens and tweens called Action Drawing every Tuesday from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. led by Dean Dempster. You’ll take turns posing for each other in playful exercises and learn to capture the essence of your friends quickly and freely. You’ll also learn the basics of sketching figures, portraits, hands and feet. Registration is required.

Dungeons and Dragons

Next Tuesday, Aug. 29, from 4 to 5:30 p.m., join our Dungeons and Dragons game free for teens and young adults. Pre-registration is required because space is limited. Contact to join.

Online author talks

There will be one more talk in August in our free online virtual series featuring New York Times bestselling authors with an opportunity to ask questions. Wednesday, Aug. 30, at noon will showcase higher education journalist Jeff Selingo, author of “A Year of College Admissions,” which explores who gets into college and why.

Teen movie

Join us for free popcorn, a movie and time with your friends next Wednesday, Aug. 30, from 4 to 6 p.m.

STEAM program

Camp Connect is a free STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) program for fifth- through eighth-graders next Wednesday, Aug. 30, from noon to 2 p.m. Registration is required.

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. 

The Aug. 30 storytime will be replaced by Wee Play for ages 1 to 5, when youngsters will enjoy free play with our collection of toys.

ESL class times

Free in-person evening classes take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and there is a change in the way the time is divided: 4 to 5 p.m. is reserved for beginners, 5 to 6 p.m. for intermediate and 6 to 7 p.m. for 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.  

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 provides assistance in accessing any of the library’s online resources. No appointment is needed for these drop-in sessions, but it is important that you bring your device’s charger with you.

PALS/GED adult education

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.

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.

Mysteries and thrillers

“An Honest Man” by Michael Koryta begins with murders on a yacht. “What Harms You” by Lisa Black is a Locard Institute thriller set in a state-of-the-art forensic research center. “Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Defiance” by Brian Freeman is a Jason Bourne thriller. “The Collector” by Daniel Silva is a Gabriel Allon art conspiracy mystery. 

Other novels 

“The Keeper of Hidden Books” by Madeline Martin is based on the true story of the underground library in World War II Warsaw. “Crook Manifesto” by Colson Whitehead is a darky comedic tale of Harlem in the 1970s. “Bad Hombres” by William W. Johnstone is a Slash and Pecos western. “Rise of the Red Blade” by Delilah S. Dawson is a Star Wars adventure. “Pete and Alice in Maine” by Caitlin Shetterly explores a fractured marriage during the COVID pandemic. “The Absolutes” by Molly Dektar focuses on two former lovers who meet again in New York. “The Rabbit Hutch” by Tess Gunty explores the lives of residents in a rundown building in postindustrial Indiana.


“The War Came to Us” by Financial Times correspondent Christopher Miller is an inside story of Ukraine’s long fight for freedom. “More Than You Can See” by Barbara Rubin is a memoir by the mother of a daughter who awakes a different person after a two-week coma. “Random Acts of Medicine” by Drs. Anupam B. Jena and Christopher Worsham is a work about health and economics looking at how invisible forces affect our health. “Better Living Through Birding” by Christian Cooper tells of his lifelong birdwatching hobby that became public after an infamous racial incident in Central Park.

Books on CD

“Tom Lake” by Ann Patchett, read by Meryl Streep, tells of a mother sharing details with her three daughters of her long-ago romance. “The Trap” by Catherine Ryan Howard is a mystery inspired by unsolved disappearances in Ireland. “Dead Fall” by Brad Thor is a Scot Harvath thriller. “Light Bringer” by Pierce Brown is the latest in the Red Rising dystopian sci-fi fantasy series. “After Death” by Dean Koontz is a suspense story set in a top-secret research facility after a disaster. “Implacable” by Jack Campbell is part of the Lost Fleet: Orlando sci-fi series. “Pink Lemonade Cake Murder” by Joanne Fluke is a mystery with more than a dozen dessert recipes.

Thanks to our donors

We are grateful to our generous monetary donors this week: Cheryl Flynn and Laura Metallo, Susan and Terry Arrington, Dot Alber, Rob Pew, and Keith Jacobson. We also thank Medora Bass and Carole Howard for their donations of materials.

When we are open, material donations are accepted for the Friends of the Library at the front desk — not down 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

“Optimism is sustainable. If you can find something to be grateful for, then you can find something to look forward to.” — Michael J. Fox, Canadian and American activist and retired actor who is a leading fundraiser for Parkinson’s research.


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