LIBRARY NEWS: Honoring Our Volunteers

Author Sherry Anderson once said, “Volunteers are not paid – not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless.” We agree.

Volunteers are everyday heroes who make a lasting impact on your Pagosa Springs library. On April 28, during National Volunteer Week, library staff hosted an ice cream social to say thank you. As Minnesota spiritual director Elizabeth Andrew said, “Volunteers do not necessarily have more time; they just have more heart.”

Ruby Sisson Library staff honored their volunteers with an ice cream social April 28 in celebration of National Volunteer Week. Meg, director of the library, standing second from right, poses with some of the volunteers and the ice cream cones, sundae makings, cupcakes and cookies that were enjoyed at the event. In 2016, library volunteers contributed 999 hours, about half of a full-time position. Photo courtesy Bob Howard.

In 2016, our volunteers contributed 999 hours, about half of a full-time position. We also are hugely grateful to the Friends of the Library. Ever since 1963 when this organization was formed, these caring, energetic and talented people have been tireless in raising money for the library. And we greatly appreciate the wisdom and expertise of our Board of Trustees.

“Please know how much we appreciate your time, energy and enthusiasm,” said Meg Wempe, library director, of the volunteers. “We could not operate the library without you.”

Volunteers make important contributions to our small, rural library with our limited budget. They help with shelving and making sure all the books and materials are in their proper place. They help with special events. They help on the circulation desk. They help keep everything clean and spiffy year-round. And they handle myriad other assignments that need doing to help us serve you well.

Do you have a special interest or skill that could benefit the library and our patrons? If yes, we would love to have you join our volunteer team. Please stop by the library to talk with Meg or phone her at 264-2208. You will be warmly welcomed. And there will be many benefits to you. Research continues to show that people who volunteer – especially seniors – have a dramatically increased ability to maintain cognitive function. The findings invariably show that interacting with others through work, social events or volunteerism keeps seniors engaged – emotionally and neurologically – and also helps you live longer.

Activities calendars available
To be sure you don’t miss any of the free activities available to you and your families at your library, we encourage you to pick up a copy of the events calendar each month. There are three versions – kids, tweens/teens and adults.

Update on search for two full-time staff
Your library is actively working to fill the two vacant librarian positions. We expect to have our adult services and tech librarian on board in mid-May, and our early literacy librarian here not long after that. While some programming has decreased in the meantime, we still are offering most of your favorite programs. Please see below for programs that are on as usual and those with changes. Stay tuned to this Library News column, the library website and Facebook for updates on when to expect regular programming to resume. We apologize for any inconvenience or disappointment.

Lifelong Learning Lectures
The fourth in the free spring Lifelong Learning Lecture series is today (Thursday, May 4) featuring the San Juan Shootists, a community organization teaching safe and responsible firearms handling. They will wear period costumes and demonstrate their .45 caliber single action Colts (minus the bullets!). These lectures continue every Thursday until May 18 with outstanding talks from 5:30 – 7pm for six weeks. Future talks will cover homebuying tips and spring bouquets. Pick up a brochure at your library with more information. No registration required.

Adult Learning
Our new free PALS (Pagosa Adult Learning Services) program takes place on Monday, May 8 from 10am – 3pm and continues every Monday thereafter at the same time, plus Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 – 7pm. Stop by and let Mark help you with high school equivalency, college prep, financial aid, tutoring and more.

Medicaid and Connect for Health today
Renee Burch from Archuleta County Human Services discuss options and changes to Medicaid and Connect for Health today (Thursday, May 4) and next Thursday, May 11 in this free session from 1 – 1:45pm. No registration required.

All-ages movie tomorrow
Join us tomorrow (Friday, May 5) from 2-3:45pm for a PG movie suitable for all ages. Our contract does not allow us to identify the film titles in the media but you can find them listed on the activities calendars.

Adult book club
Our free adult book club meets the second Tuesday of each month from 2-3pm to discuss alternating fiction and nonfiction titles. On May 9 we will discuss “Go Set a Watchman” by Harper Lee. Stop by to pick up a copy. No registration required.

Teen activities
Today (Thursday, May 4) the teen advisory board meets from 4-5pm. Bring your fun and innovative ideas to help us plan teen programs. Share an idea to pick out a free book. The free role-playing game for 7th-12th graders takes place next Wednesday, May 10 from 4-5:30pm. Use your imagination to go on adventures and battle monsters. You can join this group any time. Free teen gaming happens every Tuesday from 4–5:30pm for teens in the 7th-12th grades. Enjoy X-box 360 Kinect, Wii and snacks.

Kids activities
The free Wednesday Kids Storytime is cancelled temporarily until we hire a new early literacy librarian. Instead, we will host open playtimes for parents and children to play, interact and learn while enjoying games and puzzles with each other. Every Saturday from 9:05 to 9:25am, join us for Baby Storytime, a free short session of stories, songs and fingerplays for you and your little ones. Learn easy tips on how to include literacy skills into everyday family life.
Then from 9:30–10am on Saturday, join us for Toddler Storytime — 30 minutes of free stories, songs and fingerplays with open play afterwards. Learn easy tips on how to include literacy skills in everyday family life.

“In Plain Sight” is season five. “House” is season one. “Swiss Family Robinson” is the Disney film. “El Jeremias,” the story of a gifted eight-year-old living in Mexico, is in Spanish with English subtitles. “Bone Tomahawk” is a western. “Beyond the Boundary” is the complete collection. “White House Down” is a thriller. “The Hornet’s Nest” is a war story of U.S. soldiers and Marines.

Large print
“The Lost Order” by Steve Berry follows the search for a lost treasure with Smithsonian connections. “Forever a Hero” by Linda Lael Miller is a Carsons of Mustang Creek mystery. “All by Myself Alone” by Mary Higgins Clark is a mystery.

“The Confessions of Young Nero” by Margaret George is an historical novel of the Roman Empire. “The Roanoke Girls” by Amy Engel explores secrets that families keep. “Ripper: The Secret Life of Walter Sickert” by Patricia Cornwall exposes the life of a Victorian London serial killer. “Any Day Now” by Robyn Carr is a Sullivan’s Crossing story.

Thrillers, mysteries and suspense
“Never Let You Go” by Chevy Stevens follows a mother and daughter being tracked by someone after her ex-husband gets out of jail. “The Night Ocean” by Paul La Farge tells of a woman following her husband’s trail across decades. “All the Missing Girls” by Megan Miranda is a missing girls story told backwards. “Oath of Honor” by Mathew Betley is a political thriller. “White Tears” by Hari Kunzru is a ghost story about blues song. “I See You” by Clare Mackintosh begins with a classified ad featuring a surprising photo.

Other novels
“Long Way Gone” by Charles Martin tells of a man who returns home to Colorado searching for answers about his father and his faith. “The Burning Page” by Genevieve Cogman is an Invisible Library fantasy. “Miramar Bay” by Davis Bunn is the story of two strangers in a small, coastal town. “The Women in the Castle” by Jessica Shattuck features resistance widows after Nazi Germany’s defeat. “Red Clover Inn” by Carla Neggers is a Swift River Valley novel.

“No One Cares About Crazy People” by Pulitzer Prize winner Ron Powers is a social and personal history of mental illness. “Lenin on the Train” by Catherine Merridale is a history of Lenin’s rail journey across Europe to ignite the Russian revolution. “Ike and McCarthy” by David A. Nichols tells how President Eisenhower worked behind the scenes to destroy Joseph McCarthy.

Programmed Nooks
We have nine free Nooks and three free tablets programmed for your e-reading pleasure. The eight adult content e-readers contain either fiction or nonfiction bestsellers. The four youth e-readers contain books for children, juniors and young adults.

Thanks to our donors
For books and materials this week we thank Wendy Mirr and our anonymous donors.

Quotable Quote
“What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly.” – Lao Tzu, ancient Chinese philosopher and writer.

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


Carole Howard & Library Staff

The Ruby Sisson Memorial Library has been located at 811 San Juan Street (corner of S. 8th and Hwy 160) since 1989. The library is overseen by the Upper San Juan Library District, a tax-funded special district in Archuleta County.