New voter survey shows strong support for local libraries

A new survey of U.S. voters commissioned by the American Library Association and its Public Library Association division offers valuable insights into current voter perceptions of their public libraries. Here are some of the key findings:
• Fifty-five percent of voters view their public library as an essential local institution, 58 percent believe public libraries advance education for any community and 44 percent view the library as a valued gathering place for community members.
• Two in three voters place high importance on basic library services such as quiet areas (67 percent), books and technology (66 percent), a broad range of materials to explore (65 percent), and access to computers and the Internet (65 percent).
• Voters frequently visit libraries in person and online. A total of 70 percent of voters have visited a library in the last year, averaging 8.6 visits each, and 52 percent have visited the library’s website in the last year, averaging 7.6 visits each.
• Interestingly, most voters are confused about library funding sources. Fifty-nine percent think most library funding comes from nonlocal sources such as state or federal. In reality, 86 percent of funding for U.S. libraries comes from local sources.
Funding for your Sisson Library comes from several local sources. Last year, 82.3 percent came from property taxes (73.7 percent) via the library mill levy (just like mill levies to support the fire department, schools, health services and other Archuleta County institutions) and vehicle ownership taxes (8.7 percent). Usually, this figure is more than 90 percent, the difference caused by an unusually large donation last year. In 2017, the rest of the funding came from local gifts and donations (12.3 percent), grants (1.7 percent), making copies (1.5 percent), in-house book sales (1.25 percent) plus several sources that were less than 1 percent each, including online book sales and the use of laminating and fax machines.
We also want to recognize the importance of contributions made by the Friends of the Library. Last year, their funds covered half the cost of the installation of the book drop at City Market, the other half coming from an LPEA grant.
• A total of 76 percent of voters support federal funding, with 38 percent saying it should increase and 38 percent saying it should stay the same.
• The majority of voters are willing to donate money to libraries, with 61 percent saying they have either contributed to their local library or would be willing to do so.
Operation Veteran Re-connect
Next Friday, May 4, Adult Services Librarian Brad Glover will man a table at the Vets for Vets event at the high school from 6 to 8 p.m. to inform veterans and their families about the many free library resources available to them.
These include computer use, Internet access and tech support; access to health, learning and ancestry data bases to help vets find information about fallen comrades and shipmates; and our interlibrary loan service that allows vets to borrow or request almost any military-themed book or DVD.
Vets for Vets will also provide many other informational opportunities for our local veterans and their families at this special event.
All-ages gaming
Join us Friday, April 27, from 2 to 3:15 p.m. for a free all-ages gaming session where you can enjoy video gaming on Wii and Xbox 360 Kinect with your friends and family.
Literary Ladies
This free book-lovers’ group — formerly the Senior Book Club — meets on the fourth Friday of every month from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
Friday, April 27, they will discuss “When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present” by Gail Collins. Stop by the library to pick up a copy.
For more information, contact Marilyn Stroud at No registration is required.
LEGO Club Saturday
Kids aged 6-12 are invited to bring their imaginations — LEGOs are provided — this Saturday, April 28, from 11 a.m. to noon for the free LEGO Club.
Teen book club
On Monday, April 30, from 4 to 5 p.m. at the teen book club, seventh- through 12th-graders will discuss “The Darkest Part of the Forest” by Holly Black and enjoy free snacks. Stop by the library to pick up a copy.
Spanish instruction
Join us for this free basic course next Wednesday, May 2, from 4 to 5 p.m. to improve your ability to speak and understand Spanish. We will go over expressions using the verb haber. No registration is required.
Teen role-playing
The free role-playing game for seventh- through 12th-graders takes place Wednesday, May 2, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Use your imagination to go on adventures and battle monsters. You can join this group any time.
Teen advisory board
Next Thursday, May 3, the teen advisory board meets from 4 to 5 p.m. Bring your fun and innovative ideas to help us plan teen programs. Share an idea to pick out a free book.
Tech sessions
Drop in with your technology questions on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to noon and Thursdays from 2 to 4 p.m.
Computer/technology classes
Join us on Thursdays from 1 to 2 p.m. for free sessions to learn a technology skill or application.
Today, April 26, we’ll cover Transparent Language Online, which is packed full of pronunciation, speech, grammar, writing and vocabulary lessons accessible from your computer, smartphone or tablet.
Adult education
Our PALS program — Pagosa Adult Learning Services — takes place three days a week: Mondays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. plus Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Come to your library to get help with high school equivalency, college prep, financial aid, tutoring and more.
Family storytimes
Every Wednesday from 10 to 11 a.m. and Saturday from 9:30 to 10 a.m., join us for free great stories, fun songs and plenty of reasons to get up and move. This is an excellent way for kids of all ages to have fun while building the skills they need to become independent readers.
Please note that both storytimes are now open to babies, toddlers and youngsters of all ages to make it easier for parents to attend with their children depending on their busy schedules rather than the age of their little ones.
How-to and self help
“Natural Causes” by Barbara Ehrenreich describes how we over-prepare and worry too much about what is inevitable, including aging. “The Gifts of Imperfection” by research professor Brene Brown helps you let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are. “Eat a Little Better” by Sam Kass, former chef to the Obamas and White House food policy advisor, offers guidelines and 90 recipes to make it easier to do a little better for your diet — and the environment — every day.
Other nonfiction
“Rocket Men” by Robert Kurson explores the daring odyssey of Apollo 8 and the astronauts who made man’s first journey to the moon. “Wild Moms: Motherhood in the Animal Kingdom” by Dr. Carin Bondar is a fascinating book that reveals a new perspective on the mother/child relationship. “Hunting El Chapo” by Andrew Hogan is a real-life thriller by the DEA agent who tracked down the world’s most-wanted kingpin. “Blood Moon” by John Sedgwick is the story of the centuries-long feud between two Cherokee chiefs. “Because We Are Bad” by Lily Baily is the memoir of a young woman’s childhood battle with OCD. “Fascism: A Warning” by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright explains her concerns about fascism’s current threat to international peace and justice. “The Dream of the Earth” by Thomas Berry, a Catholic priest, explores the human relationship with our planet. “Meghan” by royal biographer Andrew Morton is the story of the life of Prince Harry’s bride-to-be.
Academy Award DVDs
“The Post” received nominations for best picture and best actress for Meryl Streep in this true story about the Washington Post’s role in exposing government corruption.
Mysteries, thrillers and suspense
“The Cutting Edge” by Jeffery Deaver is a Lincoln Rhyme mystery. “Macbeth” by Jo Mesbo focuses on a police force trying to fix the drug problem in a run-down town. “The Fallen” by David Baldacci is an Amos Decker thriller. “The First Family” by Michael Palmer is a medical political thriller.
Large print
“The Temptation of Forgiveness” by Donna Leon is a Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery. “The Sixth Day” by Catherine Coulter is a Brit in the FBI thriller. “Twenty-one Days” by Anne Perry is a Daniel Pitt mystery. “After Anna” by Lisa Scottoline is a murder mystery. “All the Beautiful Girls” by Elizabeth J. Church features a gutsy showgirl in Las Vegas.
Programmed Nooks
We have nine free Nooks and three free tablets programmed for your e-reading pleasure. The eight adult e-readers contain either fiction or nonfiction bestsellers. The four youth e-readers contain books for children, juniors and young adults.
Thanks for our donors
For books and materials this week, we thank Bob and Carole Howard, as well as our anonymous donors.
Quotable quote
“Kindness is like a stone in a pond. When you throw in a stone, the ripples go farther and farther and sometimes you don’t know what shore they reach on the other side. Reach out to a stranger. If you’re kind to somebody, you have no idea how it may change him or her … and you’ll be amazed at the change in you.” — Melinda Gates, American philanthropist and co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
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

This story was posted on April 27, 2018.