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Volunteering is good for your health

As National Volunteer Week is being observed across the U.S.A. this week with the theme “Celebrating People in Action,” new research has provided evidence that seniors who volunteer have a dramatically increased ability to maintain cognitive function.

Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco tracked the cognitive function of nearly 2,500 men and women between the ages of 70 and 79. The majority of the participants — 53 percent — showed normal age-related cognitive loss after eight years, while 30 percent showed no cognitive loss at all.

Trying to figure out what gave some elders an advantage over the others, the researchers found that in addition to regular exercise, having a high-school education and at least a ninth-grade literacy level, there were two key differences — living with someone, and holding down a job or volunteer duties.

These findings reinforce previous research that suggests interacting with others through work or volunteerism keeps seniors engaged — emotionally and neurologically — and also helps them live longer.

As we celebrate National Volunteer Week, we say a heartfelt thank you to all the volunteers who do so much to enhance life in our community — with special gratitude to the pool of about 45 volunteers who work at your library. We’re glad to know their contributions to all of us also benefit their personal health.

To become a volunteer at your library, contact Jackie Welch, director, at 264-2208.

Teen event

Teens in the seventh through 12th grades are invited to the latest free Teen Crafts Program at the library on Wednesday, April 20, from 3:30-5 p.m., when we will be making Gock/Zombie puppets. These are not going to be your normal sock puppets — they will be much more clever and creative. So please join us for fun and camaraderie. We’ll provide the supplies — you provide the creativity!

Lifelong Learning

This Sunday, April 17, is the last of the six free Spring Lifelong Learning lectures from 3 to 4:15 p.m. Dennis Aronson will speak on “The Impact of Islamic Achievements on Western Civilization.”

The presentation will focus on contributions in several areas, including astronomy, art, literature, medicine, architecture, language and music. Aronson lived and worked in Muslim countries for eight years, and he and his late wife served as Peace Corps volunteers in Afghanistan in the ’60s.

New novels

“The Brothers of Baker Street” by Michael Robertson is the second in the series about two brother lawyers who lease offices on London’s Baker Street and begin receiving mail addressed to Sherlock Holmes. “Emily, Alone” by Stewart O’Nan is the sequel to “Wish You Were Here” featuring Emily Maxwell. “Pacific Glory” by P.T. Deutermann is a military adventure and love story featuring characters forever changed by the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Colorado travel books

“Colorado’s Mountains/fourth edition” from the Insiders’ Guide series provides countless details on how to live and thrive in our state. “Historic Colorado” from the Voyager Travel Guide series outlines day trips and weekend getaways to historic towns, cities, sites and wonders in our state. “Ghost Towns of the Mountain West” by Philip Varney is a guide to the hidden history and old west towns in Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Nevada. “Fun with the Family: Colorado” offers hundreds of ideas for day trips with the kids.

Mysteries and thrillers

“So Much Pretty” by Cara Hoffman is about a reporter looking for her big break as she investigates a murder and a polluting dairy farm. “Lucifer’s Tears” by James Thompson is the latest international crime novel featuring Inspector Kari Vaara.

“Started Early, Took My Dog” by Kate Atkinson features a woman working security at the local shopping center to supplement her pension from the police force.

Thanks to our donors

For generous donations in memory of Kay Grams, we thank Donna Geiger, Leonard and Margaret Keep, Bob and Livia Lynch, Bob and Lisa Scott, and the Friends of the Library.

For books and materials this week, we thank Barbara Ball, Shirli Christensen and Susan Kanyur.

Quotable quote

“A great teacher never strives to explain her vision; she simply invites you to stand beside her and see for yourself.” — The Reverend R. Inman, English minister.

Website

For more information on library books, services and programs, and to reserve books from the comfort of your home, please visit our website at http://pagosa.colibraries.org/.

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