In just one year, people visited public libraries more than a billion times

More than 171 million patrons representing more than half of the nearly 311 million Americans who live within public library service areas visited their local library more than 1.35 billion times in 2016, according to a new study using the latest available statistics.
As well, U.S. public libraries offered half a million more programs in 2016 than the year before and 113 million people attended 5.2 million programs in 2016. Also, the number of electronic materials like audio, video and e-books available through public libraries continued to grow, with libraries offering more than 391 million e-books to their patrons.
The data for these impressive results are collected annually from approximately 9,000 public library systems comprised of more than 17,000 main libraries, branches and bookmobiles in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories.
Holiday closure
Your library will be closed Nov. 28-30 for Thanksgiving.
Lifelong Learning lecture
The last talk in the free fall Lifelong Learning lecture series takes place at 5 p.m. today, Nov. 21, when neuroscientist Jean Strahlendorf will discuss dementia and new clinical research that strives to reveal ways to potentially stave off its onset and progression.
Smokey the Bear exhibit
We hope you’ll drop by the library to see a special Smokey Bear portrait exhibit celebrating Smokey’s 75th birthday on Saturday, Nov. 23, from noon to 5 p.m. and Monday, Nov. 25, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
This exhibit, which is traveling to ranger districts across the country, commemorates the U.S. Forest Service’s contributions to wildfire prevention and features the artwork of Rudolph Wendelin. He was a Forest Service employee who is the artist behind Smokey Bear.
Beginning in 1944, Wendelin became the full-time artist for the Smokey Bear campaign and was considered Smokey Bear’s “caretaker” until his retirement in 1973. Smokey Bear is the longest-running public service advertising campaign in United States history, with the goal of bringing awareness to unwanted, human-caused fires in America.
All-ages gaming tomorrow
Join us tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 22, from 2:30-3:45 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.
Kids ages 6-12 are invited to bring your imaginations — LEGOs are provided — this Saturday, Nov. 23, from 11 a.m. to noon for the free LEGO Club.
Tween gaming
Free gaming for fourth through eighth grades is Monday, Nov. 25, from 4 to 5 p.m. Enjoy Xbox 360 Kinect, Wii and snacks.
Teen gaming
Free teen gaming happens on Tuesdays from 4 to 5:30 p.m. for teens in the sixth through 12th grades. Enjoy Xbox 360 Kinect, Wii and snacks.
Teen role-playing
The free role-playing game for seventh- through 12th-graders takes place next Wednesday, Nov. 27, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Use your imagination to go on adventures and battle monsters. You can join this group any time.
ESL classes expand to evening sessions
Free English as a Second Language (ESL) classes have been so appreciated at your library that we are — by popular demand — switching one of the weekly sessions to the evening to make it easier for more people to participate. The new schedule is Tuesdays from 5 to 7 p.m. and Fridays from noon to 2 p.m. No registration is required.
Clases nocturnas de ESL en la biblioteca
Las clases han sido tan apreciadas en su biblioteca que nosotros — por demanda popular — estamos cambiando una de las sesiones semanales de la noche para facilitar la participación de más personas. El nuevo horario es los martes de 5-7 y los viernes de 12-2. No es necesario registrarse.
Adult education
Our free PALS (Pagosa Adult Learning Services) accelerated GED course takes place Mondays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Thursdays from 2 to 7 p.m. Come to your library to get help from Mark with high school equivalency, GED, college prep, financial aid, tutoring and more.
Free tech sessions
Drop in with your technology questions on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to noon and Thursdays from 2 to 4 p.m.
Family storytimes
Every Wednesday from 10 to 11 a.m. and Saturday from 3 to 3:45 p.m., join us for great stories, fun songs, toddler-friendly crafts and plenty of reasons to get up and move.
Nov. 27 will be a free play session. Note there will be no storytime Nov. 23 because of the Smokey Bear exhibit.
Large print
“Blood Sky at Morning” by Jory Sherman is a Shadow Rider western. “Flight of the Hawk: The Plains” by W. Michael Gear is a novel of the American West. “A Good American Family” by David Maraniss tells the story of the author’s father who was blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1932. “American Predator” by Maureen Callahan unveils the story of a relentless killer never as famous as Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer.
Thrillers, mysteries and suspense
“Blue Moon” by Lee Child is a Jack Reacher thriller. “The Family Upstairs” by Lisa Jewell follows a woman who learns her identity at age 25.
“Find Me” by Andre Aciman is a follow-up to “Call Me by Your Name” that became an Academy Award-winning film.
Books on CD
“Stealth” by Stuart Woods is a Stone Barrington mystery. “Wasteland” by Terry Goodkind is book three of the Children of D’Hara fantasy series. “Olive, Again” by Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout returns to the life of Olive Kitteridge. “The Guardians” by John Grisham is a legal mystery. “36 Righteous Men” by Steven Pressfield is a Manning and Duwai thriller. “Child’s Play” by Danielle Steel follows three adult children making choices that surprise their mother. “Me” by Elton John is the autobiography of this singer/songwriter. “To the Land of Long Lost Friends” by Alexander McCall Smith is a No. 1 ladies Detective Agency mystery. “Mosaic” by Michael C Grumley is a sci-fi story. Bloody Genius” by John Sanford is a Virgil Flowers mystery. “The Giver of Stars” by Jojo Moyes is based on a true story about women who bring books to people who never have had any.
Nonfiction books on CD
“Help! Someone I Love Has Cancer” by Joel Hughes offers real-life advice from a family who has experienced cancer. “Home Work” by Julie Andrews is the second installment of the actress’s memoirs, this one focusing on her Hollywood years. “Dear Scott, Dear Zelda” contains letters between F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and a narrative by two scholars. “In Pain” by Travis Rieder is a bioethicist’s memoir of opioid dependence after an accident. “The Toxic Parents Survival Guide” by psychologist Bryn Collins helps you free yourself from an emotionally unavailable parent. “Me” by Elton John is the autobiography of this singer/songwriter.
“For Small Creatures Such as We” by Sasha Sagan explores Earth’s marvels and how they provide meaning to our lives. “Slice of Life” by Juliara Jensen tells why it is important to your life to be close to nature. “America’s Game” by Jerry Rice and Randy O. Williams celebrates the NFL’s first 100 years. “Classic Krakauer” by Jon Krakauer is a collection of 10 essays on wilderness and risk. “Trump vs. China” by Newt Gringrich explores the threat of Communist China to America. “Running with Sherman” by Christopher McDougall is the story of a gentle but badly off rescue donkey who made himself and others better by his racing success. “All the President’s Women: Donald Trump and the Making of a Predator” by Barry Levine and Monique El-Faizsy looks as far back as Trump’s childhood to explore his relationships with women.
Thanks to our donors
For books and materials this week, we thank Codie Wilson, Randall Davis and our anonymous donors.
Quotable quote
“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” — Andy Warhol (1928-1987), American artist, director and producer who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art.
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 November 21, 2019.