Library News: Celebrating National Library and Volunteer Weeks in absentia

By Carole Howard
PREVIEW Columnist, and the library staff

Author Sherry Anderson once said, “Volunteers are not paid — not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless.” Everyone on your library staff agrees. Our volunteers are everyday heroes who make a lasting impact on your library. 

That’s why every year during National Volunteer Week, Meg Wempe and her team host a thank-you gathering for library volunteers. This is an event that is especially meaningful when it falls at the same time as National Library Week, as is true this year, when both were scheduled to be celebrated April 19-25.

But that was before COVID-19.

“We were considering different ways to honor our volunteers during this time of stay-at-home mandates,” Wempe said. “After much consideration, we decided to postpone our annual celebration this week until we can all come together and staff can say ‘thank you’ in person. It’s uncertain when that time will be right now, but I wanted to reach out on behalf of library staff to all of our volunteers to say thank you, we hope you’re staying safe, and we look forward to seeing you again soon.”

Library operations now

While we remain closed because of COVID-19, there are many free resources that still are available from the comfort of your home via our website at www.pagosalibrary.org:

1. You can view your account and place holds — but because of the suspension of courier service between Colorado libraries, you are able to place holds only on our library’s items at this time. All the new books and CDs in this column qualify, as they are in our collection. When the library reopens, our staff will pull the holds you placed while we were closed.

2. Do you have cabin fever? What better time than now to take advantage of many free our online learning resources that can be accessed from your home with your library card. To highlight a few: You have access to ways to repair your car (AutoMate) or lawnmower (Small Engine Repair Reference Center); learn a foreign language (Transparent Language); or take a class on pet care, crafts and hobbies, alternative medicine and computer training, and more (Universal Class). To see them all, go to our website at pagosalibrary.org and select the gray tab towards the top of the page that says “Online Resources.” 

3. You can download e-books and audiobooks through our CloudLibrary app on your smartphone or tablet. IndieFlix allows unlimited streaming access to award-winning shorts, feature films and documentaries. By using the online resource TumbleBook Library, you can find children’s books and audiobooks. 

4. As always, you can access Wi-Fi from your car in our parking lot — with your windows and doors closed, please. 

And a reminder of three don’ts: 

1. No drop-offs, please. We’re asking you to keep all materials that you have checked out until this crisis is over instead of returning them to the library chute or to the uptown dropbox, to keep exposure and contact at a minimum between us all. As always, you do not need to worry about overdue fines. 

2. Because our front door/curbside pickup service has been suspended, you will have to wait until the library reopens to pick up new books, DVDs, CDs and other materials.

3. Please do not make donations of books or other materials until your library is able to reopen.

Staff are hard at work 

Staff are working from home and performing a wide variety of tasks to better serve you. Many are taking professional development classes to increase their skill sets, and some are working on what this year’s Summer Reading Program will look like. Some are ordering and cataloging new materials to be ready when we reopen.

And Wempe is keeping herself up to date on how the library can help keep our community — patrons and staff alike — as safe as possible. For example, she attended a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) webinar about how to mitigate COVID-19 with circulating and paper-based materials. In addition, she meets twice weekly with other Colorado public library directors as they help each other navigate this situation with the most authoritative resources. 

If you have a question, you can email ruby@pagosalibrary.org or call us at 264-2209 and leave a message. Staff are returning messages Monday through Friday to assist patrons. 

You also can stay up to date with what we’re doing through our website or our Facebook page. In the meantime, please keep yourself, your family and your community safe by following all the health advisories from the CDC at its website at www.cdc.gov. and San Juan Basin Public Health at www.sjbpublichealth.org.

Please complete your census form now — it has never been easier 

You can respond to the census right now even if you have not received an official invitation to respond. This is especially important for households that receive mail in a post office box because the delivery of 2020 census invitation letters to households with a post office box has been delayed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The good news is that you do not need to wait for anything from the Census Bureau — you can do it online. Instead of using a unique census ID number, you will be asked to enter your physical address. 

To complete the census online, go to www.my2020census.gov, or call (844) 330-2020 for the English version or (844) 468-2020 for the Spanish version. Remember that Wi-Fi is available from your car in the parking lot 24/7, even during the library closure. You can visit our website at pagosalibrary.org/census-2020 to view a video that demonstrates how to fill out the census online. 

Please phone the library at 264-2209 or email us at ruby@pagosalibrary.org if you have any questions regarding the census. 

Your participation is hugely important because it will determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives, directly affect hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding for local and regional agencies and projects like health clinics, fire departments, schools, social services like Medicaid, even roads and highways for the next decade. Archuleta County needs your participation to get our fair share of these federal dollars. 

When you respond to the census, your answers are kept anonymous. They are used only to produce statistics. The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to protect your answers and keep them strictly confidential. The law ensures that your private information is never published and that your answers cannot be used against you by any government agency or court.

Thrillers, suspense and mysteries

“The Red Lotus” by Chris Bohjalian focuses on the disappearance of a man in Vietnam while he was there with his girlfriend. “The Body from the Woods” by Harlan Coben features a man who himself was found living feral as a child in the forest. “The Last Odyssey” by James Rollins combines cutting-edge science, historical mystery and mythology. 

Other novels

“The Night Watchman” by Louise Erdrich is based on the life of her grandfather, who carried the fight for Native dispossession from rural North Dakota all the way to Washington. “It’s Not Downhill from Here” by Terry McMillan features a 68-year-old woman facing an unexpected loss. “The Glass Hotel” by Emily St. John Mandel combines a massive Ponzi scheme and a disappearance at sea. “The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home” by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor is a chilling ghost story. “The Sinner” by J.R. Ward is the latest in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. “House of Earth and Blood” by Sarah J. Maas is the first in a new Crescent City series. “Conjure Women” by Afia Atakora features a mother-daughter team with a talent for healing. 

CDs

“What Evolution Is” by Ernst Mayr explains Darwin’s theory. “Witch’s Oath” by Terry Goodkind is book four in the Children of D’Hara series. “Naked Came the Florida Man” by Tom Dorsey features Serge A. Storms. “Four Years in the Rockies” by James B. Marsh is the life of mountain man Isaac P. Rose. “Ripple” by Michael C. Grumley is a Breakthrough story.

How-to and self-help

“The Crystal Workshop” by Azalea Lee explores the healing power of crystals. 

Downloadable e-books

Current New York Times bestseller downloadable e-books are available at our free 3M Cloud Library. Access them by clicking on the 3M Cloud Library icon on the home page of our website. While there, browse through a multitude of other adult, juvenile and children’s books, both bestsellers and classics in many genres.

Downloadable films

We offer IndieFlix, a free streaming movie service that gives you unlimited access to more than 7,500 award-winning and popular independent shorts, feature films and documentaries from more than 50 countries — on your device, PC or Mac, with no apps needed. 

Access IndieFlix through the Downloadable Content icon on the library’s website. Use “Quick Pick,” the discovery tool that lets you sample movies like you would music.

Donations note 

Please do not make donations of books or other materials until your library is able to reopen. Many thanks.

Quotable quote

“Let’s take care of ourselves and each other.” — Actor Tom Hanks. He and his wife, Rita Wilson, were hospitalized in Australia with the COVID-19 virus while he was filming there. They are now safely back home in Los Angeles, where he tweeted that they are sheltering in place and practicing social distancing.

Website

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 pagosalibrary.org.

 

This story was posted on April 23, 2020.