Library News

Lifelong Learning Lectures to begin today


The free spring Lifelong Learning Lecture series takes place Thursday evenings starting today, April 18, through May 23 from 6 to 7:15 p.m. with six informative presentations:

• April 18 will feature Robin Young, the CSU Extension director, on “Water, Our Most Precious Resource,” discussing what we can do as individuals and a community to preserve what we have.

• April 25 will showcase Amy Nitchman from the Archuleta County Public Health Department talking about air quality in Colorado and ways to keep yourself informed of high pollution days during wildfire season.

• May 2 is “Knowing Our Ancient Puebloan Neighbors,” a presentation by Denise Fisk and Joanne Lucariello from the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association.

• May 9 will feature Dallas Weaver telling us about his experience hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro from trailhead to the summit.

• May 16 will showcase Cindi Galabota, library foundation executive director, discussing your library’s building campaign.

• May 23 is “North American Monsoon Outlook for Pagosa Springs,” a presentation by Arleen Prochazka of Pagosa Weather.  

The lectures are free and no registration is required. For more details, pick up the Lifelong Learning Lecture brochure at your library.

Farewell event for Meg

We hope you’ll join us to say a fond farewell to departing library director Meg Wempe on Wednesday, April 24, from 2 to 4 p.m. Snacks, activities and well wishes will be available. 

Wempe is leaving the library to become an RN specializing in elderly care and hospice at a local facility. She sees similarities between being a librarian and being a nurse because both involve helping people.

She leaves an impressive legacy from her 11 years at our Sisson Library. Wempe was hired as adult services librarian in 2013 and promoted to director in 2016. She launched our adult book club and DIY series, broadened our computer offerings, brought our community’s ESL programs into the library and worked to create a foundation to fundraise for the library’s impressive expansion plans.

“It has been a joy to work with our skilled staff, supportive board and involved patrons,” she said. “Pagosa is a very special place.”

A huge fan of our community, Wempe said another plus about her new job is that it means she and husband Mark don’t have to move for her to achieve her nursing dream. Both are avid outdoors people, with a special love of powder skiing at Wolf Creek. She also is pleased to be able to remain a member of Pagosa’s Rotary Club.

Save the date for special teen event

Teens are invited to a free Great Stories Club event Friday, April 26, from 4 to 5:30 p.m., when we’ll hear from author Luis Rodriquez and create art based on his book “Always Running.” Pizza will be provided and everyone will receive a free book.

Save the date for children’s special event

Children are invited to join us Tuesday, April 30, from 3-5 p.m. to celebrate Children’s Book Day/El Dia de los Ninos with a free bilingual storytime, face art, crafts and a fun contest.

Special Writers Guild event today

Thursdays from 9 to 11 a.m., Ruby’s Writers Guild welcomes writers looking for opportunities, support, resources and camaraderie with other writers at this free gathering. 

Today, April 18, is a special longer event from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with blind reviews of submissions for the Writers Guild anthology collection that will be donated to the library. 

For more information, please contact Judy at the library at (970) 264-2209.

Family storytimes

Wednesdays from 10 to 11 a.m., join a free educational hour of reading, singing and free play to build early literacy skills.

Dungeons and Dragons

Today, Thursday, April 18, and next Tuesday, April 23, from 4 to 5:30 p.m., join our Dungeons and Dragons game free for teens and young adults. Preregistration is required because space is limited. Contact to join.

AARP senior program tomorrow

Seniors aged 60 and above are invited to a free live online Senior Planet AARP program on the first and third Fridays of the month, including April 19, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

Judy will connect the group via the video conferencing platform Zoom so that you can join other seniors across the country in discussing aging issues such as loneliness, isolation, making new friends and learning in new hobbies. 

She also will show you how to use Zoom free from your home to participate in topics like finance, wellness, fitness, computers and technology on other times and dates if you are interested. 

Paws to Read tomorrow

Friday, April 19, from 2 to 3 p.m., youngsters are invited to share their favorite books with Muppet or Maple, therapy dogs who love stories, at a free Paws to Read session. 

LEGO Club Saturday

Kids aged 6-11 are invited to the free LEGO Club on Saturday, April 20, from 11 a.m. to noon. Bring your own LEGOs or use ours.

Shakespeare read-aloud

Shakespeare fans of all ages are invited to join in reading aloud “Twelfth Night” on Mondays, April 22 and 29, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Call Jenny at (240) 426-7887 for more information. 

Pokemon Club on Saturday

If you’re aged 6-11 and love Pokemon, this free club is for you. Bring your cards on Saturday, April 20, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. 

Teen/tween art camp

Each month we explore a different style or medium at this free event. In April it’s watercolor art. Join us Mondays, April 22 and 29, from 4 to 5 p.m. Registration is required. 

ESL classes

Free in-person evening classes take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with 4 to 5 p.m. reserved for beginners, 5 to 6 p.m. for intermediate and 6 to 7 p.m. for advanced students. Please help us share the word about these classes.

Tech Time

Free in-person slots are available from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and 2 to 4 p.m. Thursdays. Judy helps you with basic questions relating to computers, smartphones and tablets, and also provides assistance in accessing the library’s online resources. 

No appointment is needed for these drop-in sessions, but please bring your device’s charger and passwords with you. 

Pagosa Adult Learning Services (PALS)

Join Mark or Sally for free PALS sessions Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 to 8 p.m. to help with high school equivalency, GED, college prep, financial aid, tutoring and more. 

Activities calendars

Pick up monthly events calendars at the library so you don’t miss any of the free activities available to you and your family.

Downloadable books 

CloudLibrary has a wide variety of downloadable e-books and audiobooks for all ages. To access this free digital collection, download the cloudLibrary app, answer a few simple questions, select AspenCat Union Catalog for the name of your library, then enter your library card number and four-digit PIN. Library staff are happy to help you set up your device if you need assistance.


“Ghost Town Living” by Brent Underwood tells of the author’s move to an abandoned town high above Death Valley where he learned a wealth of new self-sufficiency and problem-solving skills to survive. “Indulge” by Food Network’s Valerie Bertinelli is a new cookbook with recipes the author cooks for friends and family and essays about how to savor moments big and small. 

Large print

“Bad Hombres” by William W. and J.A. Johnstone is a Slash and Pecos western. “The Cow Hunter’s Lament and Other Stories” by Larry D. Sweazy is a collection of 11 western short stories. “Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon” by Michael Lewis is a biography of cryptocurrency’s Sam Bankman-Fried, who was convicted of fraud. “The Guest” by B.A. Paris begins when a close friend moves uninvited into a couple’s home. “Anita de Monte Laughs Last” by Xochitl Gonzalez follows an art history student affected by the life of a forgotten artist.

Mysteries, thrillers and suspense

“The Truth about the Devlins” by Lisa Scottoline is a murder mystery about a family of lawyers. “To Slip the Bonds of Earth” by Amanda Flower features the Wright brothers’ sister solving a mystery that might imprison her famous siblings. 

Books on CD

“What Happened to Nina?” by Dervla McTiernan tells of two families at odds after a woman disappears. “The Princess of Las Vegas” by Chris Bohjalian is a thriller about a woman inspired by Princess Diana. “The Wild Side” by Fern Michaels features an undercover woman investigator. “City in Ruins” by Don Winslow is book three of the Danny Ryan thriller series.

Other novels

“Never Too Late” by Danielle Steel features a widow starting a new life in New York. “Upcountry” by Chin-Sun Lee begins when a couple relocates from New York City to the Catskills. “Blackouts” about two gay men exchanging life stories won the 2023 National Book Award for author Justin Torres. “Bless Me, Ultima” by Rudolfo Anaya is a coming-of-age story set in New Mexico during World War II. “Wandering Stars” by Tommy Orange tells of a survivor of the Sand Creek Massacre forced to learn English and practice Christianity in Colorado in 1864. “Turtle House” by Amanda Churchill is a story of intergenerational friendship that moves between Japan and a small Texas town.

Donation guidelines

We are grateful to Susan and Terry Arrington for their generous donation. When we are open, material donations are accepted for the Friends of the Library at the front desk — not down the outside returns slot at the library or the drop box at City Market, please. 

Here are the Friends’ new guidelines for donations: Yes to popular fiction books published in 2013 or later, nonfiction books published 2018 or later, and children’s and young adult books — all in excellent condition, please. No to CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray, VHS or cassette tapes; textbooks, outdated travel books or reference books because they do not sell. No more than two boxes at a time because of space constraints.

Quotable quote

Response to the author’s question about whether lack of privacy is the worst thing about a small town: “And also the best,” replied one woman. “I love going to the post office in the morning and knowing everybody. The only time we honk a horn is to wave at a friend.” — William Least Heat-Moon in his book, “PrairyErth.” He is an American travel writer and professor of history of English, Irish and Osage ancestry.


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