New Great Stories Club for teens to launch tomorrow


By Carole Howard  | PREVIEW Columnist, and the library staff

Our new free Great Stories Club for teens begins tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 10, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. for ages 13 and up. 

Pizza and beverages will be provided. 

Your Ruby Sisson Library was selected as one of 58 libraries nationwide to participate in this innovative reading and discussion program sponsored by the American Library Association with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

As part of the Great Stories Club effort, staff from the Ruby Sisson Library will partner with the San Juan Mountain School and Pagosa Community Initiative to work with teens to read and discuss stories that explore questions of race, equity, identity and history. 

Tomorrow’s book is “Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native Voices,” edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale. Our discussion will celebrate Indigenous voices and artists in our community. 

The other three books will be “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, “Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A.” by Luis J. Rodriguez and “American Street” by Ibi Zobo. The titles were selected to inspire teens — especially those facing difficult circumstances or challenges — to consider “big questions” about the world around them and their place in it. The books will be gifted to club participants.

There will be one separate discussion per book, plus a final gallery at the end of all four sessions. Teens can sign up just for the sessions that interest them, based on the subject matter of the book being discussed, or for all four. 

Early library closure

Your library will close early on Monday, Nov. 13, for a staff meeting at 5 p.m. This is our regular new staff meeting schedule — on the second Monday of the month.

Lifelong Learning lectures

This evening, Nov. 9, from 6 to 7:15 p.m. is the last talk in our free fall Lifelong Learning series that offers talented speakers talking about a wide variety of interesting topics. 

We are showcasing the Project Healing Waters fly-fishing program for disabled veterans and wounded warriors with Paul Wilson, the program lead and a retired wildlife biologist. No registration is required.

Virtual author talks 

Our highly popular free virtual author talks continue with two more opportunities for you to interact with New York Times bestselling authors and ask questions this month. For details and to register go to 

Thursday, Nov. 16, at 2 p.m. will features a conversation with Poet Laureate Joy Harjo. 

On Nov. 30 at 1 p.m. you can interact with bestselling author Naomi Alderman, who will focus on Writing Dystopian Worlds. 

Messy art tomorrow 

Let’s get messy and make sculptures out of natural materials tomorrow, Nov. 10, from 2 to 4 p.m. at this free art session. All ages are welcome and all supplies will be provided.

Beginning chess Saturday

Learn how to play chess with free quick lessons and game time to practice your skills on Saturday, Nov. 11, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. All ages and abilities are welcome.

Adult knitting Saturday

Join new and experienced knitters this Saturday, Nov. 11, for our free Knitters Circle from 1 to 3 p.m. It is aimed at anyone over the age of 18 who would like to knit together or get some help if you are stuck on your project. 

Knitting and crochet lessons

Learn to knit or crochet on Monday, Nov. 13, at our free gathering from 2 to 3:15 p.m. for ages 8 and up. Supplies will be provided. 

Shakespeare read-aloud

Shakespeare fans of all ages are invited to join in reading aloud “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” on Monday, Nov. 13, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Call Jenny at (240) 426-7887 for more information.

Tween/teen art camp Monday

Monday free art classes from 4 to 6 p.m. (4 to 5 p.m. today, Nov. 13) for teens and tweens will explore a different style or medium. This month it is cartooning and caricature by guest artist Dan Dempster. Participants will draw basic portraits and create a flip-book animation. Registration is required.

Adult DIY 

At the free adult DIY next Tuesday, Nov. 14, from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m., you will experience dot painting on glass ornaments, traditional and heart-shaped. This makes a great holiday gift for that special someone in your life. All supplies will be provided. Note the time and day change this month.

Ruby’s Book Club Tuesday

Ruby’s Book Club will meet from 2 to 3 p.m. next Tuesday, Nov. 14, to discuss “The Yellow House” by Sarah Brown. Copies are available at your library. This free book club is held the second Tuesday of each month, alternating between fiction and nonfiction titles, with snacks provided. Anyone is welcome to attend.

Dungeons and Dragons

Next Tuesday, Nov. 14, 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.

Therapy dog visit 

Next Wednesday, Nov. 15, from 11 to 11:45 a.m., you are invited to come to the library for a free visit with a certified therapy dog. Visits are limited to 10-15 minutes — just the right amount of time to pet the dog, read to the dog or just say “Hi.” This is an all-ages activity.

Elementary tutoring sessions

Children ages 6-11 are welcome at these free sessions every Wednesday from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. where they will build essential skills in core subjects. Preregistration is required.

Family storytimes

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

Writers’ support group

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. 

ESL class times

Free in-person evening classes take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and there is a change in the way the time is divided: 4 to 5 p.m. is reserved for beginners, 5 to 6 p.m. for intermediate and 6 to 7 p.m. for advanced students. Please help us spread the word about these classes to others in our community who would be interested, and contact us by phone or email if you have any questions. 

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 any of the library’s online resources. No appointment needed for these drop-in sessions, but it is important that you bring your device’s charger with you. 

PALS/GED adult education 

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.


“Ghosthunt” is the complete season. “Picture Perfect Mysteries” is a three-movie collection. “The Crown” is the complete fifth season. “So Help Me Todd” is season one. The Cornetto trilogy — “The World’s End,” “Hot Fuzz” and “Shaun of the Dead” — are in one DVD collection. “Interview with the Vampire” is season one. 


 “To Infinity and Beyond” by astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson and StarTalk producer Lindsey Nyx Walker is an interstellar odyssey. “Making It So” by Sir Patrick Stewart is a memoir by this renowned British actor. “On Censorship: A Public Librarian Examines Cancel Culture in the U.S.” by James LaRue highlights the dangers of book banning and censorship. “Why We Love Baseball” by Joe Posnanski is a history of 50 major moments in the sport. “The Masters” by Rolling Stone editor Jann S. Wenner is a collection of interviews with the greatest rock ‘n’ roll artists and cultural icons of our time. 

“Alfie and Me” by Carl Safina is the story of a couple saving of an orphaned screech owl and her impact on their lives. “Thicker than Water” by Kerry Washington is a memoir by this award-winning actor, director and activist. We have two new Rick Steves travel guides: “Vienna, Salzburg and Tirol” and “Spain.” “Head over Heels” by Melissa Newman is a look at the life and love of Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman by their daughter that includes photographs by some of the world’s best photographers.


“Dragonfly’s Question” by Darcy Hitchcock includes a chapter-by-chapter discussion guide to help readers share the author’s principles for a more sustainable way of life. “Let Us Descend” by Jesmyn Ward is a reimagining of American slavery, told through the eyes of a young woman. 

Large print

“The Traitor Among Us” by Anne Perry is book five of the Elena Standish series. “Flop Dead Gorgeous” by David Rosenfelt is an Andy Carpenter mystery. “The Armor of Light” by Ken Follett is the latest in the Kingsbridge historical saga. “Collision of Power” by Martin Baron is an insider’s chronicle of the clashes between former President Donald Trump and Jeff Bezos after the Amazon founder bought The Washington Post. “The Watchdog” by Steve Drummond details how the Truman Committee battled corporations and the Pentagon and helped win World War II.

Books on CD

“Up on the Woof Top” by Spencer Quinn is a Chet the dog and Bernie Little mystery. “Blood Lines” by Nelson and Alex DeMille features special agents Brodie and Taylor. “Judgment Day” by John Sandford is a Lucas Devenport and Virgil Flowers mystery.

Thanks to our donors

We are grateful to Joann Ferko for her materials 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. 

The Friends recently announced new guidelines for what they will accept as 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; or 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 

“Often, when you’re reading a novel that appeals to you, you feel a sense of connection to the author in a way that is different from any other form of literature. And as you become more aware of how the characters in the novel are feeling and thinking, you also become more aware of how you’re feeling and thinking. So reading novels is a form of emotional education.” — Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Jane Smiley.


For more information on library books, services and programs — and to reserve books, e-books, books on CD and DVDs from the comfort of your home — please visit our website at