Hang on just a while longer for library reopening

A clear sneeze guard surrounds a computer monitor on a library service desk.

New sneeze guards protect a staff desk downstairs at the Central Library.

The most common question that Mesa County Libraries staff hear these days is: “When is the library reopening?”

The short answer is: “As soon as we can!”

The good news is that the library is making progress toward reopening our buildings to the public after they closed March 14 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The not-so-good news is that we don’t yet have an opening date, although it is likely that we will have a limited opening sometime in June (we’ll let everyone know the date as soon as we know).

What we do know for certain is that the library experience will be significantly different for most patrons. 

Ever since the stay-at-home order expired in April, we’ve been making physical modifications to many of our library facilities to ensure social distancing and to protect staff and patrons as best we can once we reopen.

  • At the Central Library, for example, we’ve relocated the shelves for holds to a more open area of the building so that patrons aren’t crowded into a small space when they look for their materials.
  • In the Children’s Area, we have removed toys and play activities.
  • At patron service desks, we are installing sneeze guards.
  • In addition, library staff will be required to wear masks while serving the public and while working with other staff members. We also will ask patrons to wear masks while in the building. We will be wearing our masks to protect you; please wear one to protect us.

When we reopen, the number of patrons allowed inside library buildings also will be limited. We are working on operational plans to serve as many patrons as we safely can, and those plans will be shared with Mesa County Public Health for their input, advice, and approval before we open our doors. We also are waiting for guidance from the governor’s office on when libraries can reopen to the public, which we don’t expect until after June 1.

Once our reopening plans are approved and an opening date is set, we will share details with the public.

In the meantime, we are operating Curbside Pick-Up of holds at our library locations. Using that service is easy:

  1. Visit the online catalog and place your items on hold.
  2. You will be contacted when your items are available for pick-up.
  3. Call your library branch and schedule a pick-up time and date.
  4. When you arrive to pick up your materials, call the number posted to let staff know you’re there.
  5. Remain in your car while staff leave your materials on the table.
  6. After staff return to the building, pick up your materials from the table and enjoy!
  7. Please do not drop in. All curbside pick-ups must be scheduled in advance.

We also want patrons to know that during this pandemic, we are using a bleach solution to wipe the front and back covers of all materials placed on hold and are placing them in quarantine for at least 24 hours before offering them for pick-up.

And don’t forget Summer Reading at Mesa County Libraries, which begins June 1 and has been modified to be an all-online program this year! We have some excellent entertainment planned for live-stream on our Facebook page beginning the week of June 1. We’ll have more information available about Summer Reading shortly, so stay tuned to this blog and our social media pages!

For updates on library services available during these unusual times, please visit our COVID-19 Information and Resources page.

We at Mesa County Libraries can’t wait to reopen our facilities and see our patrons again. We are working hard to make sure we reach that time sooner, rather than later. Please hang on just a while longer!

 

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