Our Response to COVID-19

Our Response to COVID-19

Last updated May 18, 2021

Library Lifts Mask Requirements, Continues to Reopen More Spaces

Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) is here to serve you, regardless of the circumstances!

You’re welcome inside all of our libraries, now with almost all services, resources, and spaces available to you again Open hours and specific services may vary by Library location, so please check in advance.

PPLD continues to prioritize the health and safety of our patrons, staff, and greater community during the ongoing pandemic while making our resources and services accessible to everyone. PPLD has lifted its mask requirements, following the recent CDC and State of Colorado guidance for fully vaccinated individuals. Face coverings (including masks and shields) are now optional inside all of our libraries, but strongly encouraged for those 11 years and older who are not fully vaccinated. (If you need an accommodation, please contact your local library directly.)

Get vaccinated at a Library-hosted clinic in partnership with Governor Polis’ Vaccines for All plan!


What can I expect when visiting the Library inside?

During your Library visit, you can do the following:

Here’s what to expect during your Library visit to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Face coverings (including masks and shields) are now optional inside all of our libraries, but strongly encouraged for those 11 years and older who are not fully vaccinated. (If you need an accommodation, please contact your local library directly.)
  • Self-service cleaning stations are available at locations, in which patrons can use supplies to wipe down furniture and equipment before or after use if wanted. Staff will no longer clean such surfaces between patron use. There are sanitation protocols for equipment checkouts, along with public-use areas like makerspaces, studios, and meeting rooms. PPLD’s contracted cleaning service regularly cleans each facility using enhanced flu season protocol.
  • Other areas and items that remain temporarily unavailable with plans to resume soon: Some computers and children’s play area.

Please remember that open hours and specific services may vary by Library location, so please check in advance.


What else can I expect from PPLD?

In addition to services offered inside our libraries, we also offer:

  • Curbside services allow you to pick up Library materials, wireless print jobs, and take and make kits without having to go inside any location. All open libraries now offer a park and text option, making it even easier! You also can use our 24/7 book drops to return Library materials at any time.
  • Have a question? Ask a librarian! You can connect with PPLD staff by phone, live chat, or email. Or, book an appointment with one of our specialized librarians.
  • Take advantage of our large digital collection, extensive hub of online resources, and many virtual programs available for all ages and interests. Browse our online Catalog, conduct research, or participate in a Library event from almost anywhere, anytime. Get started using our Library remotely!
  • Need WiFi when our libraries are closed? It should be accessible outside most library facilities for anyone to use, day or night.

Here’s an overview of what is available – and not available – to our Library cardholders and patrons at this time:

  • Want to return items and pick-up holds? Curbside services are available at all libraries! Use the link to find out more and access your library’s service hours and pickup instructions.
  • There are so many ways to use the Library remotely! Browse our Online Catalog. Stream and download books, audiobooks, comics, magazines, music, and videos. Use our databases to conduct research, access ample resources for kids and teens, and more from your couch.
  • Check out our virtual programs! Our librarians are bringing their services to you, anywhere and anytime.
  • Have a question? Ask a librarian! Our staff are available to help you by phone, live chat, and email. You also can book an appointment with a specialized librarian.
  • Checked out items: Please check your PPLD accounts either through our Catalog or on the PPLD mobile app for return dates, which will be listed by item. (Returns are accepted outside of all libraries as part of curbside services and will no longer be held in quarantine effective Mon., April 5.)
  • Fines & fees: We officially went fine-free for most Library materials in early 2019, as long as they are not lost or damaged. (See above regarding checked out items.)
  • OverDrive: Cardholders can have 20 checkouts for a total of 21 days each with a total hold limit of 30. PPLD will continue to add copies of digital materials to our collection as our budget allows. Some digital checkouts can be returned early so others have opportunity for access. (Instructions for checking out and returning are available here.)
  • Use of meeting & study rooms: Meeting and study spaces are reopening at full capacity across the Library District, with the exception of the community room at East Library, the venue at Library 21c, and the Columbine room at Penrose Library. View what’s available and make a reservation online.
  • Library programs & events: The Library continues to host programs virtually as well as provide at-home options like take and make kits, discovery kits, and Dial-a-Story and TeleGram by phone. Now there are drive-in, outdoor, and indoor options at libraries and other community locations (like Storytime)! View our event calendar for all opportunities right now. More in-person activities hosted by PPLD and held inside of our facilities will continue to be reintroduced safely.
  • Use of creative spaces & services: Cardholders can take advantage of 3D print drop-off services, plus plus check out Studio equipment. Our makerspaces and studios are open, too. These services are only available at select libraries and hours may vary by location.
  • Use of family & children’s spaces: The Educational Resource Center at East Library reopened for public reservation on Wed., April 7. Other children’s play areas remain temporarily closed with plans to reopen soon.
  • Library card signup: Register online and start using your card immediately! If you sign up online during this time, your temporary account will be available for 90 days (instead of the usual 12-day limit), giving you immediate access to OverDrive and other digital resources from home. Bring your ID and proof of address to your nearest Library and they can activate your full privilege account inside or via curbside!
  • Account expirations & renewals: Library card/account expirations will be extended, including accounts that expired in the past 24 months.
  • Interlibrary loans: Due to staffing restrictions based on guidance from local public health officials, maintaining the current number of requests is not feasible. Therefore, we are decreasing the number of Interlibrary Loans requests to three per library card. We expect requests to take longer to fulfill (borrowing or purchasing), with a potential wait time of four to eight weeks.
  • WiFi access: All Library facilities continue to provide open WiFi access, which should be also available outside of most PPLD buildings.
  • Friends of PPLD and book donations: PPLD Friends Bookstores have reopened their bookstores inside of our libraries. Online sales continue with curbside pickup at East Library. Shop our collection now! Have donations for us? Complete the form here to request an appointment to donate your materials.

Our team also continues to work with community organizations, school districts, and other partners to support El Paso County residents with many different needs during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.


Information About COVID-19

Vaccinations

Vaccines are now available to all Colorado residents 12 years and older! State and local public health officials encourage you to get vaccinated. It’s free, safe, and effective in protecting you against COVID-19; no ID or insurance required. Learn more and find a local provider to book your appointment in El Paso County. You also can call 2-1-1 or text “vaccine” to 667873.

Get vaccinated at a Library-hosted clinic! As part of Governor Polis’ Vaccines for All plan, PPLD has been selected to host vaccine equity clinics. Learn more about participating locations, dates, and registration!

Have questions about the novel coronavirus?
We understand that people may be concerned about COVID-19 and how it may affect them. Please check out the following public resources for more information:

What should I do?
To help stop the spread of germs and any contagious illness, local and national public health experts recommend that everyone should take everyday preventive actions and practice good hygiene. Here are some tips from the CDC specific to the COVID-19 pandemic and particularly for those who are not fully vaccinated:

  • Put distance between yourself and other people; at least 6 feet apart.

  • Stay home if you’re sick.

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover whenever inside public settings, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, medical facilities, and other crowded spaces.

  • Frequently and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, if you cannot wash your hands.

  • Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth; avoid touching with unwashed hands.

  • Cover your mouth with tissue when coughing or sneezing, and then properly wash your hands.

  • Clean surfaces and personal items, such as cell phones, using household disinfecting products.

What is COVID-19?
There is a global pandemic situation involving a respiratory illness named COVID-19, which is caused by a new coronavirus that spreads through coughing or sneezing, much like influenza (also known as the flu). Vaccines have been approved and are being distributed.

For current information and updates on the pandemic:

Comments

The stores are all out of disinfectant wipes. Is the library actually wiping down all materials as they come in, (and the ones on the shelf that are exposed to the public's possible sneezing, coughing, and un-sanitized fingers), or are you leaving it solely up to patrons to wipe down any materials they borrow?

Hi Kay,
We understand that people may be concerned about COVID-19 and how it may affect them. Given the evolving situation, our team is working closely with El Paso County Public Health, preparing for potential impact in our community, and taking precautionary measures at all of our library facilities.

PPLD cannot guarantee circulating items to be germ-free. Patrons can use a damp disinfectant wipe on covers/cases for materials like books, DVDs, CDs, audiobooks, and other items.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any further questions.

Kayah Swanson
Director of Public Relations & Marketing
kswanson@ppld.org

I was told by one of PPLD's staff yesterday that there is a good chance the District will be closing its libraries soon, as other libraries in Colorado have already done according to her. Will you consider any ideas, short of closing facilities completely, to continue service for those who may desperately need to have access to computers, wi-fi, and other less vital materials, such as educational and entertaining materials especially now that schools and other events are cancelled? I can think of several procedures and accommodations that could be implemented, and ways to safeguard staff, to allow libraries to remain accessible to the community short of closing the buildings and furloughing employees. Just as it is important not to shut down all private businesses, we should look for solutions for keeping the services offered through our libraries available to help the community.

Hi Kay,

While we've made the decision to close, our team continues to have discussions about such topics; we'll provide a community update to this page as soon as we can.

Do you forsee prohibiting the use of meeting rooms anytime soon?

Hi Anna,

All meeting room reservations, in addition to public programs, have been cancelled effective March 16 through March 31.

The library book sale is still on this weekend though correct?

Hello Sarah. Yes, the book sale is still on. The cancellation is effective starting Mon., March 16.

You need to close ALL PPLD libraries.
Many of your patrons are NOT being safe with their own personal hygiene ( think the homeless ). If the virus enters the system it will spread like wildfire .
You need to think of the public and employees safety now. Many patrons and employees are in the seriously at risk catagories. Their safety is your first responsibility

Hi Joe,

The decision has been made to close all physical locations starting Mon., March 16, until further notice.

Why are you not allowing room reservations? Your libraries are MAD LOUD and I’m tryna work

Hi Mary,

The decision to cancel public programs, and to close our facilities, was made in collaboration with and at the recommendation of El Paso County Public Health.

I have a book on hold. How would I go about getting that? Will I lose my window of pick up?

Hi Jamie,

Our team continues to have discussions about such topics; we'll provide a community update to this page as soon as we can.

I have a book on hold available at the library only until Wednesday the 18TH with all the libraries closing will it still be there when the libraries reopen or will I have to place it on hold again

Hi Marjorie,

Our team continues to have discussions about such topics; we'll provide a community update to this page as soon as we can.

Will someone be working at the library during this time to accept returns? Or do we keep materials until reopening?

Hi Lisa,

Please keep your Library materials for right now. We continue to discuss such topics and will keep the community up-to-date on decisions that impact our patrons via this page and social media.

I have a few books currently checked out that aren’t due until March 30th. Do I need to return them before Monday?

Hi Jennifer,

Please keep your Library materials for right now. We continue to discuss such topics and will keep the community up-to-date on decisions that impact our patrons.

Holds that reach their "pick up by" date will still be available when the library re-opens?

Hi Brenda,
Our team continues to have discussions about such topics; we'll provide a community update to this page as soon as we can.

Will the bookmobile schedule be cancelled?

Will there be any late fee charges if the book mobile is cancelled?

Hi Darlene,

Mobile Library Services are temporarily suspended, as well. PPLD no longer charges late fees for most materials, as of January 2019 (learn more here: https://ppld.org/fine-free). Checkouts will be extended, but details are forthcoming. We continue to have discussions on these topics and will provide an update as soon as possible to this page.