Information on COVID-19

Last updated May 26, 2020

When will Library locations open to the public again?

Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) is taking a phased reopening approach for our 16 facilities that prioritizes the health and safety of our patrons and staff. With guidance and direction from local public health officials, our team is considering all factors and working out details for future phases.

At this time, all library facilities remain temporarily closed to the public due to COVID-19. Right now, under the state's safer-at-home order, we can only offer curbside service at our locations, in addition to the many ways that you can use the Library remotely. Since the order has been extended to at least June 1, PPLD cannot provide a timeline for reopening library facilities to the public. We promise to keep you informed on any major updates.

What can I expect from PPLD?

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

  • Ready to return items and pick-up holds? We’re here for you with curbside service! Use the link to find out more and access Library service hours and pickup instructions.

  • Use the Library remotely! 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 services! 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.

  • Checked out items: Due dates have been extended until June for all physical Library materials that are currently checked out. Please check your PPLD accounts either through our Catalog or on the PPLD mobile app for the new return dates, which will be listed by item. (Returns are accepted outside of all libraries as part of curbside service.)

  • 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: Since more patrons are using PPLD digital resources online, cardholders can have 10 checkouts for a total of 14 days each; the holds limit remains at a total 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.

  • Library programs & reservations: All in-person Library programs and events held inside of PPLD facilities, along with public meeting and study room reservations, have been cancelled through at least Tue., June 30. Do note that this may be extended depending upon the state’s safer-at-home order and local public health guidelines.

  • 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.

  • Account expirations & renewals: Library card/account expirations will be extended, including accounts that expired in the past 24 months.

  • Interlibrary loans: All are temporarily suspended, and requests will be put in a queue. Current due dates have been extended until PPLD reopens. While this change won’t be reflected in accounts, you will not be penalized for keeping these materials.

  • WiFi access: All library facilities continue to provide open WiFi access, which should be available outside of most PPLD buildings.

  • Book donations: Please keep books that you intend to donate. Direct such questions and concerns directly to the Friends of PPLD (online form).

What’s happening behind the scenes at PPLD?

All returned materials will be quarantined for 72 hours before being processed and circulated. This time limit exceeds public health recommendations. (Items currently in our facilities haven’t been touched in several weeks.)

Per the safer-at-home order, the PPLD team can only work at half capacity inside our facilities. On-site staff are required to follow public health guidance like wearing face coverings, washing hands thoroughly and frequently, and maintaining proper distance during any in-person interactions. They are shelving books, pulling holds, quarantining returned materials, and helping circulate thousands of books, movies, and other items from PPLD’s large collection between our libraries.

Our librarians are still here for you virtually! Staff continue to take your questions by phone, live chat, and email. They’re also providing and expanding virtual services and programs, along with our digital collection. And, we’re working 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.

Have questions about COVID-19?
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 specific to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • 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 in public settings, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, medical facilities, hiking trails, etc.

  • 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). Since much is still unknown about the novel virus, no vaccine is currently available to prevent COVID-19 infection.
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.