Basalt Regional Library to reopen Monday after coronavirus shutdown |

Basalt Regional Library to reopen Monday after coronavirus shutdown

Andrew Travers
The Aspen Times
The Basalt Regional Library will reopen on Monday following a six-month clusre due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Courtesy phtoo/Michael Brands

After a six-month closure due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Basalt Regional Library will reopen its doors to the public Monday.

“We are very excited to be open, we are so grateful to our community and our patrons who have been so patient and supportive,” library outreach and development coordinator Cathy Click said.

The children’s section of the library will remain closed, while all others will open Monday with health measures in place to prevent spreading the virus.

The building will be limited to a total of 20 visitors at a time. The library is asking visitors to keep visits under 30 minutes, but won’t be timing or taking appointments.

Lounge and seating areas have been removed, other than at a few computer workstations.

“We normally have a living room feeling in our library, but we are going to wait to reintroduce that,” Click said.

In-person events recently returned to the library outdoors, including weekly children’s storytime Thursdays and a Sept. 27 talk and signing with authors Pam Houston and Amy Irvine about their new quarantine-inspired book “Airmail: Letters of Politics, Pandemics and Place,” to be held outside with a crowd limited to 40 guests.

Curbside checkout of books and materials have been in effect since the spring at the library, and will still be available to the public. The stacks also will now be open for browsing, with staffed checkout and self-checkout stations.

The library has kept some of its public services throughout the closure, including private meeting space and computers by appointment. With new demands to keep services running, the library has not furloughed or laid off any employees this year. Click also noted three library employees welcomed new babies to their families during quarantine, bringing a welcome dose of joy in this tumultuous time.

The opening comes two weeks after the reopening of the Pitkin County Library in Aspen. Basalt Library officials waited in order to coordinate the reopening with the multiple jurisdictions the regional hub serves in Pitkin and Eagle counties as well as the town of Basalt, watching the coronavirus meter of each while also following the lead of the Roaring Fork School District No. RE-1, which backed off its return to full in-person classroom learning this month.

Library officials also opted to wait until the end of September to steer clear of the anticipated spike in COVID-19 cases following the Labor Day weekend.

Revised hours at the library will be 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursdsay and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday. It will be closed Sundays.