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Pitkin County Library to reopen Monday

Colby Kalamaya, 6, searches for her books in the lobby of the Pitkin County Library in Aspen on Thursday, May 6, 2021. The library will be reopening to the public on Monday, May 10. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

The Pitkin County Library is opening to the public for the first time in five months, ending its second extended closure due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The building will open Monday for in-person browsing, pickups and checkouts as the county loosens public health restrictions. Masks are required; reservations are not. Meeting rooms will remain closed for the time being and all seating has been removed from the interior.

Library officials are encouraging users to keep their visits short and will ask people to leave after 30 minutes. They’re calling it “walk-through” service, while all three floors will be open including the children’s area (limited to 10 people at a time).



Noting that people cannot sit or socialize in the library, librarian Martha Durgy joked: “We are creating an unfriendly environment for everybody’s safety.”

The Mill Street building closed to the public from March through September 2020 as the pandemic struck, then reopened for two months but closed again as COVID-19 cases spiked locally in November.




Curbside services have run continuously since May 2020. Durgy said that curbside checkout will still be available for anyone who does not wish to enter the library. The service, which allowed cardholders to check out materials over the phone and online and to pick up plastic-wrapped books labeled with their names in the library foyer and at the Snowmass Recreation Center, has remained popular throughout the pandemic.

“People have been very grateful to have that available,” Durgy said.

The library’s Dunaway Room remains open for public computer use, limited to eight people at a time, as it was through the winter.

As of last week, the current walk-through service was expected to remain in place until local officials adopted Green-level COVID-19 public health restrictions, which would allow some indoor seating and gathering. The county enters Green status Monday.

The building will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.

The Aspen library’s reopening follows the March reopening of the Basalt Regional Library with similar restrictions on use and time of visits for browsing, checkouts and computer use. It is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and from noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.

atravers@aspentimes.com


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