Our Response to COVID-19

Our Response to COVID-19

Last updated May 3, 2021

More Services & Spaces Available Inside Our Libraries!

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

You’re welcome inside all of our libraries, now with more services and spaces available for you. 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. Effective Mon., May 3, PPLD will ease its mask restrictions and follow the state guidelines in place during the month of April until the Board of Trustees can meet and vote on this matter. Face coverings will be required for anyone 11 years and older to enter and use our facilities. Face shields are allowed, and people who cannot medically wear a face covering will be allowed to use our facilities. The first hour is still reserved for people at higher risk of serious complications from COVID-19.

You can visit the Library when it’s convenient for you during open hours to browse the collection and check out items, use a computer, or copy, fax, and scan documents. We also offer the following at select locations with some safety precautions in place:

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.

  • 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 or face shields are required by everyone who is 11 years and older to enter and use our libraries. If you do not have one, PPLD can provide you with a single-use mask at no cost. (Those 10 years and younger are exempt, in addition to those who cannot medically wear a mask. If you need accommodations, please contact the Library location.)

    • There are capacity limits inside every building, along with public-use spaces like makerspaces, studios, and meeting and study rooms. The number of patrons inside are monitored.

    • All fax machines, copiers, and computers are self-service only; staff can offer assistance at services desks, behind a protective shield. Some computers are not available as we encourage patrons and staff to remain six feet apart in our computer labs.

    • 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 or closed to the public: Water fountains, children’s play area, and some meeting rooms.

    Please remember that open hours and specific services may vary by Library location, so please check in advance. The first hour will be reserved for people at higher risk of serious complications from COVID-19.


    Why is the Library requiring patrons to wear face masks?

    PPLD prioritizes the health and safety of Library patrons, staff, and the community-at-large. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Library District has required cloth face coverings since late May 2020. This decision was unanimously approved by PPLD’s Board of Trustees on May 27, 2020, requiring all staff and patrons to wear one while inside any of our facilities. Largely following CDC guidelines, PPLD initially required it for anyone over the age of 2; since then, the age limit changed to 5 years and older. Accommodations have also been available for those with medical exemptions.

    Effective May 3, PPLD will ease its mask restrictions and follow the state guidelines in place during the month of April until the Board of Trustees can meet and vote on this matter. Face coverings will be required for anyone 11 years and older to enter and use our facilities. Face shields are allowed, and people who cannot medically wear a face covering will be allowed to use our facilities.

    PPLD’s Board of Trustees will discuss and vote on whether they will ease, discontinue, maintain, or increase such mask restrictions during their May public meeting.

    If you do not feel comfortable wearing a mask, PPLD still offers curbside services at all libraries. There are also many ways to use the Library remotely, almost anytime and anywhere.


    What else 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:

    • 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: More meeting and study spaces are reopening across the Library District. View what’s available and make a reservation online.
    • Library programs & events: The Library continues to host programs virtually and in other safe ways such as 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 reserve and check out Studio equipment. Our makerspaces and studios have reopened by reservation, with strict capacity limits. They 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 areas at libraries remain closed at this time.
    • 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 16 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 beginning May 5. 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:

    • 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.