Information on COVID-19

Last updated March 27, 2020

All PPLD facilities will remain temporarily closed until further notice, following state orders and national guidelines regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, we remain in regular communication with El Paso County Public Health and other local agencies to coordinate and respond together as a community. PPLD’s team continues to evaluate the situation, and we will provide Library updates as circumstances change.

Here’s what you can expect during the temporary closure of all PPLD locations across El Paso County:

  • 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.

  • Returning items: Please keep all Library materials at this time. We are not accepting any returns in our book drops; they will be locked for the time being.

  • Checked out items: Due dates have been extended until May 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.

  • Holds & wait lists: Available holds will not expire, and patrons will be able to pick them up when PPLD reopens. Places in hold queues will not change. You can still suspend holds via your account.

  • 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, mobile services, & reservations: All Library programs and events, in addition to public meeting and study room reservations, have been cancelled through at least Sun., April 19; do note that this may be extended depending upon public health guidelines. All scheduled stops and visits by our mobile library services have been suspended as well.

  • 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.

  • Winter Adult Reading Program: It will be extended until further notice, and all prizes will be held until PPLD locations can reopen.

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

  • Have other questions? Use our online “contact us” form to ask about your account, PIN access, or anything else. Select “general information / ask a librarian” to receive prompt email follow-up.

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 health experts recommend that everyone should take everyday preventive actions and practice good hygiene like:

  • 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.

  • Only use a face mask if you’re ill or have been exposed to a sick individual. Stay home if you’re sick.

  • 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.

  • Consider how your daily activities could be impacted if COVID-19 does spread within our community; create a personal preparedness plan.

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. There are a growing number of confirmed and presumptive cases in Colorado, including in El Paso County.

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.