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Libraries working hard to create safe, welcoming places

Vining

To the library patrons of the four libraries in La Plata County, let me first just offer a simple Thank You! to you for your continued support, your phone calls and messages telling us, the library staff, how important we are to you and how much you’ve missed walking through our doors.

Just as each library in the county serves quite different populations, our respective approaches to reopening are going to differ. Please know that we are working hard to continue to serve you and provide the best resources we can even as those services may look different; different than before we closed and possibly different week to week. We appreciate your patience as we continue to learn and work within the constraints placed on us. You may need to call for appointments, be aware of your local library’s particular requirements and limits.

Having said that, here is what I would like our communities to know about our local libraries. We have been working hard to process the information at hand and create safe, welcoming places where all continue to be and feel welcome. We strive for inclusion, safety, privacy and community. We have been working hard to restructure the physical space of the library for social distancing while not losing emotional connection. We have been working toward the same goals with our programming. We continue to ask ourselves how we continue to offer a safe space for gathering in this moment, offering folks a chance to come together to learn, study, find entertainment and share similar and differing views on myriad subjects.

As things reopen in La Plata County, please don’t forget to check in with your local library. As we have so often heard in the past when people have said, “I didn’t know the library offered that!” there will be more happening in libraries that many of you will not have realized. Check out our websites, our Facebook pages and give us a call. Let us know how we can be of service, what you need and then pass the word to your friends and neighbors about what we offer. In this time of so much isolation and distance, your library staff wants to be a community support, a personal connection and the source of resources for your learning and enjoyment.

At the Ignacio Community Library, we’ve been working hard on our Summer Reading Program (yes, it’s still happening!), our book clubs (meeting outdoors for now) and digital/streaming programs (psst, we have a puppet show coming the first week in July) and adult programs to follow. We have also put together many more literacy kits, mechanical kits from our Maker Space and are even offering Lego kits for checkout. We have fly-tying kits as well as state parks passes.

There is so much we have to offer and are continually looking for more ways to serve you, our local communities. Of course, we still have the traditional items waiting for you; books and movies, audiobooks and magazines, computers and internet. Don’t forget, as they say, to check us out!

Marcia Vining is director of Ignacio Community Library.