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There are some bright spots at Durango Public Library


Wow, I cannot believe it is almost summer. These last few months have been weird, to say the least. As a person who truly enjoys working with people and who enjoys sharing library materials with our customers, this has been really challenging. It has been even more challenging for the Durango Public Library staff, many of whom have not been working. I am grateful to bring them back to work so we can provide various services to the public, even if we cannot open our doors.

I am frequently being asked when we will reopen. And the answer is that I don’t know. We are reconfiguring furniture and computer access, setting up sneeze guards, figuring out how to manage the number of people in the building and more. There are many bits and pieces that must come together, with public health at the forefront. We will follow orders and guidelines from the state and San Juan Basin Public Health. When we do open, if we are exposed to the virus, we may have unexpected shutdowns of the library because staff would need to quarantine themselves. It is going to be messy and complicated.

In the meantime, we are offering curbside pickup of materials from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. Call 375-3380 or email us at reference@durangogov.org and we will put together an order for you. You may also place holds for on-shelf items in our catalog. Wi-Fi is also available daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. You can park in the parking lot or hang out outside, as long as you maintain the proper 6 feet of distance between you and others.

Here are some bright spots in the world of the Durango Public Library! First, our new system is up and running. If you haven’t had the opportunity to use our new catalog, take a look! When you sign into your account (your default PIN is the last four digits of your card number), you can even sign up for text alerts for when your holds become available.

The second most exciting part of our new system is that we are fine-free. We know that people are struggling right now, and the least we can do is not charge late fees on materials. We will continue to charge for late Inter-Library Loans and for materials that are lost. But we want everyone to be able to use the library, especially when many of us are cutting our personal expenses and could really use what the library has to offer.

The next positive thing is the Summer Reading Program. Durango Public Library’s Summer Reading Programs for kids, teens and adults will run from June 10 to Aug. 1. Online registration will open June 10 at https://www.durangogov.org/Library, or you can call 375-3380 or email the library at reference@durangogov.org to sign up. We will have prize drawings for all ages, including adults! In addition, we will offer take-home program kits for kids and teens, with four different varieties available. Details are on our website.

Thanks for your support during these difficult times! Stay well!

Sandy Irwin is library director at Durango Public Library.