El Paso County libraries to reopen July 1

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Libraries across the Pikes Peak region will be opening their doors Wednesday for the first time in 15 weeks.

The Pikes Peak Library District closed its facilities in March as the coronavirus pandemic took hold in Colorado. With cases currently at a more manageable level, the library district says it is ready to resume some indoor services.

"We’re so excited to welcome patrons back into their public libraries,” said Chief Librarian and CEO John Spears. “While we did everything we could to continue serving the community during our temporary closure, we know this step will further ensure our resources are as accessible as possible.”

With the coronavirus still circulating, PPLD says the experience won't be exactly like it was pre-pandemic. There will be restrictions in place, which include:

- Requiring face masks inside all libraries
- New capacity limits
- Reserving the first hour of the day for those at a higher risk of COVID-19 complications
- Not allowing books to be reshelved. If patrons take a book off the shelf while browsing and decide they don't want it, they'll be required to place it in a designated cart.
- Limiting computers to allow for social distancing

More restrictions and guidelines can be found here.

Curbside and remote services will continue for those not wanting to physically go into the libraries.

“We’re doing everything in our power not only to comply with public health recommendations but to go beyond that, even, to ensure our patrons and staff can safely be in our public spaces during this ongoing pandemic,” Spears said. “We know our patrons miss browsing our shelves and using our computers, and we want to provide that while prioritizing the health and wellbeing of library patrons, staff, and the community at large.”