At the Library Logo

I want to express my gratitude for the community’s support and patience as we evaluate and adjust our library services because of the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. The health and safety of our patrons, volunteers and staff are our top priority.

As communicated through our website and social media outlets on Friday, to help in following “social distancing” during this time and to prevent potential spread of COVID-19, Salida Regional Library is suspending all programs, storytime and book clubs through April 6. Every day there have been changes and re-evaluations.

As part of our Emergency closing Policy, we look to the Chaffee County Public Health department in deciding whether to close due to health concerns within the community. This decision is not made lightly, and as a cautionary measure, we will be closing Salida Regional Library to the public Tuesday, until further notice. We will continue to reassess the situation on a daily basis and provide updates through our website and social media outlets.

Today we will be running a “business as usual” day, and patrons may pick up items and drop off materials throughout the normal hours. The only difference is our computer lab will be closed to the public.

There is a good chance that our courier company may suspend its delivery service. In the event this does happen, we intend to make sure patrons remain on hold for specified items and that they keep their place in line for such items once service resumes. Loaning libraries understand that books may return after due dates and are providing lenience at this time.

While closed, we will not be accepting any materials until we reopen; this includes our drop box. If we are closed, please do not return materials to the drop box – wait until we reopen. We will waive any late fees and extend loans on materials during this time of closure.

What are we doing now? Currently we are adding extra cleaning measures to all materials returned to the library, wiping down surfaces in our labs, on desks, tables and any area that comes into contact with patrons, above and beyond our usual cleaning practices.

Staff will be working on a modified schedule while closed and will be working to continue to clean all materials and hope for a quick reopening. We understand this can be an imposition on some patrons and we understand that, as it is also hard for us, but it is in the best interest of the community at this time.

Remember, the library also offers services you may access from home. Go to salidalibrary.org to view all of our online resources.

Free access to e-books and audiobooks: Libby is a mobile app presented by Overdrive that allows you to connect with your local library collections using your phone, tablet or computer giving you access to a broad collection of e-books, audiobooks and even graphic novels and picture books for the kids. Libby will keep track of books loaned out to you and even allow you to download e-books to your Kindle device.

Track your reading activity, leave multiple notes and bookmarks to track your progress and preview new books with a tap until you find the perfect one for you. Libby is user-friendly and easy to set up – just download the Libby app in the Apple or Google Play store, enter your library card number and away you go.

Maybe you have wanted to learn a new language? Mango is a language-learning service that partners with public libraries across America to offer courses in more than 70 different languages, from Arabic to Yiddish. Brush up on a new tongue for fun, to expand your ability to communicate across the world or to give yourself a competitive edge professionally.

Mango has interactive lessons that emphasize conversational skills and cultural education, as well as a collection of foreign films in a variety of languages with a breakdown of the dialogue especially created for language instruction. For those who are learning English, Mango offers English instruction in more than 20 different languages as well.

Is now the time to take an online course? Universal Class offers more than 500 courses for you to choose from. These are real courses that provide high-quality, online courses to help you learn the skills needed to achieve your goals. The courses are not just tutorials; they are real. They include lessons, exams, assignments, discussion boards and actual assessments of your progress to help you master the learning outcomes.

Susan Matthews is Salida Regional Library director.

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