Your next visit to the public library will look a little different. For the libraries that are reopening – like the Pine River Public Library and Ignacio Community Library, they’re allowing no more than ten patrons inside at a time.

Mask wearing is strongly encouraged. The study rooms and community room are still closed, as are services like notary and Department of Motor Vehicle registration stations. And don’t expect to flop down in a comfy chair.

Still, the public is welcome at these two libraries. People can browse the stacks, check out a book or movie, or use a computer. Laptop workers can also reserve time at tables.

As some libraries reopen, they’re also taking precautions with materials. When you return a book or DVD and drop it in the return slot, it will be quarantined for three days.

But while some libraries are reopening, others are opting to stay closed. The Durango Public Library hasn’t set a date for letting the public inside, saying on its website that reopening takes a lot of thought and effort to keep people safe. Libraries in Cortez and Mancos haven’t set opening dates, either.

I spoke with Shelley Walchak, director of the Pine River Library in Bayfield, and Marcia Vining, who oversees the Ignacio Community Library.

I’m reporting on the impact of the coronavirus in the Four Corners region for KSUT Public Radio. The stories and audio here were previously aired and published by KSUT. Stories are archived at Open Range News.

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