Avid bookworms and others who just need a quiet place to work can now get into most area libraries an hour earlier.
On Monday, the Pikes Peak Library District expanded most of its locations’ hours to open an hour earlier at 9 a.m. Monday through Thursday. The Ute Pass, Palmer Lake and Manitou Springs libraries will not open earlier, but the Manitou location extended its evening hours.
The extended hours come from overwhelming patron feedback, said Travis Duncan, a media specialist for the district.
Since the Manitou Springs library was added to the Pikes Peak Library District in February, one part-time position has been added at a cost of about $8,600, said associate director of public services Sydne Dean. Opening the other libraries earlier comes at no extra cost to the district, though, because librarians already get to work by 9 a.m., usually for meetings, she said.
Duncan said he and others are confident patrons will take advantage of earlier openings.
“We know they will be from the amount of people waiting at the gates every morning,” he said.
Pikes Peak Library District is working on getting a new facility ready to open next year. The current changes and the new library on Chapel Hills Drive — which will be the largest in the district — reflect a change in what libraries are needed and used for, Duncan said. People may wonder why the library is creating a new branch amid a consumer move to electronic materials, such as those read on Kindles, iPads and Nooks. The goal, though, is to offer new services to assist the community beyond being a warehouse for books and other paper materials, Duncan said.
“We want the library to change and reflect the times,” he said. “So we’re no longer just a repository. We’re a kitchen where people can come and get the ingredients to make something, to create something.”