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MICHELLE RAY

As an employee of Pikes Peak Library District, I often find myself asking others in the community, “Did you know the Library offers …?” That’s because there are countless resources, services and opportunities available for people of all ages and interests. Public libraries like ours are responding to their communities and looking toward the future so everyone can be connected with what they need to achieve their goals.

One of my favorite things to tout is our state-of-the-art equipment that people can use free-of-charge to make and create, turning their dreams into reality right on-site at the Library, and in some cases, at home. Another would be the meeting spaces available at our 16 locations across El Paso County, which can be reserved at no additional cost (besides your taxpayer investment) to foster dialogue, collaboration and innovation.

As our Library District continues to reopen more doors during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can once again use all of our makerspaces and video/audio recording studios, along with a limited number of meeting spaces at various locations. Library patrons also can check out studio equipment and take advantage of 3D print drop-off services.

The makerspaces at East Library, Library 21c and Sand Creek Library provide access to laser engravers, sewing machines and die-cutters. The studios located at Library 21c and Sand Creek Library are available for on-site sound recordings or other video and photography needs with equipment like musical instruments, cameras, tripods and lighting.

While study rooms remain closed, a select number of public meeting spaces have reopened across PPLD with more to become available in the coming weeks and months. Currently East, Penrose, Rockrimmon and Sand Creek libraries, along with Library 21c, have up to three meeting rooms available for one public reservation per day. Reservations can be made up to six weeks in advance for a maximum of two hours at a time.

Safety protocols and restrictions for use of these spaces and equipment are in place to ensure the health of Library patrons and staff. For example, all equipment must be reserved in advance, room capacities are strictly enforced, and buffer times have been instituted to allow for thorough sanitation between each reservation. PPLD’s other requirements that adhere to local public health orders, including face coverings and building capacity limits, continue to be in place.

Service hours vary by location, and reservations are required for use of these spaces and equipment. Patrons can continue to use the Library remotely, take advantage of curbside services, or visit their favorite library location to browse the collection, use a computer and Wi-Fi, charge devices, and fax, copy or scan documents. The first hour of each day remains reserved for people at higher risk of serious complications from COVID-19.

The Library will be here to serve you, regardless of the circumstances, and our team will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our patrons, staff, and greater community during the ongoing pandemic. Find out more about the Library’s response to COVID-19 and what you can expect when visiting any of our locations at ppld.org/covid-19.

We look forward to helping you and others pursue creative and collaborative endeavors with our reopened spaces and services!

Michelle Ray is Chief Communications Officer for Pikes Peak Library District. Besides touting the Library’s resources and services, the Kentucky native enjoys spending time with her family and pets, hiking, paddling, volunteering and capturing life’s moments with her camera. She can be reached at mray@ppld.org or by calling 719-531-6333, ext. 6401.

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