Literature

The Stacks Are Back: Nine Denver Libraries Reopen March 9

The Corky Gonzales branch of the DPL is a colorful neighborhood spot on West Colfax Avenue.
The Corky Gonzales branch of the DPL is a colorful neighborhood spot on West Colfax Avenue. Kelsey Yandura
Miss the smell of books and spending endless hours browsing the stacks? Good news: Libraries are beginning to reopen their doors.

The Denver Public Library just announced that nine of its branches will be reopening on Tuesday, March 9. While the libraries have been open for curbside pick-up for months, this will be the first time that customers will be allowed back inside for limited services.

Customers will be able to browse the collections, check out materials and use computers, but meeting rooms, study rooms and ideaLABs will continue to be closed, and there will be no in-person events, according to the
DPL.

The returning branches: Bear Valley Branch Library, Ross-Cherry Creek Branch Library, Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Branch Library, Green Valley Ranch Branch Library, Hampden Branch Library, Sam Gary Branch Library, Ross-University Hills Branch Library, Valdez-Perry Branch Library, and Westwood Branch Library.


Eight of the soon-to-return branches will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; the Westwood Branch Library will be open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. Curbside services will still be available at these locations.

The Central Library, which includes the Western History Archives, and the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library will continue to be closed for the foreseeable future as DPL management sorts out how to reopen them safely.

Other branches will reopen in early April, though, and the libraries have big plans for their comeback.

"Our 2021 commitments to the community include providing access to our collection, providing technology access, and providing access to our public spaces," wrote City Librarian Michelle Jeske in a letter to patrons. "We’re pleased to make this step toward fulfilling our community commitments and assist our community in recovering from the pandemic while keeping safety top of mind."


Here are the current DPL rules and regulations:

As our branches begin to reopen to the public we ask that customers please:

Refrain from visiting if you are not feeling well
Practice physical distancing by remaining six feet apart from others at all times
Wear an appropriate face covering during your entire visit if you are over the age of three
Wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds
Please only bring covered beverages into our locations (no food allowed at this time though you are welcome to eat outside our locations)
To keep our staff and customers safe, we will have:

A welcome station at the entrance of all locations to answer questions
Sneeze guards at points of service
Rearranged furniture and computer workstations to allow for physical distancing
Clear signage with new guidelines
High touch surfaces like countertops, computers, railings frequently disinfected
All meeting rooms, study rooms and ideaLABs remain close

"We have learned a lot over the past year and are proud of the resilience of our staff and community," notes Jeske. "Many of the innovations made during our public closure will be here to stay as life returns to normal, like curbside service, laptop checkouts and virtual programming and events."

For more information, go to the Denver Public Library website
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Kyle Harris has been Westword’s Culture Editor since 2016, writing about the arts, music and film.
Contact: Kyle Harris