Library, patrons prepare for half-year closure

       Patrons are booking for different options as the temporary closing date for the Old Colorado City Branch Library looms Saturday, April 28.
       “It's going to be painful this summer,” said Jean Griesan, whose five daughters have been annual participants of the Summer Reading Program.
       An extensive $800,000 project will rebuild the inside of the 104-year-old Carnegie Library, forcing it to shut down for six months.
       “I'm going to miss it,” commented Elizabeth Brandes. “I come here a lot.”
       Meanwhile, Branch Manager Julianne Rist is taking steps to keep the library alive in people's minds. Folks can still call the 634-1698 phone number - an automated response system will make available library information or project updates - and, she said, a large thermometer-style display in front of the library will be regularly updated to show fund-raising and construction-completion news.
       But it won't be the same for people who make the library their routine. “Some people are here every day,” said Branch Assistant Dustie Flynn, Old Colorado City's senior employee with 16 years there. “This is a lifeline for them.”
       She's heard from many patrons that they plan to use the Bookmobile, which will be parked in front of the branch library, 2418 W. Pikes Peak Ave., Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 4 to 6 p.m. “But there's no soft chairs to sit in,” she noted.
       Brandes, for one, expects she will use the Bookmobile - picking up books she's put on hold on line - and will “consider going to the other branches.”
       The nearest other libraries are the downtown Penrose Library, 20 N. Cascade Ave; Cheyenne Mountain, 1791 S. Eighth St.; and Rockrimmon, 832 Village Center Dr.
       Popular library programs have been temporarily relocated. The Tuesday Family Nights (6:30 p.m.) and Wednesday Storytimes (10:30 a.m.) are now at the West Intergenerational Center, 25 N. 20th St., while the fourth-Thursday Book Group (11:30 a.m.) is in the Community Room at Pikes Peak National Bank, 2401 W. Colorado Ave.
       As for the library employees, they'll be scattered around the Pikes Peak Library District, although Rist said they should all be back when the Old Colorado City work is done. As for herself, she is Fountain's branch manager also, so she will be there part of the time, but will also be on the Westside to oversee the Old Colorado City construction.
       Here's where the other local branch employees will go:
       Deborah Bonifas - Bookmobile; Trish Blakely - Cheyenne, Bookmobile; Flynn - Cheyenne; Connie Black - Holley.; Jay Boyle - Briargate; Sharon Rice - Monument; Diane Thompson-Buchanan - Bookmobile, Cheyenne.

Westside Pioneer article