Laramie County Library reopens

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) -- After roughly three months of being closed, the Laramie County Library is letting the public inside the building.

While the staff is happy to see a return to normalcy, some rules are in place to make sure that visitors remain safe.

For example, face masks must be worn at all times in the building, and visitors can only stay in the library for an hour at a time to prevent mass gatherings.

"And if you wonder how that's gonna work: when you come in, you'll get a color-coded sticker that you put just on your shoulder," says Carey Hartmann, the executive director for the library. "Then, we'll have some security that will walk around in a couple of hours and see if anyone is overstaying because the colors change every hour. And so far, everyone has been just wonderful."

In addition, certain parts of the second-floor youth section have been cut off to prevent potential transmission of COVID-19.

"We had a beautiful early-literacy center that had things in it like a kitchen, all based on the American Library Association 'Every Child Ready to Read' [program]," Hartmann says. "All those tools that kids and toddlers use to develop so they can get ready to learn to read."

However, the director says there will be surprises set up to compensate for this loss.

"We have unfortunately had to remove a lot of the interactive things that we have on the children's floor because we don't have enough staffing to do the sanitizing that would need to happen as children touch things," she says. "But we do have some fun, exciting surprises for children as they come into the library on the second floor, so we hope they come and join us there."

So far, Hartmann reports that the reopening is a big hit, with many children stopping by to pick up books.

"There was one little boy who came in and didn't wait for his parents because he couldn't wait to go up to the [third] floor and get more books," she says. "And I saw him up on the third floor with a huge armload. So, it just makes us very happy to be open again."

While the library closed back in March, they managed to set up the "Bookmobile" for curbside delivery in May so that residents could still come by to pick up books.

Due to staffing levels, the library will discontinue curbside delivery for the time being, though demand for the service has been high enough that the library is looking into measures to keep it going.

The library will keep its normal hours, though the café will have limited hours, being open from 9 A.M. to 2 P.M. on Mondays through Fridays.

Furthermore, computer access will have similar restrictions, where visitors can use a library computer for up to an hour.

For more details on restrictions or services, visit the Laramie County Library's website here.