GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — The pandemic has prompted four branches of Mesa County Libraries to close. Starting Sunday, November 15th, the branches in Collbran, De Beque, and Orchard Mesa, as well the Gateway branch will be closed to the public.
According to a Mesa County Library official, the closures are due to pandemic-related requirements; insofar, those branches are small facilities, and there is not a lot of room for people in them. Another major reason for the closure is many people did not want to wear a mask inside the buildings.
Fortunately, at these branches, all employees will continue to work and be paid because they offer a curbside pickup service that will keep everyone busy. Bob Kretschman, Communications Manager for Mesa County Libraries, says, “since the last uptick in cases in Mesa County, I think there are more people who are concerned about going out, so they’re using our curbside service.” The curbside pickup service is available at most branches, and Gateway-area residents can use the library’s “Books by Mail” option.
Central Library, as well as branches in Clifton, Fruita, and Palisade will remain open. Kretschman says, “the branches that are staying open are larger ones, so essentially there’s more room for people and more room for social distancing.” In addition, these libraries will continue to enforce other safety measures in order to stay open as long as possible. However, for residents who have trouble making it to the library, a “Words on Wheels” vehicle is available at Central Library to make deliveries.