As the days lengthen, the Wilkinson Public Library too is extending its open hours.
Starting Monday, the library will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday; Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, with no appointment required and no capacity limits.
“We look forward to assisting the community and providing in-person library services and returning to full service hours,” library director Sarah Landeryou said in a news release announcing the change in hours. “We noticed that patrons liked the earlier morning hours, so we are shifting to a 9 a.m. opening.”
The library will be open for all regular services. Patrons are required to observe local health regulations, practice physical distancing and wear masks. Curbside service, created and offered during the COVID-19 pandemic, has become popular and will continue to be available. A brand new service will be a space to pick up and check out items on hold in the lobby. The library will also be providing in-person notary, fingerprinting and passport services.
“There’s no better time than the present to get your passport renewed or get fingerprinted for that new job. We are here to help you get your affairs in order Telluride,” library public services manager Jill Wilson said in the release.
Library programs too will be shifting to take advantage of the warm weather. “We look forward to offering some more in-person programming this summer, including story times and wellness classes starting this June,” Wilson added.
All in-person events will be held outdoors through the end of the summer.
“We are sensitive to patrons’ different program preferences,” adult programs specialist Laura Colbert said. “We are excited to experiment with hybrid programs as well this summer. Hybrid programs will have both in-person and Zoom options so that patrons can choose.”
Online offerings will also continue for the foreseeable future, including a new four-part “Forest Health” series that will take place every Thursday in May from 6-8 p.m. The series will cover an array of relevant forest health issues. The series is a collaboration between the library, Telluride Ecology Commission and Sheep Mountain Alliance, which first suggested a forest health series during the summer 2018 drought.
“When the San Juan National Forest was shut to entry that summer due to extreme wildfire danger, we realized the need to promote more public dialogue and understanding around forest health,” Sheep Mountain Alliance Executive Director Lexi Tuddenham said.
The themes of each week are unique and build on one another to offer a full picture of the current and potential future state of local forests. Patrons can attend just one session or do a deeper dive in taking part in the whole series.
Some of the featured guests have spoken in Telluride before. Dr. Jason Sibold, assistant professor of geography at Colorado State University who has been researching forest ecology in the Upper San Miguel Watershed since 2015, presented his findings at the library in 2019. Sibold will kickoff the month-long series with an overview on the ongoing changes occurring in Telluride’s regional forests Thursday from 6-8 p.m.
The second part of the series will feature staff from the Norwood Ranger District who will offer an overview of the Forest Service’s current management plan of the area, including proposed Spruce Beetle Epidemic and Aspen Decline Management Response (SBEADMR) projects. “Telluride is surrounded by Forest Service land, Megan Eno, the Norwood District Ranger, has a wealth of knowledge to share with us about the public land we regularly recreate in,” Colbert said.
Week three will feature a panel of local and national wildfire experts speaking to the pressing societal question of how do we learn to live with fire? With last summer’s challenging fire season on the Western Slope, this program is an excellent opportunity to brush up on fire safety for the summer season.
The final week will highlight local climate change initiatives such as the regional tree-planting project and programs offering payments for ecosystem services. Eco-Action Partners Executive Director Emma Gerona and Telluride Rotary Club’s Madeline Allen will outline the county’s current county climate action plan to both mitigate and adapt to climate change.
And as the perfect pairing to the “Forest Health” series, the library is offering “Love Your Backyard” walks. Guided by Eric Hynes, local naturalist and owner of Box Canyon Birding, these free small group walks offer participants a chance to learn about the delightful flora and fauna of the Telluride region.
The pandemic has seen an uptick in backyard enthusiasts from gardeners to birders. The guided walks too are a chance to discover new ways of noticing and appreciating the place we live.
“There is always something to be wowed by in the valley,” Hynes said. “We can see the American dipper, a special bird right here from the river trail in town. They are called an avian trout because they walk underwater foraging for the same prey as trout, but with feathers instead of fins. Each walk is a fresh chance to get out there and see what nature brings to us.”
For more information on upcoming events, visit telluridelibrary.org.