Most regular Carbondale Library users know there is outdoor WiFi reception on the south side of the building and some know there is WiFi in the front. But, what if it’s winter, the temperature is 32 degrees and dropping, it’s after hours and you really need to do something on the internet? Hope could be on the horizon. But first, to backtrack, this reporter got to thinking about the Carbondale Library’s WiFi a few months ago after noticing there are a lot of connections bouncing around near the building, including the Roaring Fork School District office building’s WiFi and several neighboring houses.
“Hmm,” I thought to myself. “If there is all this WiFi reception zapping around near the library, maybe the library can extend its range.” Before pursuing this idea, however, I figured I should do some on-the-ground research. First, I learned the library’s WiFi extends pretty far on the library’s south side, quite aways beyond the Bill Lamont memorial sculpture. Next, on the east side of the building: nope. There is also no WiFI at the northeast corner of the building. The parking lot on the west side has no WiFi. There is no WiFI across the street, but there is RFSD WiFi, even though the building is probably 50 yards to the south.
In an email, I asked Carbondale Branch Library Manger Tracy Kallassy whether it’s possible to extend the WiFi range. She emailed back stating that she has requested an access point to get WiFi to the parking lot “but It may take a few months.” So, there you are. Increased WiFi outside of the library is possibly coming our way, so folks could sit in their car and do their internet business without freezing. Although, sitting in the cold outside on the south side of the building would still be an option.
The email to Kallassy, and a few questions for Garfield County Libraries Director Jamie LaRue, set up some more Q&A, starting with queries from the suggestion box at the front entrance. Kallassy said she put out the box about two months, or so, ago and has received two responses. The first was a thank you for putting out the box. The second response was a suggestion that the library have a dedicated “express computer” for printing, which she thought was a good idea. “I’m looking into it,” she relayed.
Moving on to other library matters, LaRue said the libraries in Parachute and Silt are in the planning stages for being “refreshed” this year, with the New Castle library patio also receiving some attention.
In Carbondale, he explained that he and a staffer are looking into whether to remove the wall in the kids section for safety reasons. Kids in that corner have no escape in an emergency “especially [in the case of ] an active shooter.” Removing the wall would also free up space for more shelving “which we desperately need.”
Kallassy explained that Carbondale is last on the list for refreshing because the building is in such good shape. On a related note, LaRue said the library thermostats are controlled by the district’s facilities manager, Jon Medrano. And, speaking from experience, the study rooms can get a bit chilly in the summer, especially if you are on the phone and don’t want to open the door to warm up the room. LaRue said the HVAC in those rooms is “very bad” and part of the district’s Facilities Master Plan calls for improvements to them when it’s Carbondale’s turn for a refresh.
Wrapping up, Kallassy said visits to the library have increased greatly. This year, through Sept. 23, the library had seen 10,039 visits, compared to 7,304 by the same time last year, and 6,216 in pre-COVID 2019.
More than 200 people showed up at the library to view the recent eclipse. “We ran out of (dark) glasses but people were really good about sharing. It was a great community event” Kalassy said.
Once again, the library will participate in Day of the Dead festivities on Nov. 3, and will remain open until 7pm serving up hot chocolate and other treats.
Speaking of extended hours, and if you haven’t visited the library in a couple of years, the hours and days of operation have increased. In January of 2022, the library added an extra hour on Mondays and Wednesdays, and in May of the same year opened on Sundays.
The days and hours of operation are:
Monday – 10am to 8pm
Tuesday – 10am to 6pm
Wednesday – 10am to 8pm
Thursday – 10am to 6pm
Friday – 10am to 5pm
Saturday – 10am to 5pm
Sunday – 1pm to 5pm