Hotchkiss Library celebrates re-opening

By Tracy Ihnot


Hotchkiss Library celebrates re-opening | Hotchkiss, library

Photo submitted Ian Morris and Finley Ihnot have fun with blocks in the children's area.

There is not an idle hand on deck at the Hotchkiss Library these days. Eight weeks of summer reading programs are fast approaching, library staff has been busy with visits to local schools, and the recent Hotchkiss Library Friends book sale wrapped up with over $900 in used book sales. Meanwhile, staff, volunteers and patrons are still familiarizing themselves with some of the changes that resulted from the recent remodel project in late March and early April.

"It is not a small feat to close one of our libraries for three weeks," says Lea Hart, district director of Delta County Libraries. "Most importantly, the local community depends on us to be open for access to resources, so we need to consider that strongly when scheduling a project like this. We had to move every book, every shelf and every computer out of the Hotchkiss Library before the work could begin. Once the new paint was on the walls and the carpet and shelves were installed, we had to allow enough time to move everything back in before re-opening."

"A huge volunteer effort made the project possible," elaborated Terry Johns, Hotchkiss Library manager. Hotchkiss Library Friends, Delta County Libraries board members, work crews from the Department of Corrections and various others helped by packing and hauling over 400 boxes of materials before and after project completion.

"The DOC work crews were such a valuable help to us," Johns says. "They hauled boxes and moved all the shelving and library furniture. They worked very quickly and efficiently. We are grateful for their contribution and also to the Memorial Hall board for allowing us to store the shelves and furniture during the three-week closure."

Funding for the Hotchkiss Library project came from the Hotchkiss Library Fund, Inc. Hotchkiss community members formed this organization in 1998 to fund the library addition and to support the general operation and maintenance of the library. The "donor wall" in the foyer of the Hotchkiss Library recognizes community members who contributed to the fund.

Hotchkiss Library re-opened on Monday, April 10, and staff and patrons alike have been enjoying the updates. "We are very pleased with the 'refresh' project," Johns states. "The library feels cleaner, brighter and more spacious with the new paint colors, beautiful new carpet, and rearrangement of shelving and furniture. We added three new computer desks, a teen sitting area and a new copier workstation along with new, colorful shelves throughout the children's area."

Hotchkiss Library will host a long-awaited open house on Wednesday, May 31, at 4 p.m. in celebration of the project and all the volunteers who made it possible. "We would like to welcome everyone to come see the "new look" at the Hotchkiss Library and enjoy some refreshments. We also want to show our appreciation to the many dedicated volunteers that helped make this remodel possible," Johns says.