Deborah Kodura of Rio Rancho was happy to get into Loma Colorado Main Library Wednesday morning, when she checked out a David Baldacci thriller. “I’ve been reading short stories at home,” she said, longing for another Baldacci book. Photo by Gary Herron.

The Eagles sang it: “You can check out anytime you want, but you can never leave.”

In these days of the coronavirus pandemic, you can again check out books anytime you want — by appointment only — and you can certainly leave. And wear a mask, too, please.

Rio Rancho’s two libraries were allowed to open last Tuesday on a limited basis, and Loma Colorado Main Library was getting patrons every five or 10 minutes.

Those who entered may have noticed a cleaner library than in the past: Library and Information Services Director Lynette Schurdevin said during the hiatus — the library closed March 17 — it got “a really good spring cleaning.

“We waxed the floors, scrubbed the carpets, cleaned the tables and also sanitized books that had been dropped off during the closure,” she said, happy to see book-lovers invade her home away from home.

“People have been placing books on hold,” she said, explaining why many of last week’s visitors had been there. The library also had a “free cart” with books for the taking on the front sidewalk.

“Public libraries are open for anyone and everyone,” she said, “(but) we’ve had to limit our use. We’re still here, but in different ways.”

The library has been ordering books again and the popular summer reading program —”Imagine Your Stories” — is about to start, albeit online.

As of May 26, Loma Colorado Main Library and Esther Bone Memorial Library are offering “hold” pickup of library items by appointment from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, until further notice.

Those wishing to place a library item on hold may do so by visiting rrnm.gov/libraries or by calling the libraries between 9 and 3 Monday through Friday.

Those phone numbers are 891-5013, ext. 3033, for Loma Colorado and 891-5012, ext. 3120, for Esther Bone.

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