Red Feather Lakes Community Library: Adjusting to Evacuations

Red Feather Lakes Community Library. Photo courtesy of Alisha Jeffers.

By Creed Kidd

We’ve been fire-bound here in beautiful downtown Red Feather Lakes Village since mid-August. We’re listing a few notes and recommendations that have worked locally as a small (read ‘closer to the bone’) public library.

As much as practicable, get rid of routine email & phone notices. People don’t need them when they’re out of house and property and worried about greater issues.

Take library phone calls at any time of the day or night. Call forwarding is our friend. We’ve taken any-hour queries about the fire, requests (can someone turn up the heat in our cabin to keep the pipes from freezing?), and yes, we’re happy to renew your materials at midnight.

However, make sure your information is sterling accurate.

Make the appropriate referrals: a big local question: obtaining local credentialing allowing access to one’s property through roadblocks when it becomes safe to do so. Evacuation of people and pets? Have contact numbers for Larimer County, the Larimer Humane Society, and the Red Cross at hand.

If you remain onsite during an evacuation (I did) be prepared to take calls on how things are looking – is CR 179 open? Is it smoky? Is that a spot fire to the southwest? Have you been by my house? Is the library open? Are the stores open? Is it windy?

However, stay strictly out of the way of the professionals so they can do their job. Keep your online information up to date: a web page, email signature: hours, closures.

Quash rumors and speculation. Refer to official information resources. We have the good fortune to partner with the North40 Alliance, a mountain 501(c3) disaster preparedness organization https://n40alliance.org/ that not only works in ordinary times towards community sustainability but serves in times of need in providing information to list subscribers: ‘pushed’ official information from the sheriff’s office, Larimer County Emergency; Canyon Lakes (forest service) Ranger District; the fire Incident Team, and more.

With the whole of the District evacuated for three weeks we recommended appropriate library services – essentially online services that were doable downtown or in hotel rooms: OverDrive e-Books and e-Audio, Kanopy streaming video, Rb digital video services, Cloud Library, and new (to us) for the younger set of just-getting-started reading and early-readers, Tumblebooks, an online library of 1450 titles, read-along, read-to and read-alone titles — with puzzles and games included: https://bit.ly/3lnS3Tr  For grades K – 6.

And always, stay vigilant; stay safe.


For further information, contact Creed Kidd, Library Director, at director@redfeatherlibrary.org