The Nogales Library is closed to the public, but patrons can still browse a selection of books and videos through the window, then call (520) 285-5717 to arrange to check them out.

Even with doors closed, local libraries continue services

While its buildings remain closed to the public, the Nogales/Santa Cruz County Public Library system says it is continuing to offer curbside “library to go” service at all four library sites, while adding other services and programs as well.

The curbside service, launched in late March, lets patrons remotely request books and other materials. Upon receiving the request, library staff checks out the material for a month and delivers it to the person’s vehicle while wearing protective masks and gloves.

“We are also still assisting phone callers with reference questions, book renewals, fax or copy requests,” Clarissa Martinez, Rio Rico library assistant, said in a news release issued by Nogales/Santa Cruz County Public Library Board of Trustees.

In addition, students can receive computer assistance in the parking lot of the Rio Rico Library as part of a collaborative effort with the County Superintendent of Schools’ Office, and the Nogales Library is serving as a distribution site for the Nogales Unified School District’s grab-and-go meal service.

During this period, library staffers are working on a rotating basis, with 50 percent at the library and the remaining 50 percent working from home during operating hours. According to the news release, those working at home “use the time for skills training, strategic planning work and research into educational programs to implement once the library reopens.”

The library board expressed its appreciation for the staff’s efforts, and trustee Veronica Sainz said: “We are especially grateful to all our patrons who continue to seek and use library services under less than optimal conditions.”

For more information about the library’s outreach services, call (520) 285-5717. Also see for information and links to external resources including Storyline Online and Pronunciator.

Nogales Bicycle Classic now set for Sept. 19

The Nogales Bicycle Classic, originally scheduled for March 28, then postponed to May 16 due to the coronavirus epidemic, has now been rescheduled for Sept. 19 “in an abundance of caution,” the organizers said this week.

“Our communities are still reeling from this crisis and we want to make sure that we are giving all riders and supporters adequate time to regain their footing,” sponsor organization Circles of Peace said in a news release.

Previously registered participants will be automatically registered for the new date, Circles of Peace said.

The annual fundraising bicycle event features routes of 11, 22, 40 and 60 miles, all starting and finishing from downtown Nogales.

For more information, see or contact Circles of Peace at (520) 281-0579 or

Donations help schools in Nogales, Rio Rico purchase Chromebooks

South32 announced this week that it had donated $10,000 each to schools in Nogales and Rio Rico to purchase Chromebook laptops for use in distance learning during the ongoing school closures.

Superintendent Fernando Parra of the Nogales Unified School District said the donation would add 50 Chromebooks to the district’s technology inventory. The laptops will be available for checkout by individual NUSD students, and also available for future classroom use, he said in a letter to the company.

Stephen Schadler, assistant superintendent of the Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District, told the company his district had prioritized the Chromebooks for high school students, saying “those devices are now already in the hands of students preparing to graduate.”

South32, owner of the Hermosa mining exploration project near Patagonia, previously donated $5,500 to Patagonia Public Schools for the purchase of Chromebooks.

Observatory to host livestream star party

The Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory on Mt. Hopkins in northern Santa Cruz County will lead a nationwide livestream star party on Friday, April 24 “in an effort to keep the nation connected to the night sky and to each other.”

The event begins at 7 p.m. local time and will be viewable at

Anyone, anywhere can access the stream and interact with presenters by posting comments on the YouTube feed.

“Anyone who wants to come to this star party is welcome and encouraged to bring questions,” said Amy Oliver, manager of the observatory’s visitor center, adding: “The great thing is anyone in the world will be able to access this star party from the safety and comfort of their own living room.”

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