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History

The first Salt Lake County Library Board was established in 1938. One year later, in 1939, Salt Lake County Library Services began operations in two classrooms of the old Midvale School.

The Library quickly gained popularity and within four months of opening, between January and April 1939, they had issued library cards to more than 1,700 patrons.

The success of the Library within the old Midvale School resulted in the inclusion of small libraries in several schools across Salt Lake County.

On August 9, 1941, a grand opening of the Midvale Library Headquarters was held.

As population in Salt Lake County grew, so did the interest in community public libraries. Salt Lake County Library Services responded to the interest and, by 1972, we were the largest public library system in Utah with 11 buildings, 132 employees and more than 125,000 library cards issued.

By 1974 the administrative offices of the Library had outgrown their space in Midvale and moved headquarters to Whitmore Library.

In 1989, in celebration of the Library’s 50 year anniversary, Carolyn Campbell and Evelyn Tuddenham published A historical retrospective of the Salt Lake County Library System: in celebration of fifty years of public service, 1939-1989.

On June 2, 2012, Salt Lake County Library Services held a grand opening for the eco-friendly Viridian building in West Jordan. The Viridian houses a 20,000 square foot library, a 7,000 square foot event center for use by library patrons and community events, and Library administration.

In 2014, Salt Lake County Library Services celebrated 75 years of service.

Salt Lake County Library Services remains the largest public library system in Utah with 18 locations throughout Salt Lake County, two reading rooms – Alta and Byington (South Main Clinic), as well as a location in the Salt Lake County Jail. The Library is one of the busiest in the nation, checking out more than 16 million items a year.


Recognition

 

2016
Salt Lake City Weekly Best of Utah
Best Library Advocate - Jennifer Fay

Library Journal: America's Star Libraries
Three-Star Library among libraries spending $30 million or more

WorkplaceDynamics
15th top workplace in Utah

NACo Achievement Award
Book Club for Youth in Care and Custody of the State

Utah Library Association
Librarian of the Year - Liesl Seborg
Special Services to Libraries - Susan Hamada

2015
WorkplaceDynamics
12th top workplace in Utah

Salt Lake City Weekly Best of Utah
Best Library Manager - Darin Butler

The Telly Awards
Winner of the 36th Annual Telly Awards for our 75 Year Anniversary commercial.

NACo Achievement Award
Monthly Storytimes at Primary Children’s Hospital

 
 

2014
WorkplaceDynamics
10th top workplace in Utah

Urban Libraries Council
Top Innovator — Sustainability Initiative

 

Utah Library Association
Librarian of the Year – Heather Novotny
Special Services to Libraries Award – Crystal (Chris) Kamlowsky
Special Recognition Award – Ruby Cheesman

 

2013
Utah Library Association
Librarian of the Year - Carrie Rogers-Whitehead

2012
Utah Library Association
Librarian of the Year - Trish Hull

2010
Utah Libary Association
Librarian of the Year - Kim Fong

HAPLR Logo

2009
Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings (HAPLR)
4th most efficient and effective library system in the nation serving populations greater than 500,000

 
Best in State Medal

2005
Utah Best in State Award
Substantial contributions made in improving the quality of life in Utah.

 

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