Library Information

Make a positive difference in the lives of our community by inspiring imagination, satisfying curiosity and providing a great place for everyone to visit.

The County Library is your library, and we're here to help you discover all of the information and entertainment you're looking for. Whether you're young, young at heart, or somewhere in between, your County Library card is your passport to boundless possibilities.

We offer books, music, movies, magazines - in a variety of formats - and much, much more to meet your needs for learning and leisure. From personal reference services, including personalized booklists for your individual tastes, to computers with free Internet access, your County Library is here to put you in touch with the world.

Be sure to explore the many programs, children's storytimes, events and exhibits offered at the County Library nearest you. A wealth of culture, education and entertainment is waiting to be discovered.

Library Cards

Begin your exploration of the many library services with a free library card, which includes free Internet access at any branch. If you live in Salt Lake County and are 18 years or older, preregister online or stop by any branch to apply. Children under the age of 18 are also eligible for a Student Library Card. Students just need to provide a name, address, and date of birth. A phone number is highly recommended as well, but not required. For more information about the Student Card, stop by your County Library or give Customer Service a call: 801.943.4636.

A Wealth of Materials

The County Library offers over two million items for checkout (and circulates over 15 million items a year), including books, audiobooks, magazines, CDs, and DVDs. The library also has eBooks and eAudiobooks to download to your electronic reader/audio devices. You'll find booklists in every library and on our site with suggestions on a wide variety of topics. If the item you want is checked out or on order, you can place a hold to reserve it, and we'll alert you when it's available; you can also do this on our website and receive email alerts.

Services and Collections

At the County Library, we strive to make a positive impact in our customers' lives. Here are some additional special services and collections we offer:

  • Spanish and other foreign-language materials are available at all branches, with the largest collection at Hunter.
  • Library at your Door enables any Salt Lake County inhabitant who is physically unable to access a library to order and receive library materials by mail.
  • For the visually impaired we offer large print books and audiobooks.
  • Inter-Library Loan gives you access to harder-to-find materials from 7,500 libraries across the United States.
  • Book club collections are available upon request by calling Customer Service at 801.943.4636.

Imagine a world where everyone is encouraged to celebrate new ideas, to responsibly seek truth and meaning, seek understanding and explore their dreams, and the dreams of others. Salt Lake County residents discover that world when they walk through the door of their local library.

We are no longer the quaint, quiet little reading rooms of the past – we are a vibrant, energized community member and economic driver. Over 4.5 million people walk through our doors annually, and tens of millions more visit our virtual world by using our web services. This year, over 16 million items will be checked-out of The County library, we will offer thousands of programs, over 10,000 community groups will use our public meeting rooms, we’ll answer millions of questions and provide over a million computer sessions. But that’s not the end of our impact on our community – long after we have inspired their imaginations, satisfied their immediate curiosity and provided a comfortable place, our library friends and users will continue to share their discoveries, and the influence of The County Library ripples out to the whole community.

Along with the opportunity to touch so many lives, comes the obligation to constantly question the status quo. I often ask myself “What makes a public library great?” especially in a rapidly changing world of new technologies, shifting economies and information overload. The County Library is fortunate to possess the essential ingredients - great patrons, great staff, great collections and great ideas.

I hope you share my enthusiasm and excitement about the future of Salt Lake County. With your support we will continue to inspire imaginations, satisfy curiosity and provide a comfortable place for all to visit.

Imagine the possibilities!

History

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

The County 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 County 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. The County Library 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 County Library had outgrown their space in Midvale and moved headquarters to the Whitmore Location.

In 1989, in celebration of The County 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, The County Library held a grand opening for the eco-friendly West Jordan location and Library’s Viridian Event Center in West Jordan. The building 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, The County Library celebrated 75 years of service.

The County Library 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.

Jim Cooper Director: 2001 - 2024
Jim Cooper
Director: 2001 - 2024
Eileen Longsworth Director: 1987-2000
Eileen Longsworth
Director: 1987-2000
Guy Schuurman Director: 1971-1987
Guy Schuurman
Director: 1971-1987
Ruth Vine Tyler Director: 1939-1971
Ruth Vine Tyler
Director: 1939-1971

Recognition

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2022
Salt Lake Tribune Top Workplaces
#14 top large organization in Utah

2021
Utah Library Association
Distinguished Service Award – Jim Cooper
Outreach Award – Ellen Thayn, Shelly Ward, & Elizabeth Weaver

Salt Lake Tribune Top Workplaces
#20 top large organization in Utah

2020
Utah Library Association
Librarian of the Year – Raquel Ruiz
Outreach Award – Vern Waters, Lisa Henderson, & Deanna Simonis
President’s Award – Mindy Hale

2019
Salt Lake Tribune Top Workplaces
#14 top large organization in Utah

2018
Salt Lake Tribune Top Workplaces
#14 top large organization in Utah

2017
Library Journal: America's Star Libraries
Star Library

Salt Lake Tribune Top Workplaces
#12 top large organization in Utah

Utah Library Association
Community Engagement Award – Stephanie Anderson

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 organization 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 Library Association
Librarian of the Year - Kim Fong

Interim Director - Joey McNamee

Associate Director for Public Services - Jennifer Fay

Associate Director of Community Engagement - Matt McLain

Associate Director for Finance and Operations - Leslie Webster

Human Resources Manager - Pamela Park

Marketing & Communications Manager - Sara Neal

Senior Manager of Collections - Christa Warren

Senior Manager of Technology - Eliot French

Board Members

Chair - Spencer Romney

Vice Chair - Hollie Pettersson

Member - Anastasia Morgan

Member - Kaati Tarr

Member - Nancy Thorne

Member - Sandra Osborn

Member - Bill Scarber

Member - Steve Sokol

Council Member - Suzanne Harrison

Do you have some thoughts or questions for our library board?

County Representatives

Community Services Department Director - Robin Chalhoub Contact

Community Services Department Associate Director - Joey McNamee

District Attorney's Office - Megan L. Smith

Board Meeting Minutes

  • December 2024
  • November 2024
  • October 2024
  • September 2024
  • August 2024
  • July 2024