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Library Information

Mission Statement

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

 

Jim Cooper
Jim Cooper
Library Director

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.

 

  • Director's Message

    Jim Cooper Library Director
    Jim Cooper
    Library Director

    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!

    Jim Cooper

  • Library History

    Jim Cooper

    Jim Cooper
    Director:
    2001 - Present

    Eileen Longsworth

    Eileen Longsworth
    Director:
    1987-2000

    Guy Schuuman

    Guy Schuurman
    Director:
    1971-1987

    Ruth Vine Tyler

    Ruth Vine Tyler
    Director:
    1939-1971

    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.

    Recognition

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

    2017
    Library Journal: America’s Star Libraries
    Star Library

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

    Utah Library Association
    Community Engagement Award – Librarian 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 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

    HAPLR2009
    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 state2005
    Utah Best in State Award
    Substantial contributions made in improving the quality of life in Utah.

  • Library Leadership

    Director - Jim Cooper

    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, Acquisitions and Technology - Christa Warren

  • Library Board

    Board Members

    Chair - Kristin Covili

    Member - Sandra Osborn

    Member - Hollie Pettersson

    Member - Cynthia Mecklenburg

    Member - Chelsea Lindbeck

    Member - Nancy Thorne

    Member - Frenchell Hampton

    Member - James Jackson, III

    County Representatives

    Community Services Department Director - Holly Yocom

    District Attorney's Office - Melanie Mitchell

    Board Basics

    Library Customer Bill of Rights

    Bylaws – Summary

    Member Responsibilities

    Recruitment Brochure

    Board Meeting Dates and Locations

    Board Member Application

    Board Meeting Minutes

    December 2020November 2020October 2020September 2020
    August 2020July 2020June 2020May 2020
    April 2020March 2020February 2020January 2020
    December 2019November 2019-CancelledOctober 2019September 2019
    August 2019July 2019June 2019-CancelledMay 2019
    April 2019March 2019-CancelledFebruary 2019January 2019-Cancelled