I am in Salt Lake City, Utah getting excited for Rootstech, which starts in a couple of days. There are about 5,000 people expected for this third annual genealogy and technology conference. It has quickly grown to be the largest paid family history conference in the United States.
I was happy to take the opportunity today to visit The City Library of the Salt Lake Public Library System. The Library is located next door to the Leonardo – a contemporary Science Technology and Art Museum.
I had not prepared for the visit. So after locating the library on the map and finding it was not too far decided to take a walk and check it out. I am so glad I did. The open space, known as Library Square is quite welcoming as you approach the entrance. Shops and services such as a comic book store and the local radio station are located here.
The architect designed building has a ton of glass. Designed to let the light in, it also enables views of the beautiful snow capped mountains, which are the backdrop to this city. There are five levels in total, with borrowing and returning of items located on the ground floor. The ground floor also includes the browsing library which stocks popular, current and high demand titles as well as the audio visual collection. Underneath the building the lower level is the children’s library.
The room is a very welcoming place with children sized furniture, an “attic” which recreates the coziness of a wooden beams in an attic. A separate story room and separate computer space with games and learning programs. The library promotes a program called “read down your fines” whereby parents register reading time in the library with their children – with a staff member to waive an overdue fine. $1.00 is waived for every ten minutes they read.
Level two includes fiction and graphic novels, newspapers and magazines and the Canteena, which is dedicated to a collection for 13 to 18 years olds.
Level three is non fiction (000-699) including languages and literacy collections. Level four is also non fiction (700-999) including biographies and special collections which includes some Utah local history.
There are a number of private study and quiet reading areas along the described “glass lens” on the southern facade, which also afford fantastic views. A series of spiraling fireplaces are situated in the same place on each floor.
A glass elevator reminds me of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” or you can take the spiral staircase to each level.
The library was opened in February 2003 and was named Library of the Year in 2006.