Salt Lake City’s Main Library, built by globally famous architect Moshe Safdie in collaboration with VCBO Architecture, debuted in February 2003 and remained one of Utah’s most visually unusual landmarks. This remarkable 240,000-square-foot edifice contains over 500,000 books and other materials, yet it is more than a book and computer repository. It reflects and engages the imagination and ambitions of the city. The public plaza is embraced by a six-story curved walking wall featuring shops and services on the ground level, reading galleries above, and a 300-seat theater. A multi-level reading space along the Glass Lens on the building’s southern face looks out into the plaza and the Wasatch Mountains beyond. The Rooftop Terrace, accessible by the Crescent Wall or elevators, provides a 360-degree panorama of the Salt Lake Valley. From 200 East and 400 South, spiraling fireplaces on four stories resemble a column of flame. The Urban Room is a bridge between the Library and the Crescent Wall. Room for all seasons, abundantly lit and open to breathtaking vistas.
Natural light is brought into all areas where people sit and work. The Library, flooded with light from all sides, has taken special care to guarantee that library contents and equipment are not harmed by direct sunshine. The transparent glass on the triangle’s lens has the highest UV rating for energy efficiency. Indirect lighting fixtures reflect light off the painted, arched ceilings, creating an equal light that reduces glare on computer displays, desk surfaces, and book pages.
As you travel from floor to floor in the building, you may notice that it becomes quieter. This impact is intentional, with the lower levels’ more dynamic and noisy regions giving way to the higher levels’ reference and study-oriented spaces.
LEVEL 1 CHILDREN’S LIBRARY
The Children’s Library is a five-story atrium that can be seen from all of the levels above. Cloth “clouds” or “sails” may be dragged over the area to give shade. Along the perimeter is storage for coats, backpacks, and strollers; a tiny room where parents may attend to their infants’ requirements; and an alcove with multimedia equipment loaded with instructive games and learning programs. Many children’s events are held in large Craft and Story Rooms.
Two distinct rooms are hidden underneath the plaza’s reflecting pool. These rooms are designed to allow a child’s imagination to run wild. They are spaces for dreaming, playing, reading, and creating. Grandmother’s Attic recreates the warmth of an attic with wood beams, cuddly animals, and lots of places to snuggle up with a book. The Wild Woods, for something more extraordinary, is likely to pique a child’s sense of adventure and imagination. During the summer months, youngsters may enjoy the neighboring Terrace, where softly running waterfalls cascade down the walls, providing a quiet yet aesthetically appealing backdrop. During the warmer months in Utah, the location also has an area for outdoor storytimes.
LEVEL 1 AUDIOVISUAL COLLECTION
According to circulation data, the City Library’s audiovisual collection, which includes CDs, DVDs, and other media, holds the most popular items. Patrons may see these materials before checking them out in three tiny rooms in the audiovisual section.
CREATIVE LAB: LEVEL 1
The City Library’s Creative Lab offers a specialized facility with dedicated equipment and software for creating, editing, and converting digital media projects like video, music, photography, and 3D modeling. The Creative Lab is designed for individuals or small groups and gives the community access to technical tools they may not have otherwise. Users must own a valid Basic or Extensive Card for the Salt Lake City Public Library to use the Creative Labs; however, a library card is optional to attend Creative Lab sessions. All equipment is only to be used inside The Creative Lab.
COMPUTER LAB: LEVEL 1
Staff from the City Library conduct lessons at the Computer Lab, ranging from basic (such as how to operate a mouse) to more complex computer applications usage (such as Microsoft PowerPoint mastery).
LEVEL 1 BROWSING LIBRARY
Patrons may easily access popular, current, and in-demand materials in the Browsing Library on the first level. The librarians in this section like discussing your reading interests, assist you in finding additional books similar to the ones you’ve previously enjoyed, and introduce you to new authors and themes.
LEVEL 2 TEEN LOUNGE
The City Library is dedicated to reaching out to and helping young adults. The Teen Lounge, intended to appeal to teenagers, features resources of great interest to that age range and books written just for them. This area’s media and technology enable both group learning and individual investigation. A cantilevered stairway connects the canteen to the café on Level 1.
LEVEL 2 NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES
More than 600 newspaper and magazine publications that the Library subscribes to are on display. Current issues of these publications are on display; past issues are stored in the Library’s periodical stack section. Older periodicals and newspapers are placed in the closed stack area to protect typically delicate and easily destroyed publications. Even as more current content becomes accessible online, there is still a market for old issues and microfilm. This knowledge treasure trove is the only one between Denver and San Francisco.
LEVEL 2 ALTERNATIVE PRESS / ZINE COLLECTION
The Library established its zine collection in 1997, which was unusual among libraries at the time. The group has expanded to include hundreds of zines, some going back to 1990. Zines may be perused and checked out, and authors can always contribute their own.
These independently published publications are often produced on a photocopier in small runs, stapled, and distributed person-to-person or via informal methods. Zines exist in a wide variety of formats, sizes, and themes. This medium promotes free expression and the unrestricted dissemination of ideas, art, and pictures.
LEVEL 3 LANGUAGES AND LITERACY
The need for products in other languages has progressively risen as Salt Lake City’s population has become more varied. This section contains books, journals, and newspapers in 25 languages and language study tools for those studying English and other languages.
LEVEL 4 SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
The City Library has a modest but fascinating collection of ancient and rare publications, samples of several sorts of publishing, and things of particular relevance to their community. Their librarians are glad to assist you in using the Special Collections items, but due to the delicate nature of these collections, they must be utilized in this room.
LEVEL 4 OF THE LIBRARY SQUARE GALLERY
With a rotating exhibition program, the City Library has a long tradition of promoting the arts. Through these shows, thousands of Salt Lake City residents are exposed to diverse art forms such as paintings, watercolors, sketches, collages, photography, and sculpture.
The south-facing Rooftop Terrace, which may be reached by elevators or walking the six-story curving Crescent Wall, provides stunning From every angle, there are vistas of the Wasatch Mountains and the Salt Lake Valley. Please remember that the Rooftop Terrace shuts 30 minutes before nightfall and is closed when it rains. During open hours, call the Main Library to check on the Terrace’s status.
BEEHIVES IN THE LIBRARY
The Salt Lake City Beekeeper maintains many beehives on the Main Library’s Rooftop Terrace. The hives provide a close-up view of honeybee behavior and the chance to understand the significance of bees beekeeping in an urban setting. Remember that the colony stays dormant in the winter for the most incredible views.
For more information, visit their website or call them at (801)-524-8200