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Salt Lake County: A People First Library

May 12, 2023

People First Award Recipient - 2023

Announcement: Tech Logic Corporation (Oakdale, MN) presented Salt Lake County Library with a People First Award in order to recognize the library’s extraordinary action for the benefit of the community. Salt Lake County’s new facilities embody a commitment shared by modern libraries around the world—a commitment to serve residents as relevant, people-first community centers.

Tech Logic presented Salt Lake County Library leaders with the People First Award during an onsite award ceremony on Tuesday, May 23, 2023. Check out the award reception!

Salt Lake County: A People-First Library

“Each of the 18 branches in the Salt Lake County Library system is as unique as the community it serves,” according to Library Director Jim Cooper. “Our three newest branches are the culmination of everything we’ve learned from County residents in the past decade and really embody the transformational experience of going to the library.”

Tech Logic is proud to recognize and be a part of the “People First” building designs serving the patrons and staff of the Salt Lake County Library system.

Cooper, the Director of Utah’s largest library for 20 years, has overseen an aggressive building and remodeling program for the system. Under his leadership, the library system built nine new libraries and serves as the County’s model for Leeds-certified buildings. In fact, the new Daybreak branch library is on track to become the first Net Zero Energy building in Utah—a designation for a building that generates the amount of energy it consumes onsite.  

With all new building projects, each architectural firm works with the library’s team to engage the community through forums and focus groups to develop a wish list for their new library. “Because of the extensive community conversations we have as part of the program, the library team works closely with each partner in the design and construction process to create branches that fit the community,” according to Cooper.

For example, the Daybreak Library community wanted “wild space” with a return to natural plantings surrounding the library which are drought tolerant and nurture local wildlife. The wish list also included lots of walking paths and bike trails and resulted in a 25-foot-wide pathway sweeping up to a rooftop garden. Light tunnels from the roof to the first floor further add natural lighting and energy efficiency.  

Wide walking and biking trails lead to a rooftop space at the Daybreak Library.
Daybreak Library reflects the community’s desire to connect with the surrounding natural resources.

For the Daybreak community, the library was designed with a Create Space hands-on technology and tools room with garage doors to the outdoors pathway. Bike repair tools are on hand, as well as an audio-video recording studio and digital design tools.

The Granite Library was built on the site of the former Granite High School close to downtown Salt Lake City. Many community members are alumni and live in the neighborhood. “The library focused on preserving the Granite history and community spirit,” says Sara Neal, Marketing Manager. “From architectural elements inspired by the original high school to open green space that reflects the original school grounds.”

The meeting room preserves the old high school basketball court floor and displays historic photos of the school. The revered high school seal, formerly embedded in the entryway floor, serves as a wall medallion. In honor of their former school, alumni sang the school song during the library’s grand opening.

The seal from the former Granite High School is now installed at the Granite  Library.
Green rooms and furnished recording studios are a couple of examples amidst a variety of technologies and tools available to patrons across Salt Lake County Library branches.

Another need for the Granite community was green space for kids and families. The library is the first in the County system to offer a play ground and exercise equipment along an outdoor walking track. Several 100-year-old trees were preserved to insure shaded picnic and resting spaces. “For generations, the high school served as a spot where the neighborhood exercised, visited, and built connections,” added Neal. “It’s so rewarding now to see neighbors walking in the morning, families playing tag on the lawn, and friends talking in the shade.”

The new Kearns Library represents another example of “People First” design which serves as a needed community gathering space. The multiple study rooms, meeting rooms, and a larger auditorium with a Murphy fold-down stage are in constant demand for meetings and events. The Create Space hands-on lab offers an audio recording studio for music or podcasts—especially popular with teens. Musical instruments, sewing machines, 3D printers and more are available as well as a Create Kitchen used to teach culinary classes or literacy through cooking.

Kearns Library, and other branches across Salt Lake County, offer hands-on kitchen facilities for patrons.

A new program on the near horizon at Kearns is a “Tele-Health Center” housed in a study room to offer private virtual sessions with health providers. Combined with circulation of hot spots, Chrome books, and a library of things, the Kearns community enthusiastically embraces the library’s technologies. “Libraries are not just places to pick up books, but centers of activity,” explained Neal. “Whether used as an after-school study space, a toddler exploration zone, or a community meeting space, many residents spend an extended amount of time in their branches.”

Salt Lake County Library is also mindful of “People First” design for its staff as new buildings are planned. Each of the three newest libraries operates with a Tech Logic AMH system to handle all returns and self-checkout to manage routine circulation tasks. Salt Lake County Library was an early adopter of RFID and staffCIRC TRAK for efficient shelf management. With these tools, staff are more readily available to assist patrons with new services offered by their libraries. Tech Logic proudly recognizes its eighteen-year relationship with the Salt Lake County Library as a vendor partner in its “People First” library buildings.

Congratulations to Salt Lake County Library for its reception of Tech Logic's People First Award!

Patrons enjoy sewing machines, 3D printers, screen printers, laser engravers, and more at Kearns Library and other branches across Salt Lake County.

Tech Logic connects libraries with their communities through dynamic, innovative, and efficient workflow technologies—delivering unparalleled service and outstanding patron experience. Since 1997, we have worked exclusively with libraries to develop solutions that empower library patrons and staff.