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Check out these lesser-known resources at a Salt Lake City or county library near you


Libraries offer more than just books. These are life enriching resource centers today, and the Salt Lake City Public Library and Salt Lake County Library are no exception.

If you’re new to Salt Lake City, here’s a breakdown of the two major library systems in the area.

– The Salt Lake City Public Library System (aka the City Library) is headquartered in the Downtown Main Library and also has seven smaller branches in city neighborhoods. All residents of Salt Lake City or Salt Lake City County can obtain a free library card from the municipal library. For more information visit SLCPL.org.

– The Salt Lake County Library System (aka the County Library) covers a much larger area than the City Library, with 18 branches spread across the Salt Lake Valley. All county residents can get a free library card from the county library. For more information visit SLCOlibrary.org.

Trish Hull, director of the County Library’s Kearns branch, said libraries are “the heart of democracy” because they provide everyone with equal access to information and education.

“We are an equalizer,” she said. To access everything in the following list, all you need is a free library card.

Cultivate your garden

Established in 2019 – in partnership with Wasatch Community Gardens – the City Library’s free seed library allows anyone to request seeds, then bring them home and plant them. Initially based only in the Main Library, the Seed Library has expanded to include Day-Riverside, Marmalade, Glendale and Sprague branches.

Just read the seed catalog – which features an ever-changing variety of vegetables, herbs and flowers – then place your order in line or in person.

Once your garden is finished, save plant seeds and share them, either by giving them to a friend or neighbor or by returning them to the library.

The Seed Library encourages people not to waste seeds, which have the potential “to be a plant that can nourish others in the community,” said Liesl Jacobson, deputy director of community engagement for the library. from the city.

Where: Browse the seed catalog on services.slcpl.org/theplot and pick up orders at the Main Library in downtown Salt Lake City. Or visit a participating branch in person.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Seed Library, at the Marmalade branch of the SLC Public Library System, Thursday, November 18, 2021.

Take food for the brain

The city and county library systems have partnered with the Utah Food Bank to provide free food to children and teens under the age of 18 as part of the Kids’ Cafe program.

The municipal library distributes snacks at its Marmalade and Glendale branches, as well as at the main library. For hours and other information, visit services.slcpl.org/kids-cafe.

The County Library provides free lunch bags for children at the following locations: Hunter, Kearns, Magna, Smith, Tyler and West Valley. For hours and other information, visit https://www.slcolibrary.org/information/FAQs.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Kid’s Cafe is offering free meals for children up to 18 years old at the Kearns Library on Wednesday, June 30, 2021. Here are some non-book resources available at Utah libraries for you. may not be familiar with about including to the new Kearns library. From access to a sound studio, 3D printers, bike repair tools and more, libraries are sources for a variety of rewarding resources, not just books.

Improve your skills

When a car’s brake pads squeal or a kitchen faucet leaks, ignore the repair bill and learn how to fix it yourself with digital how-to guides.

You can also learn to write a resume, take arts and crafts classes, or become a Microsoft Excel assistant. Selection varies by library system and branch.

Where: at SLCPL.org, click on “Explore”, then on “Digital Library”, then search by subject. TO SLCOlibrary.org, click on the “Learn” tab. Then under “Popular Topics” click on “How To”.

Read the newspaper

All library patrons across the state have unlimited access to The Salt Lake Tribune at sltrib.com, including subscriber-only stories.

Thanks to the municipal library website, you can also read The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, as well as 600 international, national and regional newspapers through ProQuest Newsstand (in the digital library).

Borrow from the Library of Things

Discover new technologies and even new worlds with the growth of the County Library Library of things. The equipment collection is free for adult customers and includes Internet hotspots, Chromebooks, tablets, and telescopes for stargazing.

The “Preserve Memory” equipment also available will allow you to start digitizing those shoeboxes of old photos, films, slides and cassettes for future generations.

Where: Selection varies by branch and is subject to availability. Go to SLCOlibrary.org for more information. The municipal library also digital conversion equipment.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) One of the telescopes that can be checked out, at the Marmalade branch of the SLC Public Library System, Thursday, November 18, 2021.

Listen to local tunes

Find something truly unique to hum by browsing the HUM database at hum.slcpl.org. Organized by a group of musicians, writers and producers, HUM is a treasure house of local music ranging in style from rock to country.

Use your library card to stream and download for free.

To show creativity

The cost of high-quality equipment needed for 3D printing, embroidery, engraving, robotics, design or sound production shouldn’t hold back your creativity.

The County Library’s selection of equipment and software will allow any artist to explore and grow. For a full list of everything available, visit slcolibrary.org/information/create.

The municipal library also offers a large material selection for photography, sewing (bring your own yarn and fabric), graphic design, button making, lamination, video production and more.

Where: County Library’s Holladay, Kearns, and Magna branches, or the Town Library’s Main Library, as well as Marmalade, Glendale, and Sprague branches.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Marmalade branch of the Salt Lake City Public Library System has sewing machines, as reported on Thursday, November 18, 2021.

Play the game

Discover your next favorite board game at the Marmalade Game Exchange, the latest addition to the Marmalade branch of The City Library.

Just bring a lightly used board game (make sure all the pieces are inside) to the library and exchange it for a new game that you can take home and keep.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Game Exchange, at the Marmalade branch of the SLC Public Library System, Thursday, November 18, 2021.

Remember the good times

Memory care kits, designed for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia, are now available through the municipal library.

The kits come in five different themes: music, travel, pets, the outdoors or transportation. Each kit contains DVDs, toys, books, CDs and other items that can “spark conversations, provide respite for caregivers and come up with activities that can stimulate memories,” the library said.

To browse the different kits, visit SLCPL.org.


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Mary Cashion

The author Mary Cashion