What a year! Looking back on 2020, The City Library would like to share our immense gratitude for our thoughtful, dedicated, and resilient staff. They continue to work so hard to meet our communities’ needs during these challenging times. Learn more about your City Library’s resources and services at slcpl.org/hereforyou.
The story of America is incomplete without Indigenous voices. Nancy, one of our Children’s Librarians, has compiled this list of picture books with stories by Indigenous authors and illustrators. These books can be found in The City Library’s catalog: https://catalog.slcpl.org/default.aspx
From the archives: photos of City Library staff in costumes throughout the years! How many of you recognize the old Main Library building? Many of the building’s features have been preserved by its new resident, The Leonardo Museum.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our community in many ways, and has had major impacts on schooling for Salt Lake City’s students. Low-income youth are at a particular risk of falling behind because of obstacles in accessing online resources. The Friends of The City Library and The City Library have launched the new Books For Children program to get books into the hands of young students. By encouraging kids, tweens, and teens to read through book ownership, we hope to help fill the education gap the students may be currently experiencing.
The free books were distributed August 4–6, 2020, at local community learning centers as part of the Salt Lake Education Foundation’s food distribution program, which currently offers supplemental food to students in need. “Education changes lives. We are appreciative of The City Library for their generous contribution to support our students during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said James Yapias, Director of the Salt Lake Education Foundation. …
Although The City Library’s buildings have been closed to the public for the last three months, we’ve been as busy as our rooftop bees! The COVID-19 pandemic led to some temporary — but necessary — changes to the way we handle Library services, programs, and events. Library Staff are working hard to adapt our services for social distancing, offer new services, and help keep the community connected. Here are just some of the things the Library has done since March.
Audiobooks and eBooks
When we first closed our doors on March 15, digital apps like Libby and RbDigital became the primary way to get books into your hands. Last week, an NPR story highlighted the increased demand nationwide for eBooks and Audiobooks. It seems that America is checking out more digital books than ever, and Salt Lake City is no different. Our Selectors (the Librarians who choose which books to carry) have diligently added more eBook and Audiobook titles to meet the demand. …
Edit, August 11, 2020: We have updated this post to reorganize all the recommendations by age group. Keep reading to find The City Library’s Black Lives Matter Statement along with book, movie, TV, and music recommendations.
Our Salt Lake community is suffering. Black residents make up 1.06% of Utah’s population, yet represent 10% of the police-related deaths [Mapping Police Violence, 2020], and experience the impact of systemic racism in everything from housing to equitable wages. This isn’t a matter of politics, this is about people’s lives. As an organization that has a mission to serve our city, to be a community space, and to provide equitable access to information and resources, we recognize the need to not just state that Black Lives Matter, but to begin a process of self-reflection as individuals and as an institution. …
[Note: I recently shared this personal message with City Library staff. I have decided to share it publicly because, as Desmond Tutu once said, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” The City Library stands with our community against injustice and racism.]
It is difficult to find any words adequate to express the mix of deep sadness, of anger, of exhaustion, I am feeling in response to the killing of George Floyd. Mr Floyd’s death is yet another in a long line of tragic killings of Black Americans in our country. …
Prepared by The City Library Administration — May 21, 2020. Updated August 20, 2020.
In the past few weeks, we’ve seen local businesses begin to reopen. The City Library has prepared a draft plan for a phased return to library service. Last week, Utah Governor Gary Herbert released version 4.4 of the “Phased Guidelines for the General Public and Businesses to Maximize Public Health and Economic Reactivation.” The City Public Library’s plan is in accordance with this staged approach. Here you will find what to expect during the different stages of COVID-19 restrictions, and the conditions the Library must meet in order to offer services.
As you can imagine, making the decision to close our buildings and transition temporarily to virtual services, programs, and outreach was not a simple or easy decision to make. Library staff have a deep commitment to public service and a strong desire to provide a full range of Library services to our community. It is painful for us to have any restrictions in place, and we are actively planning for phased building reopenings, and working to secure the necessary safety and cleaning supplies through a reliable, long-term supply chain.
At every step, we are mindful of how we can best support our community’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as support individual residents in navigating this unprecedented public health crisis. The safety of our patrons, our staff, and the community at large guides all of our decisions and continues to be our highest priority. …
For many of us, this time of social distancing has been a big adjustment in our lives. But it can also be a great time to discover new books and other media.
City Library staff have been sharing some of their favorite eBooks and audiobooks, and other SLCPL materials. Recommendations that can help you get away from it all, spark your imagination, stay informed, or learn something new.