The Utah State Library (USL) is a unique entity within State government. It is a State agency with responsibility for fulfilling statutory regulation regarding the needs of local libraries within their communities. It is also a library in its own right that directly serves a broad array of special Utahns' information needs.
USL supports State‐wide library services by providing critical funding, training, and consulting to Utah's library community. Community Library Enhancement Funds provide mission essential additions to traditionally inadequate local public library budgets, and rewards those libraries that meet established service requirements, and demonstrate a strong local financial commitment. Lender Support funding helps promote libraries lending their resources to other libraries across the State. Through the Inter Library Loan Program local libraries share their resources with other libraries across the State and nation that would not otherwise be available to their local customers. USL administers special grant programs that provide funding for valuable partnership projects that encourage technology advancements in services. Training programs provided by USL offer professional development opportunities that include training opportunities in management, preservation, technology, cataloging, and other library‐related work for public library directors and key staff of all libraries in Utah. All public libraries receive the benefits of expert consulting in all areas of public library operations, to include training for Boards of Trustees.
Utah State Library is a library. It is the library for blind and reading disabled users in Utah and other states. It is the library for users of State government publications seeking easily searchable, Internet accessible information. It is the library for users of digital resources, including downloadable audiobooks, and a wide variety of knowledge databases. USL is the library that serves rural Utah, in cooperation with 14 local county governments, through nine Mobile Libraries providing materials and services to residents without easily available library access.
The next five years hold few certainties for government or libraries. Educated estimates from USL staff and library consultants give credibility to the following assumptions: 1) Digital media, in all its forms, will increase; 2) Internet bandwidth demands will increase for all libraries, especially those that are on the disadvantaged side of the "digital divide"; 3) Libraries will continue to transform beyond traditional roles to remain relevant to their community's needs; 4) Utah's young "Digital Native" population will continue to grow rapidly. The State Library Division will help ensure libraries meet the challenges ahead, and the State Library will strive to be the model for a 21st Century library.