Beyond Books: Discovering Utah’s New Libraries 

Over the past few years, new libraries and library extensions have popped up all over Utah. These modern and vibrant spaces are not only a sanctuary for book enthusiasts but also a hub for community engagement and learning.

A new Children’s Activity Room in American Fork

Storytime, family movie night, and classes got much more fun at American Fork City Library last year! With the help of a grant from American Fork City, the library added a Children’s Activity Room. “We worked with an architect firm to design it ourselves,” explained Director Casandria Crane. “This allowed us to get exactly what we wanted and needed in that room.

According to Galloway’s website, the architect firm behind the design, the remodel includes, “…large sliding doors and a patio to create an indoor/outdoor space that provides access to a city park during the summer.” 

The Children’s Activity Room in American Fork Library is touted as “a great use of public funds.” 

“Our staff uses it at least 10 times a week, so it’s a very helpful addition!” says Crane. “We also added a storage closet that is designed just for our Children’s Programming Staff. It has helped us organize lots of areas of the library as a result.”

“The expanded space will better serve the community. I especially love the natural light from the full-size windows and the view of the park,” says Merrily Cannon, American Fork resident and Library Development Program Manager at the Utah State Library. 

The new Children’s Activity Room is a popular attraction in American Fork. “The whole city is really proud of it!” says Crane.“ City Council members tout it as a great use of public funds.”

Salt Lake County’s new libraries offer more than books

The Salt Lake County Library System welcomed two new library branches: Daybreak Library in South Jordan and Granite Library in South Salt Lake. “Both branches invoke a sense of community and educational fulfillment with thousands of books, reading and work spaces, purpose-built meeting rooms, and a Create spaces complete with an audio-visual studio, digital design tools, sewing machines, virtual reality, a bike repair station, robotics, and more,” says Marissa Hodges, Public Relations Coordinator. 

Daybreak Library boasts, “… 28,000-square-foot, custom-built, state-of-the-art, net-zero building features a plethora of surprising outdoor amenities, including a rooftop terrace, greenspace pathways, an art installation, and an amphitheater,” says Hodges. 

A young man uses the drums in the audio room of a library.
Nathan Johnson, West Jordan, 18 years old uses the audio room in Daybreak Library to grow his musical talent. “We do have a guitar I’ve pulled out since coming here, and I’ve been like, ‘yeah, this is fun. (The library) kind of sparked that.” he says. 

The Granite Library is especially unique, being built on the site of the old Granite High School, which closed in 2009. “Inside, much of Granite High’s history has been preserved, including the school seal, gymnasium floor, and a display case featuring school regalia and historical artifacts,” says Hodges. 

A young man uses a green screen in the Create Space inside of a library.
At the Granite Library, DH Fernandez, West Valley City, uses the Create Space for his
Facebook page, AlightWithDJ.
Roosevelt Branch Library hosts community events and more

Daniel Mauchley, Duchesne County Library Director, was excited to talk about the new Roosevelt Branch Library. “This new $6 million, 16,700 square foot project replaces the old 4,350 square foot Roosevelt Library which was constructed in 1986 by Roosevelt City,” he explains. “The library serves the largest city in Duchesne County and some next-door residents of Ballard in Uintah County; around 8,000 total residents.”  

With a community room that seats 200 people, the new library is a hub for the Roosevelt community. “Nearly 180 non-library sponsored events have occurred in the library’s community rooms,” says Mauchley. The list of events is impressive. “… community groups and classes such as a board game community, a quilting guild, a parenting course, a chess club, service projects, student test prep, local committee, and business association meetings, public meetings, a victim’s advocates group, a venue for major city holiday events, a free eye clinic, blood drives, and more,” he says. 

“The library has transformed from a collection warehouse to a growing community heart.”

Daniel Mauchley, Duchesne County Library Director

Library staff have also benefited from the new library. “The work environment has been greatly improved from cramming multiple staff members into one small room at the old library into a much more accommodating workspace, allowing for staff to have their own workstations, processing space, storage, and a place to finally have lunch and a break.” says Mauchley. 

These are only a few examples of the new libraries and new library extensions that have been built over the past few years. With their state-of-the-art facilities and resources, these libraries are poised to inspire a love for learning, foster creativity, and bring communities together for generations to come.