We moved to Salt Lake County in September of last year, but we’ve never had the need to get a library card. Until now.
Let me preface by telling you about our Utah County library experience. Utah county does not have a county library system, and they aren’t very nice about sharing. We lived in Spanish Fork, which is on the south end of the county. Our little Spanish Fork city library was nice, but it was very small, and didn’t have a fantastic collection. Provo City, on the other hand, has a beautiful library with a much larger collection. However, since we weren’t Provo City residents, we had to be willing to pay $100 a year in order to use the Provo library–just that one library.
It really didn’t matter, because when we were living in Spanish Fork, Christina and I were still students, and had full access to the BYU libraries — with millions upon millions of items in their combined collections. So we ignored Provo’s stinginess, and just used the BYU library.
I grew up in Salt Lake County, so I was familiar with their system, but I’ve not used their libraries since I was in high school (10 years ago). Since we needed a copy of Animal Farm for the book club this month, we decided that it is time to get library cards at the county library.
I have to say, I think that the Salt Lake County Library System does it right. Everybody in the county can use any of the 19 branches. If you want any book in the system, they will send it to the library of your choice and hold it for pickup. They have a great website that lets you find and request books from any library in the system. It’s fantastic. They even have an e-book check out, where you can check out e-books from the library for three weeks. When your time expires, the content expires on your device and the item is “checked-in.”
In addition, I can manage my account online, renew books online, and I can even use my library card at the Salt Lake City Library or the Murray City Library (which are not part of the county library system, but are free to county library card holders.)
And if that’s not enough, the county library participates in Inter-Library Loan—so Christina can get all of her thesis books from colleges and universities across the country—all for free!! I think the Salt Lake County Library System is the coolest thing since sliced bread. (Sliced bread, however, is still SLIGHTLY cooler.)