Salt Lake City’s Main Library, designed by internationally-acclaimed architect Moshe Safdie, embodies the idea that a library is more than a repository of books and computers; it reflects and engages the city’s imagination and aspirations. The building, which opened in February 2003, is double the previous space with 240,000 square feet for more than 500,000 books and other materials, and room for the collection to grow. The six-story curving, walkable wall embraces the public plaza, with shops and services at ground level, reading galleries above, and a 300-seat auditorium. A multi-level reading area along the glass lens at the southern facade of the building looks out onto the plaza with stunning views of the city and Wasatch Mountains beyond. A roof-top garden, accessible by walking the crescent wall or the elevators, offers a 360 degree view of the Salt Lake Valley. Spiraling fireplaces on four floors resemble a column of flame from the vantage of 200 East and 400 South. The Urban Room between the library and the crescent wall is a space for all seasons, generously endowed with daylight and open to magnificent views.
Natural light is introduced into all of the spaces where people sit and work. Infused with light from all sides, the library has paid careful attention to ensure that library materials and technology are not affected by direct sunlight. The clear glass on the lens of the triangle has the highest UV rating available for energy efficiency. Indirect lighting fixtures reflect off the painted, arched ceilings to cast even light, reducing glare on computer screens, desk surfaces, and book pages.
As you move up in the building from floor to floor, you may notice that it gets quieter. This effect is by design, with the more active and noisier areas of the library on the lower levels giving way to the reference and study-oriented areas on the upper levels.
On each level of the library, as you exit the elevator or come up the stairs, you will find a building directory and signage designed to help you orient yourself. The layout and design of the book stacks helps direct you to various service areas as well as to the restrooms, copy machines, public telephones, and drinking fountains on the west side of Levels 2, 3, and 4.
Mon–Thu • 9am–9pm
Fri–Sat • 9am–6pm
Sun • 1–5pm
When a friend or loved one ends up in prison, it’s a grueling experience for all involved as the inmate and his or her supporters try to adjust to the rules, regulations and restrictions of a life separated by bars.
The Utah Prisoner Advocate Network aims to make navigating that new life less complicated and lonely for inmates’ supporters while also advocating for better conditions inside the prison.