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Salt Lake City Gives Library More Time to Study 24/7 Model

Photo of Salt Lake City Public Library, Downtown branch.
File Photo

Salt Lake City library officials need more time to study the prospect of opening the main branch to patrons 24/7. That’s why the city council has postponed a vote on the issue until January.

Library officials say they’ve got enough private funding to keep the library open all day, every day and hire additional employees. But first, Library Director John Spears says they need to get more feedback from the public and gauge the needs of the community.

“We realize that if we’re going to be able to do an adequate needs assessment, we will need more time than what was originally thought,” Spears says. “But that is really just a desire to make sure that we have everything in place, that we can show that this will be used.”

The city council has to amend the budget to approve the project, even though it won’t require additional funding from city coffers. 

Councilman Luke Garrott says he supports the idea, but he also needs more answers.

“People in that neighborhood have brought up some legitimate concerns about quality of life and potential nuisance issues given the extended hours,” Garrott says. “So we’re taking those seriously and we want to make sure that we address them.”

The library board will receive preliminary results from the needs assessment on December 22nd.

John Spears says he’d still like to begin 24/7 operations before the end of the fiscal year in June. 

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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