May 24, 2022

Utah: City Council Asks Community If Main Branch of Salt Lake City Public Library Should Stay Open 24/7

From Fox 13 (Salt Lake City):

Some in downtown Salt Lake City love the idea of keeping Salt Lake City Public Library’s doors unlocked around the clock, but others say it would only attract more crime.

Tuesday night, the City Council took public comment to hear what residents think of the idea.

“The proposal is to go to a 24/7 for the library to serve people who are night owls, who may not be able to use library services during regular hours — and I think there are a lot of those in our city,” said Luke Garrott, the Vice Chair of the Salt Lake City Council.

If passed, the downtown Salt Lake City library, 210 E. 400 South, would be the first in the country, maybe the world, to become accessible at all hours.


City Council members are saying yes to the proposal.

It would take more than $600,000 to keep the Library open 24/7 and half of the funding will come from private donors. However, not everyone is keen on the idea of having homeless people track through the open space at all hours of the night. On average, about 400 people a day without a home use the facility to stay warm.

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Note: The blurb above notes that if the library does stay open 24/7, “it would be the first in the country, maybe the world, to become accessible at all hours.” While this may or may not be accurate for public libraries many academic libraries are open 24/7 throughout the school year with even more open 24/7 during finals exam periods.

No, not a major error but it does once again illustrate that the differences (by type) info professionals place on libraries are not often understood by the public. These differences often come to the forefront in reporting about funding, the future of “the library”, and access to various services. It also illustrate that all librarians (independent of type) must represent each other in promoting the work we do and are capable of.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.