February 06, 2015

New Glendale Library Opens its Doors

New Glendale Library Opens its Doors New Glendale Library Opens its Doors New Glendale Library Opens its Doors New Glendale Library Opens its Doors New Glendale Library Opens its Doors
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By The West View

Photos by José Bernardo Fanjúl

The long awaited Glendale Branch Library will finally open to the public Saturday, Feb. 7 at 10:00 a.m. with a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Glendale community members have been eagerly anticipating the opening of the newest, and seventh, branch of the Salt Lake City Public Library system, and the new staff has been hard at work prepping the library to receive patrons since mid-December.

Glendale Branch Manager Brooke Young is excited about the opportunity to serve one of Salt Lake City’s youngest and most diverse communities. As the former Teen Services Coordinator for all of the SLC library locations, Young figures she will be working directly with more teens than she did in her old position.

Located at 1375 S. Concord St. near Glendale Middle, Mountainview Elementary and Riley Elementary Schools as well as the SLC School District’s Community Learning Center and the Sorenson Multicultural and Unity Centers, the library is expected to draw lots of youth and families from the area.

When asked about her vision for the new library branch, Young said, “We want to remain open and let the community come up with a vision. We will focus on being a good library first, and then expand our programs with input from the community.”

The Glendale Branch offers much more than just books; there is a large youth activity room, a teen lab, a grand piano, computers galore, and plenty of study, lounge, meeting and reading space. And of course, it will offer 40,000 materials for checkout by community members.

The modern, energy-efficient library is Gold Plus LEED certified, which is the next to highest rating given by the U.S. Green Building Council. The building is heated by thermal energy and will soon have solar panels installed. Construction materials include reclaimed metal and trestle wood from the Great Salt Lake, and lots of clear glass windows.

Glendale resident Richard Kaufusi, who served on the Glendale Library planning committee, is impressed with the openness of the interior. “I loved that when I walked in, I could see the other end of the building. It’s amazing to see [the library] come to fruition,” he said.

SLC Public Library Board Member Pete Giacoma of Poplar Grove said, “I hope the community will be happy with it. They’ve waited a long time.”

Library planners heard worries from local residents that a new west-side library could force closure of nearby Chapman Library, a Carnegie library built in 1918 at 600 S 900 W. “This branch is meant to compliment the Chapman Branch Library, not replace it,” Giacoma said.

On the front of the Glendale Library building is a colorful tile mural created by Westpointe community residents Michael Moonbird and Victoria Lyons, co-directors of Bad Dog Arts. Artist April Norby helped with the glazing. Their large mural represents a blend of cultural and folk art from around the world. “We wanted it to reflect the diversity of this area, but not have one culture overshadow the others,” said Lyons of the design.

Patrons who sign up for a library card will receive custom library cards with the image of the mural on the front. Staff is crossing their fingers that the cards will arrive in time for the grand opening.

Throughout the day on Saturday, visitors can enjoy activities and performances for all ages. Local pianists from the neighborhood will be performing on the new 2014 Kawaii baby grand piano, which was provided by The Mundi Project.

The Mundi Project has facilitated the donation of 125 pianos to individuals and public spaces through their Piano Bank program. In 2007, their first two piano placements went to piano students living in Glendale and Poplar Grove. In 2009, the Mundi Project placed their first piano in a public space at the Sorenson Unity Center, contributing to a total of 16 pianos donated in west Salt Lake City.

About a year and a half ago, Patty Steed with the SLC Public Library applied for a piano for the Glendale Library. “We were waiting and waiting for a good quality piano to come in, with no luck,” said Mundi Project Director Hana Janatova. So, Janatova appealed to the Utah piano community through an email with the subject line, “Calling All Pianos.”

The next day, a piano was found. Orem-based piano technician Brittany Kirk replied, saying that she had planned on donating a piano to the Mundi Project some day, and this seemed like the perfect time and the perfect fit.

The public is invited to come and celebrate the grand opening of the new Glendale library, located at 1375 S Concord St. (1240 W.) on Saturday, Feb. 7 between 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The Glendale Branch’s regular hours will be: 

  • Monday –Thursday, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Sunday, 1 – 5 p.m.