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An Afternoon at Salt Lake City Public Library

An Afternoon at Salt Lake City Public Library
The City Library - Salt Lake City

Over the weekend, we finally got around to doing something we’ve been wanting to do for ages. We took the kids to the Salt Lake City Public Library. Ever since we moved to SLC, I’ve wanted to visit. It’s such a cool building. Not only amazing for its selection of books, but architecturally it is incredible. It’s 240,000 square feet, five stories tall and shaped like a wedge. It’s got this giant spiral wall going from the square outside all the way to the roof. And depending on if you start at the bottom or the top, you can stand on the appropriate step to mark your beginning or end.

Top step on the roof of SLC library.

Our goal for the day was to check out the children’s library. We knew they’d be bored just walking around without some colors and fun things to look at. We didn’t really expect to walk in to the giant foyer full of shops and five story windows! It was incredible.

Library entrance and shops
Library entrance and shops

As we walked down the long corridor, I was snapping pictures, and Mark and I were oohing and ahhing at how awesome it was. We’d never seen such an extraordinary library! And we hadn’t even got to the books yet! We were just about to walk into the main library when I looked over and noticed we were one short.

“Where’s Dan?” I asked Mark.

“He’s right… here…. umm…” he replied uneasily. My head spun around, left to right and back again. I searched the immediate area. No Dan. I began to panic.

Mark and I started to search frantically. Where was our little guy?? In the course of a few seconds I was imagining every sort of terrible scenario. We were calling for him while holding tight to Dexter and pushing Chester’s stroller around. Thankfully it was not long at all before a woman approached us and asked, “Did you lose a kid?”

She pointed down to the end of the corridor where Dan was happily talking to some other woman, who was obviously trying to keep him occupied while looking for his family. Mark sprinted off to get him, and we both felt like absolute failures for a few minutes. Ugh. That kid loves to wander off. We are seriously considering a leash.

Salt Lake City Public Library

We finally entered the library, all together, and made our way downstairs into the children’s area. It was so nice. Lots of signs for activities the library puts on, large open spaces to play, reading areas EVERYWHERE. They had a few little hideaways for the kids to take books. One was like a little tree house, and they called it The Attic. Another was the Crystal Cave, which was a blue and white room with lots of nooks and crannies. It was perfect. There were computer stations for kids to use the internet. There was a room full of iPads for kids to play educational games. There were some areas with toys and other fun things. And there was even a craft room set up!

Fun in the library
The Attic in the SLC library

At first we tried to interest the kids in just sitting down and reading, but they wanted EVERY book. They’d barely start one before running off to grab others. It was cute but also highly annoying.

Reading time with daddy
Kids at the library

After we’d seen all there was to see (and got a library card from the helpful staff!), we decided to grab a coffee from the Salt Lake Roasting

Co, which had a nice cafe inside. I loved their selections of coffee which were literary themed. So cute. Unfortunately they coffee itself wasn’t all that great, but the kids enjoyed their hot chocolates!

Salt Lake Roasting Company

As we sat and enjoyed our drinks, we contemplated taking the kids up to the roof. The librarian who had given us our card had suggested that it would be great fun for the kids, as there are great views up there. It’s better in the summer as there are full gardens of flowers, but the views are there year round. Mark was about to leave me with the baby and take the older kids up, but he changed his mind and suggested that I take them so I could get some nice photos of the mountains and city. I jumped at the chance!

Great glass elevator at SLC library

Dex LOVED riding in the big glass elevator up to the fifth floor. He thought it was amazing. When we arrived, we made our way out to the roof terrace, and I was FLOORED. The views were truly beautiful. Of course the kids were more interested in jumping in the puddles than in seeing the city from our great height.

Puddle jumping

But the views… the views were indescribable. My iPhone couldn’t quite capture them, but I gave it a go anyway.

View from the top of the library in SLC
View from the top of the library in SLC
View from the top of the library in SLC

Incredible, eh? After we’d had our fill, the kids wanted to walk down the outer wall. And since they didn’t seem too cold or bored, I agreed. The outer wall runs all the way down the five stories in a slowly descending spiral. The kids literally jumped down every single step. They were having SO much fun.

Kids on top of SLC library
Posing on the steps leading down the outer wall of SLC library
Jumping off steps

We could have taken the OTHER set of stairs, but I didn’t think any of us were up for it…

Stairway from roof to ground

Once we made it to the bottom (with only a minor setback when Dexter had a bit of an “accident” for the first time in over a year), we looked around Library Square, a large area outside which houses shops, a writing center, an amphitheater and even a little pool which apparently serves as a wishing fountain.

Dan was amazed at the amphitheater and wouldn’t leave it alone. And Dexter begged me for a penny to make a wish. We went and got Mark and then brought him outside to share in their excitement.

Library Square
little amphitheater at SLC library
Making a wish

We even had a fabulous view of the old County Building across the street, which was backlit by the late afternoon sun.

County Building in SLC

It was such a great experience to explore the library as a family. We spent a good few hours there, and I grabbed the January schedule to find some of the kids events they will have so I can take the kids while Mark is at work. I think they’ll really enjoy it.

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Kyrie Schrimpf

Wednesday 24th of December 2014

Sounds like you all had quite the adventure scoping out the new library. The library sounds amazing...if I ever make it up to SLC I will be sure to check it out. It sounds like so much fun! Thanks for sharing :)

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