Utah State Library

Heritage & Arts Divisions

Utah State Library Division Logo


The Utah State Library develops, leads, and delivers exceptional library services, while optimizing Utah’s investment in libraries. The Utah State Library provides funding, training, professional expertise and technical advice to library directors, library staff, and trustees across Utah. Through Grants, Interlibrary Loan program, Bookmobiles, Utah’s Online Library and services for the Blind and Disabled, the division ensures access to library materials and state publications for all Utahns. In FY19 the love of reading by Utah residents maintained the state’s top-ranking for the number of children’s books checked out per capita. Digital readership also thrived, as the state had more than two million downloads of electronic books.

In fiscal year 2019, the Utah State Library Division granted $1,087,744.57 to 59 public libraries, 13 academic libraries, 36 school libraries, and two tribal libraries.

"[The book club for inmates] keeps my interest in life and I am learning to move forward." — Inmate at Wasatch County Jail



Supporting Libraries Large and Small

Programs run by the Utah State Library serve people statewide. Even those living in the most remote corners can download digital materials through Utah’s Online Library or simply browse in a Bookmobile, find inspiration through the summer reading program, and even review state publications. The State Library also serves Utah's 2,200 libraries, which includes academic, school, and tribal libraries as well as public libraries by offering grants, training, networking, and certification opportunities.

Virtual/Augmented Reality Access & Exposure
The State Library awarded grants to five rural school libraries and five rural public libraries. They received VR headsets, Augmented Reality cubes, funds to purchase apps, as well as a day of training from State Library staff and participating virtual reality partners who are using the technology in Utah. These included Dr. Mark Durham from The University of Utah dental school, Spyhop, and staff from the Marriot Library at the U of U., and other libraries using VR/AR across the nation. Upon successful completion of the grant the libraries receive funds to purchase a higher level VR device or more entry level devices. The State Library hired an intern, who is getting their degree in Computer Science from the University of Utah, to further develop training, troubleshoot devices, and work with the rural libraries on library and community programming they can do with the tech.

Feedback has been very positive and impactful to the communities and schools receiving the grant. Participating libraries have reported kids waiting in line to use the devices, which encourages them to browse books or participate in other activities while waiting.

Henefer Book Locker
Whenever possible, the State Library emphasizes closing service gaps for libraries with minimal resources or staffing. Even a small grant and professional guidance makes a huge difference. This has been the case in Henefer, where a $27,000 grant to the Summit County Library funded a secure book locker where residents can have books delivered. Since launching the program in the fall of 2018, the number of items ordered by the thousand or so Henefer residents has increased each month and in June topped 100 for the first time.


Other highlights

Artifacts & Arts Center
Reading for the Blind

Utah State Library, which houses the world’s largest braille collection, circulated more than 300,000 items to nearly 14,000 patrons. Volunteers read 31,000 hours for the blind and disabled, and program staff brailled over 19,000 pages of material. Additionally, Readers Advisors provided an interactive story time with elementary-aged youth enrolled in the National Federation of the Blind of Utah's Bell Program.

Artifacts & Arts Center
Online Resources

The Resources Program at the State Library manages downloadables in the form of ebooks and audiobooks for a large portion of the state using OverDrive and RB Digital. In recent years Utah residents’ use of electronic books have skyrocketed, making our instance of OverDrive one of the most heavily used in the nation, reaching just under 2.3 million downloads in FY2019.

Bookmobile Program

Currently providing service in 10 counties, the Bookmobile program continues to increase its circulation despite Cache and Rich counties canceling their shared contract at the end of FY18. Two new (and very spacious) Bookmobiles replaced aging vehicles. The Bookmobile program and some of the drivers were profiled in the spring edition of Muse Magazine.

Artifacts & Arts Center
Leap Into Science

Utah State Library was selected for NASA @ My Library by STAR Library Network, which provided kits to local libraries that contained space-themed programs, books, activities, and information. Also, State Library, in partnership with STEM Action Center, Utah Afterschool Network, and Utah State Extension, participated in Franklin Institute’s “LEAP INTO SCIENCE” to disseminate science and literacy programming to informal educators in Utah.

Artifacts & Arts Center
Buzzing About Clubs

Book Buzz supports reading groups who organize through their local library. These groups choose from hundreds of titles and receive up to 15 copies, such as the excellent “Station Eleven” chosen by the Coffee and Chocolate Society (pictured) at Salt Lake City's Marmalade Library. This allows libraries to offer many copies at once, instead of forcing book clubs to share the one or two copies they can afford.

Stocking Bookshelves

Nearly 2,500 books were donated by to residents of the Odyssey House Treatment Facilities. Books for the adult facility were donated from the existing State Library collection, while new books were purchased for the youth facility with grant dollars. Grant funding also supported a book club at the Wasatch County Jail, which ensured that every participating inmate received their own book to read and discuss.

Performance Measures

The Utah State Library measures its performance to gauge the engagement by the public with its library services, as well as the impact of the professional development and training opportunities provided to librarians.

Number of online and in-person training hours provided annually. GOAL: 11,700 hours


Total Blind and Disabled circulation annually. GOAL: 328,900


Total Bookmobile circulation annually. GOAL: 413,000


Digital downloads from Utah’s Online Library annually. GOAL: 1.3 million



Blind & Disabled
The Program for the Blind and Disabled provides library services and braille, audio, and large print reading materials to blind, visually and print impaired, and physically disabled individuals in Utah. The program also brailles and records materials of local and regional interest, or materials written by local and regional authors. The program partners with the Utah Department of Corrections to utilize inmates to produce these audio materials. In addition to serving Utah patrons, State Library contracts with 21 states nationwide to circulate braille materials. The braille collection is the largest in the world. The State Library contracts with the Library of Congress, National Library Service to house the Multistate Center West.

Library Development
The Library Development Program supports library services throughout Utah. The specific focus is on public library services provided by Utah’s cities and counties. Program consultants are experienced professional librarians who work directly with the staff and boards of established, new, and emerging libraries to meet quality standards in all areas of library operations. The program administers and coordinates federal and privately funded statewide grants to all types of libraries in Utah.

The Bookmobile Program provides cooperative development of local public library services. Bookmobile service is funded primarily by county governments and partially by state funds. The Utah State Library provides administrative and organizational support needed for basic library services for each entity with which there is a Memorandum of Understanding. Throughout the state in FY19, there were eight trucks serving 10 counties. One librarian and one technician work as a team to prepare and provide service from each truck. A fixed-site headquarters also serves local community users. The Bookmobile Program plays an integral role in rural Utah and has been in service since 1947.

Library Resources
The Library Resources Program delivers magazines, newspapers, business resources, and downloadable e-audio books to Utah residents and support services to Utah’s libraries. The program facilitates inter-library loan to many of the smaller libraries around the state and administers the state's Book Buzz program, which is a service that provides book sets to book clubs and groups around the state. Library Resources also partners with the Utah Education Network and Utah’s Academic Libraries to provide additional resources and has cooperation agreements with State Archives, the State Law Library, the Department of Transportation, State History, and Administrative Rules.

Library Budget Report