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Utah Libraries Branch into the Digital Age

Libraries in Utah are adapting to the Internet age in many ways. Image of Salt Lake Public Library by Ellen Forsyth.
Libraries in Utah are adapting to the Internet age in many ways. Image of Salt Lake Public Library by Ellen Forsyth.
October 4, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY - In the age of the smartphone and the Internet and all things digital, libraries in Utah are adapting and even thriving. Libraries used to be just places to check out books, but now, according to Patricia Hull, president of the Utah Library Association, libraries offer just about every type of informational content in a digital format. And it's not just young people looking for virtual library resources: Hull has found that, for example, eBooks are most popular with older patrons.

"We have digital magazines that you can download to your devices," she said. "We have digital movies, we have digital books, digital music that you can download all from library websites. So we are heavily invested in digital content. It's actually our virtual library."

Hull explained that libraries have become an important connection portal.

"We're also finding, with the digital divide, it's growing where there are many many people who come to the library for their Internet access, because they can't afford it at home as the economy struggles."

Hull said Utah libraries also provide extensive resources and information for small businesses, which could otherwise cost hundreds of dollars in the private sector.

Details about locations and services available at PublicLibraries.com.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - UT