The New Look (and Sound) of Libraries

By Deane Barker on October 14, 2003

Here’s America’s unquietest library: The first surprise is that this is a library. The second surprise is that it’s in Salt Lake City, of all places. With all due respect to residents of the obviously great state of Utah, you’re just not known for being this daring.

“The $65 million Salt Lake City library, open since February, was designed not only to be an architecturally striking landmark but also to be the new information center and gathering spot for the 21st century. Librarians wear ‘No Shh!’ buttons; a cafe sells coffee, sandwiches and muffins; about 163 computers are available for games and Net surfing; and music can be heard on all floors — and not just through headphones. There’s also an art gallery, concerts, public meeting space, talks by authors and a CD and DVD collection that could rival Tower Records.”