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Holladay Journal

Renovated Holladay Library nears Re-Opening after One Year Closure

Jan 22, 2020 11:07AM ● By Sona Schmidt Harris

The renovated Holladay Library will reopen soon. (Jeffrey Buydos/Holladay)

By Sona Schmidt-Harris | [email protected]

If you’re a patron of the Holladay Library, you have likely been frustrated with its closure about a year ago. If you’re a Holladay resident driving down Murray-Holladay Road, you have likely noticed a change to the Holladay Library. Patrons of the library will be happy to know that it will be reopening soon.

“We have a soft opening date sometime in early February. The grand opening will be most likely in mid-February,” Jeff Buydos said.  Buydos is public relations coordinator for the Salt Lake County Library System.

Changes to the library include a new story-time room, a new “create space,” about 3,000 more square feet and a new and improved teen area. There will also be more public meeting spaces.

“They’ve reconfigured the middle to be a more open and light sort of layout. We're taking better advantage of our windows,” Holladay Library Manager Trudy Jorgensen-Price said.

The new story-time room “will give kids and their parents a separate space to be a little bit louder and have a little bit more fun with story time,” Buydos said.

The create space or “maker space” will be the first of its kind in the County Library System.  

“The maker spaces are really cool. They are areas in which we have 3D printing. You can learn media editing, sound and video editing. It's going to be a really neat spot where if you wanted to come in and record something for video or YouTube, you could do that there in the maker space,” Buydos said.

A “Misty Robot” will also be making an appearance. Misty Robots are little robots that teach artificial intelligence and coding.

Holladay Library employees Shannon Cole, librarian (far left), Laura Berube (middle) and Art Lang (web services manager), measure to hang a 65-inch TV in the new Create Space, which will include a video editing area and a virtual reality experience. (Jeffrey Buydos/Holladay)


There were some problems during renovation including structural and roofing issues. “We had the option of either razing the building or remodeling it, so we decided that we were going to remodel it,” Buydos said.

Jorgensen-Price is a passionate advocate of not only the Holladay Library, but libraries in general. “Libraries, generally speaking, are sort of the cornerstone of democracy, an equalizing place where anyone gets the information, regardless of income, regardless of whatever else might be going on in their lives that would otherwise maybe disadvantage them,” she said.

Another passionate advocate of the library is Cottonwood Elementary kindergarten teacher Patty Brasher. She was a young attendee of the first Holladay Library opening in 1972.

“It was a pretty big deal to have this big, new building. Before it was in a tiny, little building. We used to have a bookmobile. It was a big deal to have a full-size, big library,” she said.

Brasher attended Cottonwood Elementary, Olympus Junior High and Olympus High School.

Regarding the Holladay Library, she said, “For my generation, it was a meeting place. It would be one of the places we could go without any parental supervision.  We could say, ‘We’re going to the library,’ and it would be okay.”

Brasher is an ardent patron not only for herself, but also for her kindergarten students.

“I love that it's part of the community that many of our students need. My students can know that's their neighborhood library.”

“We can send them there with ideas to go look for books and we can also share in that connection.

“For many of my students, it’s walkable.

Brasher’s students tell her about the times they go to the library, and often the children see it as an adventure.

 “I’m excited to see it,” she said. “I love the new outside that I’ve seen so far. I love that libraries have become centers of architectural interest too.”

Old patron or new, come rediscover the Holladay Library this February. You just might learn something new.