Thursday, August 21, 2014

Utah Book Month: Spotlighting the Orem Library

Orem Library
This is the "new" wing...the old wing is to the left.

Once upon a time when I was first married (we just had our 27th anniversary, so there you go) we discovered the Orem Library. I'd been there before when I was kid and visited a friend that lived in Orem. Since I didn't grow up in Orem, this had been my only exposure up until then.

But shortly after I was married, we found out that this library had quite the collection of CDs. Now remember, 27 years ago, CDs were just becoming the thing. We were blown away by how cool this new technology was and how awesome that this library had some we could check out! It was the best! We went often and pored over the several drawers full and took home a good handful each time. So much fun.

Then we discovered they had movies too. Oh, and lots of books of course! Back then there was only one wing, three stories. Fiction was upstairs and I went through my Orson Scott Card phase, and Anya Seton and M.M. Kaye phase. I can still remember where those authors could be found at the time. I would head there the minute we walked in the door.

I remember back then looking at the closed door to the offices and the behind-the-scenes of the library and wondering what these people did for their jobs and how lucky they were to be working there. Yep.

And then, I had kids. And now I came to this library every week without fail for story time. We'd go down stairs where the pictures books were housed (the CDs were still there in the basement too, but  a lot more now) and listened to animated enthusiastic librarians tell stories. The kids loved it. I loved it. However, sometimes I wished I could just leave them there while I browsed for my own books! But we'd take the stroller and ride up the glass elevator to that top story and check out my books after story time was over. (The glass elevator is no longer there and in fact the closed stack books are locked up in its shaft. Also the printer supplies which I get to inventory now and then!)

Half of the famous window.

When my third kid was a baby (he's now nearly 20 years old) they added on a whole huge wing to the library. We went to the ribbon cutting and grand opening. So exciting! Now the kids books were in a big light, open area with the most awesome stained glass window depicting fairy tales. We loved it! And the CDs and movies? Oh my word, but that collection was expanded to have its whole own section and they had thousands and thousands of items. We loved it!

A minuscule section of the CD collection

And just some of the movies.

Many years went by. My kids grew up and we stopped going to story time. But we started going to summer reading. It was the best! Every week we gathered and a new person would be there to talk to them about whatever the theme of the summer was. They even had a different group for the teens. One summer, they had to move to the mall while they remodeled the old wing, and my daughter sat in the window and modeled books! How fun is that?

My daughter and her friend sitting in the library window.

The bridge that connects the two wings.

We loved going. We went so much that I kept thinking how awesome it would be to come and actually get PAID for it. There had to be a job I could do there.

Meanwhile, we not only supported the summer reading, and continued to check out things like crazy, but we came to evening programs. I loved these. Awesome speakers all the time. I can't remember what else we came to in those days, but there was always something happening. And the CDs and movies? HUNDREDS of thousands of items now!

Then six years ago, I finally ended up with a job at the library! Weird how I'd thought about it for so many years and then it finally happened. And now I totally know what it's like to work behind the scenes and it's crazy I tell you. Crazy!
The view from where I sit!

So much is going on at the library. Let me just tell you some stuff:

  • There's a fun blog full of lists and recipes and staff highlights and much funny stuff. Check it out!
  • This next weekend is the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival... the second largest of its kind after the one in Jonesboro Tennessee. If you haven't seen these storytellers. . . the time is now. This event, in which the library is heavily involved, happens every Labor Day weekend.
  • There's programs and movie screenings, and chess, and writing groups and story time and all sorts of things all week long!
  • Each fall we have Orem Reads where a certain book is highlighted and then there are programs and events for two months long surrounding the theme of that book. I love it! This year it's going to be all about poetry. 
  • You can check out magazines, online!
  • Speaking of online, there's a huge resource of ebooks and audiobooks. 
  • Did I tell you about the CDs and movies? I think so. You should just come and LOOK at this collection. It's truly amazing.
  • Two wings, six levels of collection. That's a lot of books.
  • Awesome staff! :) I know. Believe me.
The day brothers Rob and Dan Wells visited.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. I love this library so much. I've been coming for all these many years, and I'm not tired of it yet!


  1. What a fun library. I remember going to it when I was a kid. I looked at the picture books. I didn't remember that there was only one wing back then though. I always thought I remembered the kids books being on the top floor, but I guess my memory is faulty.

    1. Jenni: They were in the basement for a long time! Right where the teen books are now...though it looks a ton different down there now.

  2. This is such an awesome history of your history with the Orem Library. I love that it has played such a part in your life and that now you are playing a part in its history!

    1. Jessica: Ha... yeah, I'm playing such a huge part! LOL! But it is fun to work there and be part if it somehow now, for sure.

  3. That looks like a gorgeous library!!!!

  4. Wonderful article about a wonderful library--thank you!

  5. Replies
    1. Balloon guy: Love your balloon creations! THAT'S what's awesome! :)

  6. My girls and I were SO amazed with the library when we stopped by this summer! You are so fortunate to live so close!

    1. Gayle: Glad you got a chance to look around!

  7. I LOVE the Orem Library! It's been my library since I was a kid, and I'm so thrilled because I'm holding my book launch there on Nov. 4! Lots of amazing memories for me there. :)

    1. Shallee: So awesome! I plan to be there!

  8. This looks and sounds LOVELY. We're new to our area - but so far I am loving the local branch of our library. As far as working at libraries, I worked as a student assistant as one when I was in undergrad - it's still the best job I ever had. :)

    1. April: It's a great job. Perfect for me right now. :)



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