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For five decades, the Friends of the Salt Lake City Public Library have been forwarding initiatives to support the library system of Utah's capital city. By spearheading fundraising efforts, volunteering, and advocacy, the Friends are a vital sister organization to The City Library. The Friends organization holds 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service.

The Friends of The City Library is a recipient of the 2010 Baker & Taylor Award from the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), for outstanding Friends organization support.



The mission of The Friends of the Salt Lake City Public Library is to support The City Library through fundraising and advocacy.


We envision a world where the library is an active center of the community and everyone is literate with equal access to information.


The Friends primarily raise funds from three sources: used book sales throughout the year; Friends memberships; and The Library Store.


The Friends host two large book sales a year (April and October), a half-day sale at the Downtown Farmer's Market, and special mini-sales throughout the year. Used materials are collected as The City Library removes items from its collection and through private donations. The Friends also sell used books through their store on


It's good to have a friend, and very good to BE one! The Friends of The City Library offer eight levels of annual membership:

with valid school ID or ages 65 and up
FAMILY $35/year
up to 2 adults living at the same address & dependent children ages 18 & younger
PATRON $50/year
BRONZE $100/year
SILVER $250/year
GOLD $500/year
PLATINUM $1000/year

Friends' memberships may be purchased several ways: by completing and submitting the online Membership Application; in-person at any City Library location or The Library Store; at the entrance to the Members-Only Preview Night of the April and October book sales; through the mail or via email; or over the phone by calling The Library Store at 801-524-8238.


The Library Store, owned and operated by the Friends of The City Library, provides unexpected literary-inspired gifts to suit all audiences and occasions. Look for practical, whimsical, and educational products that celebrate reading, writing, and literature. Sales benefit The City Library.

The Library Store
Main Library
210 East 400 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Monday–Thursday • 10am–7pm
Friday & Saturday • 10am–6pm
Sunday • 1–5pm


Since 2009, the Friends have maintained two early literacy programs: Best Beginnings Begin with Books and Buddies of The City Library. Implemented at all three hospitals in Salt Lake City, the Best Beginnings program is designed to give new parents information about the importance of reading to newborns, guidance on raising a reader, and a free board book for our newest residents.

The Buddies of The City Library program provides kindergarten students at Salt Lake City's Title I schools with tours of their local library, a library card, and a free book to keep and practice literacy skills at home.

Funds raised by the Friends support The City Library's programs, staff development, and promotional efforts. Examples of Friends-supported initiatives include:

Tech League: In 2016–2017, the Friends helped to fund the Tech League, The City Library's initiative to build a more digital inclusive community in Salt Lake City through information, workshops, events, and classes. Tech League is the result of a Digital Inclusion Fellowship—a partnership between the Nonprofit Technology Network and Google Fiber—being awarded to The City Library.

Staff Development Day: the Friends of The City Library fund events on the annual day-long staff training, including support for programming and tasty vittles to keep staff energy up.

Kids Summer Reading Program: The Friends provide financial support to bring musicians, animal wranglers, puppeteers, and other performers to create high-quality, engaging programs that draw kids and their families into the library during the summer.

Career Online High School: offers adults who have not completed high school the opportunity to earn an accredited high school diploma and career certificates online. This program is completely free for students, as scholarships are provided by the Friends.

Special Events & Speakers: The Friends support first-rate programming at The City Library, helping offset the cost of bringing nationally-touring speakers to Salt Lake City, such as Underground Railroad author Colson Whitehead.


On March 30, 1960, library advocates in the community, including Elizabeth Montague and Corinne Sweet, organized the Friends to lead the drive for a new central library in Salt Lake City. The existing Main Library (now the O.C. Tanner Building on State Street) was built in 1905 and after 55 years was inadequate to serve the needs of the community. Through the tireless work of Montague, the Friends of the Library, and countless community supporters, a $2.5 million bond for a new building was passed with a six-to-one margin of approval.

Aside from assisting with building projects, including effort to gain funding for the current Main Library, the Friends of the Library facilitate biannual used book sales, run The Library Store gift shop, and directly support a variety of library services and programs. Today, the Friends volunteer hundreds of hours of service and donate more than $80,000 a year in support of author visits, professional development programs, publicity efforts, and more.