Provo library’s hidden gems: telescopes, virtual reality and more

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Provo City representatives say library services have expanded in order to best complete their mission.

As much goes digital in today’s world, the Provo library now offers new spaces and activities, some of which are surprising.

In addition to study room spaces and digital books, it also has art galleries, recording studios, virtual reality games, and even telescopes.

“I think that libraries have really reimagined their role in the community as not just a repository for books, but a community resource for people to learn things, be entertained and just get what they need,” Provo Library Community Outreach Manager Erika Hill said.

The library can also save residents money regardless of if they attend the library, according to Hill.

Library cards can be used to access audiobooks, for which the library has a similar selection to Audible, according to Hill. Cardholders also have access to music and video streaming services that residents may use freely with a library card. This can help save Provo and Orem residents the money they would spend on digital or audiobooks as well as potentially music and movies.

With all of these new resources, the library has seen continued checkouts regardless of competing digital forms of entertainment or education. In 2022, more than 1.5 million items were checked out from the library.

The library offers more than resources, for some, the library offers a safe space for creativity, study, or group activities.

“This library is a safe haven, I honestly think it’s really nice to come to a place where you can unwind and you can generally be yourself,” Nolin Powe said, a Salt Lake Community College student who has been attending the Provo Library for the past three years.

While families with young children are the most frequent users of library materials, Hill says the library strives to provide an array of items and activities for everyone.

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