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The City Journals

Local librarian says library is still relevant to community

Jul 08, 2021 01:00PM ● By Rachel Aubrey

Anna Linner has worked at the county library since 1998 and believes that the library has so much to offer patrons. (Rachel Aubrey/City Journals)

By Rachel Aubrey| [email protected]

In an age where technology has caused so many traditional aspects of day-to-day living to become out dated, South Jordan librarian Anna Linner, believes that the local libraries still hold so much value to their communities. Since 1998 when she first began working at the library part time, Linner has seen the efforts the county library system has made to be an asset to the community through various programs and events.

“There is something for everyone at the library,” Linner said. 

For families wanting their children to keep up with their reading, the library offers a summer reading program each year. This summer’s program runs from June 1 to July 31, and the theme is “Tails and Tales.” There are categories for all age ranges and those who complete the challenges can win free books and entry in drawings.

“Families realize the benefits of the library system,” Linner said.

Even amid the pandemic, the library was able to find ways to provide reading materials to the public with the addition of curbside services. Patrons can go online and make appointments to have books brought to their car based on date and location. In addition, the collection of online reading materials expanded, allowing patrons e-book options as well as audiobook options. 

“During the pandemic we utilized the eBooks on the library app LIBBY,” library patron Cheri Primm said. 

For many parents, finding meaningful summer activities for the kids is no small task. Primm has incorporated a weekly visit to the library with her kids Carly and Ryder. 

“My kids are so excited to have the library back open and allowing us to come in,” Primm said.

Kids aren’t the only audience that can enjoy all the library has to offer, as there are programs and events for teens and adults—everything from homework help workshops, to college test prep, to book clubs, to lecture series, a lot of which are currently being offered free via Zoom. For teens, the annual ToshoCon Teen Anime contest will be held on Saturday, Sept. 25.

Linner shared that one library account can borrow up to 50 items. Those residents who saw more time afforded for reading brought on by the circumstances surrounding the pandemic, welcomed this amount of checked books at a time. 

“Before the pandemic, I read like a dozen books total from the library; now I’m reading like crazy and getting dozens of books there per month,” said local patron Kim McCann.

Linner is not only a passionate library employee, she is herself a lifelong learner, earning a master’s of library sciences from Emporia State University in Kansas at the age of 50. Linner began her library tenure as a customer service specialist. Since then, she has worked in several branches of the library system around the Salt Lake valley. Linner earned the title of librarian in 2017. She and her family call South Jordan home and is currently employed at the South Jordan branch.

Associate Director of Community Engagement Matt McClain, who hired Linner back in 2017, recognized her compassion and her empathetic nature. Both are admirable qualities that patrons want to feel when they walk into a library.

“Creating welcoming spaces is a big part of the library’s values,” McClain said. “When people visit the library and feel welcomed, that helps the library be a space where people want to be. And that is part of keeping the library relevant to our community.”

According to South Jordan Branch Manager Erin Rigby, the South Jordan branch will welcome back in-person programs such as the beloved story time in the fall.

“We have missed our in-person programs so much,” Rigby said.

The public library system continues to grow and expand bringing knowledge and warmth to the community. One of two new branches is expected in Daybreak in the Spring of 2022.

The South Jordan branch was reopened to the public on June 30 after a monthlong closure for renovations. For more information about all the events and programs offered at the public library visit www.slcolibrary.org