The Salt Lake County Library System, with its 18 libraries, receives dozens of written public comments and suggestions each month. If there's one thing clear after reading through the latest batch of suggestions — more than a dozen pages long — it's that the public takes its libraries very seriously.
Requests for expanded selections and library hours, frustrations with the late return fees, grouchy librarians, noisy children and even problems with the automatic flushing toilets are among the criticisms.
The wide variety of books offered, clean facilities, great air conditioning, good storytime and puppet programs and a polite, helpful staff were among compliments the public gave.
Salt Lake County Library Board Chairman Jim Cooper said collecting comments has been a good process.
"This is fun," he told the library board recently. "In general, it's very positive."
Here are samples of comments. (The poor grammar and spelling of some comments speak for themselves):
"I think the library system should buy Play Station games for circulation. It would bring more people to the library."
"I love being able to reserve things and pick them up conveniently. I love having my neighborhood library . . . I probably come here 2-4 times per week."
"Please insist that parents keep their children quiet while people are trying to read & study! Thanks."
"The staff has always been helpful. Next to my passport, I consider my library card my most valuable possession."
"I don't like grouchy librarians."
"Recommend having soft instrumental music playing, It would create the same peaceful atmosphere the bookstores have."
"It quite and comfertable. Theres lot of books to choose from and theres good librayons there."
"Its very quit and has good books and is cumfortible."
"The videos are not rewound. Don't Utahns know to "Be kind and rewind?'"
"Longer hours Fri. eve till 9:00."
"You need to have a checkout line for 4 or 5 items only. Most of the time I get stuck behind people with problems, overdue notices & many checkout items."
"I don't like slow computers."
"Get Nintendo 64 games."
"I was very disappointed to find out that kid's storytime is 'full.'"
"I don't like having to get the key to the Bathroom at the Magna branch."
"The self-flushing toilets scare . . . my kids. They flushed five times with him sitting on it."
"I don't like R-rated videos in such large variety — more family films please."
"I like all the staff and the fantasy books. Hunter, you guys are the best library in the whole milky way galaxy."