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Sandy Library is county's biggest

DRAPER — Though Draper's incoming library should alleviate overcrowding at Sandy Public Library, the latter is expected to remain the largest and the busiest public library in the county, said Tauni Everett, library public relations coordinator.

"It's definitely a growing area," Everett said. "In terms of our library system it's the largest circulation base."

Sandy Public Library, which opened in 1991, circulated 1,400,000 items during 2004. And between January and July this year, the library checked out 1,039,327 items, nearly 270,000 more items than Whitmore, the county's next busiest library. But, circulation was higher than normal this year, by roughly 50 thousand items, since Sandy attracted Draper's patrons with their old library closed, Everett said.

Draper's new library, which will be five times as large as the old library and will have twice as many items available for checkout, should take a lot of the burden off the Sandy facility, she said.

The county's leading library houses 233,214 items for checkout, but patrons can access any of the 2 million items located within the 18 libraries that make up Salt Lake County's Library System.

Everett said she anticipates Sandy always being the county's biggest library because of the area's already established population and continued growth. A second Sandy library will likely need to be built eventually.

"We're always looking for a good place to build and cheap or free land," she said noting that "administrators have the option of expanding the 26,000 square foot Sandy facility."

In the meantime, county library administrators are hoping to curb long lines in Sandy and elsewhere by implementing a self-check out circulation system, she said. The system is similar to the self-check out counters at grocery stores. Patrons can check out books on their own or they can seek assistance.