SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) – One hundred years ago the Carnegie Foundation gave Salt Lake City $15,000 to build a library to stand throughout time. The foundation was so enthused with the project it added another $10,000.
It was 1918 and Salt Lake City’s Carnegie Library was opened with great fanfare. A free library in almost every town was the goal of the Carnegie Foundation.
It would be named for Annie Chapman the city’s first librarian. The library served the west side in a neighborhood called Poplar Grove.
A residential neighborhood of workers and new immigrant, a third of them who worked for Utah’s giant rail industry.
Andrew Johnston SLC Council Member said “It’s an institution. It was meant to be that way. They built it to look like something that would last a millennium…it has lasted 100 years now.”
The library is more than how it looks in its beauty, there are more than just books inside.
It’s a place neighborhood members met after school, or on the weekends. A place to study and learn.
As more and more people moved to the west side from all over, they needed a place to gather and the Chapman Library was perfect.
The library has grown up from the day when there were open fields, and neighborhood members no longer work for the railroads but it remains the best place to get the latest novel.
Jackie Biskupski, SLC Mayor said, “This is a prime example of what it means to celebrate …someone from a hundred years ago, who was a woman who was leading in this whole system of Library service.”
One hundred years ago, it was built to serve the neighborhood, and a hundred years later, the Chapman Library is still serving the neighborhood.
The Chapman branch is on Ninth West and Sixth South it still anchors the neighborhood is something to celebrate.