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March 7, 2019

Salt Lake County Library Gives a “Shhh”-outout to Ruth Vine Tyler on International Women’s Day

Tavin Stucki - Email
(801) 944-7521

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah–In 1939, Ruth Vine Tyler—the namesake of our cozy County Library branch in Midvale, was named the first director of Salt Lake County Library and began offering library services in two classrooms of the old Midvale School. Tyler was a trailblazer for women in the workplace 80 years ago, and she fearlessly led and administered library services, and guided the Library Board, for four decades—half of Salt Lake County Library’s existence.

Tyler’s new Salt Lake County Library quickly gained popularity. Within four months of opening, between January and April 1939, she issued library cards to more than 1,700 patrons. The success of Salt Lake County Library within the old Midvale School resulted in the inclusion of small libraries in several schools across Salt Lake County. On August 9, 1941, this valuable community resource held its grand opening of the Midvale Library Headquarters.

As population in Salt Lake County grew, so did the interest in community public libraries. Salt Lake County Library responded to the interest and, by 1972, was the largest public library system in Utah with 11 locations, 132 employees and more than 125,000 library cards issued. Credit for the success of the Salt Lake County Library can be directly attributed to Tyler’s 40-year commitment to librarianship.

Salt Lake County Library remains the largest public library system in Utah with 18 branches, 3.3 million visitors annually, just under two million items available for circulation, and 600 employees—more than 80% female.

On March 8, International Women’s Day, Salt Lake County Library honors Tyler and the other trailblazing women among our ranks.

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About Salt Lake County Library Services

Salt Lake County Library is committed to making a positive difference in the lives of our community by inspiring imagination, satisfying curiosity and providing a great place for everyone to visit. You belong at the County Library and your interest to read, create, learn, play and connect is supported by our employees, programs, collection and online resources. Early and lifelong learning, as well as equal access for all, are at the forefront of all that we do.

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