Murray Library reaches 100-year milestone

Historic building • It houses a private school and library now on 5300 South.
This is an archived article that was published on in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Murray • The library has embraced changing technologies and times in its century-long history.

The Murray Library has held celebrations throughout the year to celebrate its 100-year milestone, and this fall officials will install a stained-glass window to commemorate the event.

Children's reading programs are among a broad range of services the library offers. Other services include lifelong learning for adults, a community information center and a variety of popular materials — including ebooks and audiobooks that can be downloaded. The library's mobile app for iPhones and Android devices may be downloaded through Apple's iTunes or the Google Play store.

Murray is one of the few municipalities in Utah that have their own libraries, said the facillty's media coordinator Carol Cannon. Murray also has lending agreements with the larger Salt Lake City and County library systems.

"Unlike other libraries, we have no fees for our library cards, and we will register cards to anyone who resides in the state," said library director Dan Barr, who is retiring in September after serving 18 years at the facility.

The Murray Library dates its founding to Jan. 6, 1911— eight years after the city incorporated. Money for the construction grant was donated by Scottish-American steel magnate Andrew Carnegie.

Today, the historic Carnegie building at 184 E. Vine St. houses the private school Mount Vernon Academy as part of the Murray Downtown Historic District.

In 1992, Murray opened its new facility at 166 E. 5300 South, replacing its Carnegie branch and main library at 73 W. 6100 South.

The new library — about three times the size of the two older facilities — includes a small amphitheater for children, study areas and conference rooms. The center was renovated in 2008, adding electronic media resources, Wi-Fi access and a one-stop library service center.

Murray School District leases the land to the library for a token amount — reflecting its property donation 100 years ago for the city's Carnegie library.

Murray was among 23 libraries in Utah built from Carnegie grants. Ogden was the first Utah city to open a Carnegie library, but the building was torn down in 1969, according to Carnegie Libraries Across America by Theodore Jones.

Today, 10 of these Utah buildings still operate as libraries in Beaver, Brigham City, Chapman Branch in Salt Lake City, Ephraim, Garland, Manti, Mount Pleasant, Richfield, Richmond and Smithfield.

More than 2,500 Carnegie libraries were built between 1883 and 1929 in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Serbia, the Caribbean and Fiji.

Twitter: @DawnHouseTrib —

Murray Library

Location • 166 E. 5300 South

Hours • 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday —

Read With a Dog at Murray Library

People of all ages may read to Belle the Labrador, sponsored by Intermountain Therapy Animals:

Event • 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Aug. 11, and one Saturday a month

Reservations • Call the library Kids' Place at 801-264-2587 ahead of time to schedule a session.

Program • Beneficiaries typically are children with behavioral problems, who have a difficult time interacting with others because of language, cultural or confidence issues, said Lesley Pulsipher with Intermountain Therapy Animals.