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The City Library's Sprague Branch is temporarily closed for repairs due to flood damage sustained from overnight rainstorms on July 26, 2017. The popular Sugar House neighborhood library, located at 2131 South 1100 East, is a high-gabled English Tudor style building that has served the Sugar House community since 1928.
According to the National Weather Service, 2.12 inches of rain fell in Sugar House the morning of Wednesday, July 26, 2017, which caused flooding throughout the area. In addition to the Sprague Branch, flooding occurred in parking lots and businesses in the adjacent shopping areas.
Water in the Sprague Branch triggered an alarm early Wednesday morning, and when maintenance staff arrived, they found there was several feet of standing water in the lower level of the building. The Salt Lake City Public Library has begun to clean up and assess the damage, which includes damage to the building, furniture, computers, and library collections. Plans for rescheduling events and services are forthcoming.
"The City Library's Sprague Branch is seen as Sugar House's neighborhood living room," said Peter Bromberg, Executive Director of the Salt Lake City Public Library. "The library is well-loved and well-used as a place for residents to explore information together, celebrate community successes together, and tackle the community’s concerns together. The losses in this flood aren’t just books and computers, which can and will be replaced, but also the temporary loss of a key gathering place for the people of Salt Lake City. We have set our focus on opening the Sprague Branch as soon as we can to continue to fulfill our role as a valued community resource."
The Sprague Branch has been the site of several important community gatherings and events over the past year, including regular meetings of local community councils, employment fairs for local businesses, and the Salt Lake City Mayor's discussion of the location for homeless resource centers. Families are passionate Sprague Branch visitors with roughly 40 kids and their grown-ups attending weekly storytimes, and more than 200 people attended a screening of The Goonies at Classic Cinema Night on July 11. The library is also well-used as a “second office” for neighbors who work from home, making use of the building’s free wireless Internet access and comfortable environment. As residents move into the rapidly growing area, they often make getting a library card at the Sprague Branch a first stop in getting to know their new neighborhood.