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Serendipitous Programming

Salt Lake City Public Library
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Innovation Leader: Andrew Shaw, Communications Department, ashaw@slcpl.org

Problem Statement

The Salt Lake City Public Library's flagship Main Library is known worldwide for its breathtaking architecture. Opened in 2003, how does the library continue to keep the building fresh, exciting, and new for patrons who come to the library on a regular basis?

Innovation

Focus on creating one-of-a-kind user experiences that surprise, reward, and expand the horizons of people who happen to be in the facility at the time. SLCPL has partnered with several community organizations (including Utah Opera and Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah) to host serendipitous performances in the Urban Room, the entrance atrium of our Main Library. Without advanced notice, we will set up a stage, piano, and other equipment and host performances ranging from local opera singers to Dance Brazil, an internationally touring capoeira (Brazillian fight-dancing) group.

Progress

These performances continue to activate and invigorate the space, taking our already well-known and adored facility to another level. It has expanded the library's "cool factor," creating moments that are ready-made for community Tweets, Facebook adoration, and YouTube stardom. The community gets to experience the arts in up-close and personal ways not available in any other venue.