Adult Programs

  •  Chocolate 3

    Over the years I have successfully cut back on the amount of junk food I eat. That is, I have successfully cut back on everything but chocolate. The darker the better. For me, really good dark chocolate almost has a slight citrus flavor mixed in with all of that bitter, creamy deliciousness.

    After sharing my love of chocolate, you can probably imagine how excited I am that the lovely folks at The Chocolate Conspiracy are coming to the library to talk about the health benefits of chocolate, and they’re giving us an overview of how artisanal chocolate is made. 

    Here are the details:

    Learn It: The Health Benefits of Chocolate
    Thursday, September 28th
    7:00 pm in room 260

    To get us all by until then, here are a few of the books we have at the library dedicated to the creation of my favorite treat:

    9.12 Great Moments in Chocolate HistoryGREAT MOMENTS IN CHOCOLATE HISTORY
    By Howard-Yana Shapiro

    Packed with facts and photos, this book reveals the untold story of chocolate. Did you know that M&Ms were invented for WWII soldiers as the chocolate that wouldn't melt in their hands? Or that Thomas Jefferson predicted that chocolate would outstrip coffee as the most popular drink in America? 

    9.12 The True History of ChocolateTHE TRUE HISTORY OF CHOCOLATE
    By Sophie D. Coe

    Travel around the world as you discover chocolate’s origins in Central America, its journey to Europe as the drink of kings, and its eventual journey to the plates of the masses. 




    By Katie Higgins

    The healthy dessert blogger Katie Higgins shares over 80 never-before-seen recipes that use only real ingredients, without any unnecessary fats, sugars, or empty calories.

    By Kay Frydenborg

    Geared toward a teen audience, this book captures the history, science, and economic and cultural implications of the harvesting of cacao and creation of chocolate.



    By Lucy Mangan

    If we’re talking about chocolate, we’ve also got to talk about CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY.  This book explores the lasting legacy of Roald Dahl's popular book, examining the development of the original story and characters, its social history, and the varying film and stage adaptations.


  • August Learn It 01

    Whew! If you’ve been in the library in June and July, you know that we were going full-steam ahead with our summer reading program. Just on the Teen and Adult Reference side, we watched movies, swapped books, had fun at trivia nights, locked the teens in the library for a night, and met some of our favorite authors. Now that August is here, we’ve cut back on some of the activities here at the library, but that doesn’t mean that we’ve all gone on vacation.  Here are four adult-focused programs we’ve got going on at the library in August.

    Yoga @ the Library
    Wednesday, August 2nd, 7:00 pm
    West Lawn

    We host yoga at the library the first Wednesday of every month, but we’ll try to maximize the summer by hosting this session out on the lawn.

    Learn It: Mindfulness 101
    Monday, August 21, 7:00 pm
    Shaw Programming Room, #260

    This repeat of a class we held in June focuses on breathing and meditation and learning about its physical and psychological benefits.

    Learn It: Canning and Food Preservation
    Wednesday, August 29th, 7:00 pm
    Shaw Programming Room, #260

    It’s canning season! Learn about food preservation safety and traditional boiling water bath canning. By next winter you will be enjoying the bottled fruits of your labors!

    Teaching Children in a Digital World
    Thursday, August 31st, 7:00 pm
    Shaw Programming Room, #260

    With a new school year starting up, learn tips for talking about computer safety with your children. Learn about different Internet filters and how they are used. Learn more about online privacy and how to protect your information. 

  •  BB 2017 FB

    One of our favorite events of the year is fast approaching! On Tuesday, February 20th at 7:00, join us to hear our librarians favorite reads of 2017 at our annual Best Books event. We'll have treats and books to give away, and you'll leave with some great recommendations for children's, teen, and adult books.

    While we can't give away our top picks just yet, we wanted to whet your appetite by sharing a few of the reads that just barely made the final list.

    2.15 Lincoln in the BardoLINCOLN IN THE BARDO
    By George Saunders

    Lincoln in the Bardo is just bizarre.  I struggled to listen to the first third and just couldn’t enjoy it.  I was a confused and a bit offended.  But I persevered and actually picked up a physical copy of the book to “quickly scan through to the end”.  Half way through the book I was hooked.  In a nutshell, this is a book about the afterlife and how it intersects with the living world.  It’s curious format and odd characters help the reader explore what it means to let go of life and move on in a way that is a bit breathtaking.  I put it down with a sigh and a smile, but the journey getting there was a bit rough.  I just couldn’t recommend it as universally as I’d like. 


    2.15 My Absolute DarlingMY ABSOLUTE DARLING
    By Gabriel Tallent

    This is a fantastically written book about a fourteen year old girl searching for herself.  She runs wild through the woods of the California coast but her social existence is confined to school and home with an abusive, but charismatic father.  A chance meeting in the woods introduces her to a boy and her first glimpses of life with possibilities.  This book is mesmerizing.  It is also extremely violent and I feel a need to be extremely selective of who I recommend it to.  It could be very upsetting to many people, but a gripping novel for those who can stomach the described abuse. 


    2.15 A Piece of the WorldA PIECE OF THE WORLD
    By Christina Baker Kline

    I was on the fence for weeks about whether to include this book in my final 25, and ultimately decided to go with another book with a similar premise instead. A PIECE OF THE WORLD is gorgeously written and received rave reviews, which is a big part of why I thought about calling it one of my Best Books of 2017. The deciding factor, though, was that I simply enjoyed reading the other book more. While A PIECE OF THE WORLD is beautiful and meaningful, it isn’t a particularly fun read, and I think I wasn’t quite in the right frame of mind when I chose to read it. 


    2.16 The River at NightTHE RIVER AT NIGHT
    By Erica Ferencik

    This was another tough call, because I liked the idea of including a book with adventure and thriller elements to add variety to my Best Books list. It tells the story of four female friends who end up trapped in the Maine wilderness after a rafting trip goes awry. Great premise, right? Kind of a HATCHET for adults vibe? In the end, though, THE RIVER AT NIGHT wasn’t quite what I was hoping for. I struggled to connect with the characters, and I was bothered by the unkind, stereotypical depiction of people who live in more rural areas. Having grown up in Montana in an outdoors obsessed family, that didn’t jive with me.


    2.15 The Simplicity of CiderTHE SIMPLICITY OF CIDER
    By Amy E. Reichert

    The Simplicity of Cider didn’t blow me away in a way that earned it a Best Books spot, but I’d still recommend it. If you’re looking for an easy, sweet, clean read with a cute love story, this is an excellent choice. I liked it enough to read from beginning to end in one sitting.

  • christmas at the library

    It’s hard to believe that tomorrow’s the first of December! Did the holiday season seem to sneak up on you too? If it did, don’t worry. We have plenty of holiday cheer to share at the library this December.

    Join us for one of these free, family-friendly holiday programs.

    Movie Night: Elf
    Friday, December 1
    7:00 p.m.
    Young Special Events Room #201

    Come get the holiday season started with this free showing of Elf! Chairs will be provided but feel free to bring blankets, pillows, and snacks to get comfy.

    Elf Gif

    Monday Night at the Library: Utah Valley Handbell Ringers
    Monday, December 4
    6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

    Ring in the holiday season with this annual musical tradition! The 6:30 p.m. performance is targeted toward younger audiences.

    Monday Night at the Library: A Christmas Carol
    Monday, December 11
    7:00 p.m.

    Many Christmases ago, Charles Dickens would perform a one-man telling of this classic holiday tale, doing all the voices himself. Today, drama teacher Dane Allred recreates that experience with Dickens's original script. Using all of his vocal range, Allred will perform more than 20 voices, letting the audience use their imaginations to create their own versions of these classic characters.

    God Bless Us Everyone

    Monday Night at the Library: A Light in Winter's Dark
    Monday, December 18
    7:00 p.m.

    An evening of traditional Celtic Christmas carols performed by Rebakah Dunford's instrumental ensemble.


  • healthy relationships

    When I was growing up I dreamed about falling in love, getting married and living happily ever after. I did eventually meet my prince charming, got married and then realized that the happily ever after part took a lot more work than I first thought. Don’t get me wrong, being married is wonderful, but after 18 years I’ve learned that to have a loving relationship that can weather the storms of life, you have to actually put a lot of work into it.

    With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it is a good time to think about the relationship you have or the one you hope to have someday. We have a great Learn It class coming up in February that will help teach some skills to improve your relationship.

    I’m really excited for our Learn It class on Wednesday, February 7, 2018 from 7pm-8pm in the Shaw Programming Room (Room 260). Nevin G. Alderman, MA, CMHC, a relationship specialist will teach an hour-long class called Renew Love. In this class he will cover:

    • How to identify and avoid common relational pitfalls
    • Strategies to increase love, connection, and fulfillment
    • Tools for improved communication and conflict-resolution

    This would be a great opportunity for a free date night!

    If you can’t make it to the class, we have some great resources here in the library to help improve relationships. Here are a few of my favorite talks on CD and one audio book. Sometimes it’s nice to listen to short talks together and then be able to discuss the things you’ve learned.

    Matt Townsend

    Dr. Matt Townsend is a relationship coach and communications expert. He uses the acronym STARVED to help couples look at the seven basic needs that are vital to a healthy relationship. Most relationships are lacking in one or more of these areas, but he teaches how to feed a STARVED relationship and get back on the right path. 

    John L. Lund

    Dr. Lund gives four different talks covering the topics of owning our words and behaviors, learning the love languages of others, conflict resolution skills, and apologies and forgiveness. These are great to listen to over and over again. The part on the different communication styles is really helpful. When you get married, you don’t always realize that the person you are married to may have come from a family that communicates very differently than you. Understanding content communication can really help a lot of relationships. 

    John L. Lund, Douglas E. Brinley; Charles Beckert; Lucile Johnson; Bill and Chris Marshall

    This collection of six complete talks by popular LDS speakers provides proven ways to overcome many of the common challenges in marriage. 

    John L. Lund

    In this talk set, Dr. Lund shares his knowledge on how to improve ourselves and our relationships. He uses humor and examples to make many important points. He mostly teaches to focus on the things that are within our control. 

    John M. Gottman
    Audio book available from Overdrive

    John Gottman has been studying couples for years. This book shares his findings on what makes some marriages work, while others fail. Once you understand the seven principles, you can start using the strategies he shares to more effectively resolve any problem in the relationship.

  • Hearts

    When I was a young newlywed, it was hard to come up with different and affordable activities for date nights. I wish I had known back then about all the fun (and free) things that the library has to offer!

    (15-90 min)

    We have many board games available for in-house use. Check out our website for a list of games, how long each game takes, and how many people can play.

    (60 min)

    Participants travel from room to room in the library trying to solve a mystery, similar to the game Clue, by Parker Brothers. Some of your favorite villains have been causing mayhem in the library. The winner will correctly guess the suspect, location, and the weapon involved in the crime. This game can accommodate anywhere between 3-18 players and would be perfect for double or group dates! Visit our website for more info and to make a reservation (required).

    (45-60 min)

    Another great option for double and group dates are our escape rooms! Participants are stuck in a room and cannot get out until they solve a variety of puzzles and clues leading to the key that will let them out of the room. There are two different themes to choose from: School of Magic (Medium Difficulty) or Sherlock Holmes (Hard Difficulty). The escape rooms work best for groups of 4-8 people. Go to our website to reserve a room (required). 

    (45-90 min)

    The library hosts a wide variety of programs each month. Some popular programs include our Authorlink series, our Monday Night Performances and our Learn It programs. Most programs are free, though some may require tickets. Visit our online calendar to see what programs are coming up and to view details for specific programs.


    In the mood for a night in instead? Luckily, we have plenty of movies to choose from! Patrons are allowed to checkout up to 20 movies at a time and can have them out for three weeks. Come in and browse, or take a look at our website for movies that have been added to our collection most recently.

  •  family night

    Looking for something fun to do on a Monday Night with your family? Why don’t you come to the library! Besides the amazing selection of books and media available to check out, we have the following Monday Night programming:

    • CUENTOS (Spanish Story Time): cada lunes (each Monday), 6:30 - 7:00 pm en el Story Circle

    • CULTURAL PERFORMANCES: 1st and 3rd and 5th Mondays, 7:00 - 8:00 pm in the Ballroom

    • FAMILY STORY TIME: 2nd and 4th Mondays, 7:05 - 7:30 pm in the Story Circle 

    • MAKE AND TAKE CRAFTS FOR KIDS: 2nd and 4th Mondays, 6:30 - 8:00 pm in the Story Room

    Don’t worry about signing up for these activities. Just show up and be ready to have a good time.

    This month you will not want to miss our upcoming ninja craft or an evening of storytelling by the Gashlers (Fun hint: they use to be our children’s story time performers years back). See you Monday!

  • family night 1

    Monday Night programs at the library are back! For a breakdown of these programs, including children’s story and craft nights, check out Kelly’s post from yesterday. Today, we wanted to fill you in a bit more about our upcoming cultural performances on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Mondays of every month. These free performances take place at 7:00 in the ballroom, and no tickets are required. Doors open at 6:30 pm.

    Performances to look forward to this fall:

    September 18: Stephen and Teresa Gashler

    This Monday, we’re kicking off the season with an evening of music and stories from beloved local performers Stephen and Teresa Gashler. This multitalented duo have worked as actors, puppeteers, comedians, musicians, and writers, and they got their storytelling start right here at the Provo Library! Stephen has won 1st place at the 2014 National Storytelling Conference Story Slam, the Audience Choice Award at the 2013 Timpanogos Storytelling Hauntings contest, and 3rd place in the 2012 Utah’s Biggest Liar contest, while Teresa’s play “How to Save a Life” won 2nd place for the 2011 Vera Hinckley Mayhew Award.  To get a taste of their talents, check out Stephen performing the tale of The Lady of Utah Lake.


    October 2nd: Tom Carr – Just a Ghost Hunter

    Get into the Halloween spirit as professional ghost hunter Tom Carr shares his spooky experiences with the paranormal in this family-friendly program. Carr has investigated many of Utah's haunted places, including Lehi's Hutchings Musem and the Baron Woolen Mills in Brigham City.

    October 16: AuthorLink with John Klassen and Mac Barnett

    Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen are the award-winning author/illustrator duo behind SAM & DAVE DIG A HOLE, TRIANGLE, EXTRA YARN, and more. Join them for the tour of their clever new picture book THE WOLF, THE DUCK, AND THE MOUSE. Watch a quick book trailer below and reserve a copy here.


    October 30: Viva El Folklore

    Whenever a fifth Monday rolls around, we offer WorldLink performances, which highlight the history and arts of a particular country. At the end of October, join local Latin American dance group Viva El Folklore for an exciting Day of the Dead performance (just a couple of days early).


    November 6th: BYU Young Company: The Glorious Story Emporium

    Perennial favorite BYU Young Company returns to the Provo City Library for their first-ever improvisation show! The whole family can join in for this interactive experience, helping to create a totally one-of-a-kind performance. Get a sneak peek with this album of rehearsal photos.

    November 20: Forever Young A Capella

    This up and coming a cappella group from BYU performs a variety of hit songs, using only their voices to create complex harmonies. Check out more of their videos here


    We have a great holiday line up in the works as well, so be on the lookout for concerts and plays when December rolls around.

    Do you know of a performer or performing group who might be interested in doing a program here at the Provo City Library? If you do, have them contact our Assistant Community Relations Coordinator, Shaina at (801) 852-6722 or

  • Learn It hair blog

    I have always struggled with fixing hair. Over the years, I mastered the basic pony tail and called it good. Now I have two daughters and my hair styling skills are lacking. I look around at all the adorable hairstyles and wish I could learn some tips and tricks to make it easier.

    I’m really excited about our Learn It class on Tuesday, September 19th at 7:00 pm in the Shaw Programming Room. It is Hair 101 and will be taught by students from Paul Mitchell The School in Provo. They will teach us some hands-on braiding techniques and answer general hair care questions. I can’t wait to learn some new or better ways to braid hair. If you are like me and struggle with hair styling, or maybe you already know a lot, but are looking for something new, you should come to our Learn It class on September 19th. 

    If you can’t make it to the class, there are also some great books here in the library. I’ve found a few books that have helped me feel a little braver to try some other styles.

    By Becky Porter

    This book has great color pictures that show the hair style from different angels and then a picture for each step, with really easy to understand instructions. One of the other things I love about this book is that each section is color coded, so it’s easy to find. On the first page of the section it has a page with every hairstyle in that section with it’s name and what page you can find it on. It saved me a ton of time to flip to the overview and then straight to the style I was interested in.  

    9.18 HairstyledHAIRSTYLED
    By Anne Thoumieux

    This book has colored photos with steps and instructions, but I found them a little more confusing than the previous book. Also, there weren’t many styles that I could actually see myself using. It did have specific styles for different types and lengths of hair so it wasn’t just all things that needed long hair to do.


    9.18 DIY Updos Knots and TwistsDIY UPDOS, KNOTS, & TWISTS
    By Melissa Cook

    This book was great because the pictures show steps of the women fixing their own hair which is helpful because I don’t have a stylist at home to do cute things to my hair when I’m trying to get ready for the day. This helped me to see where my hands should be and how I should hold each strand of hair and also where I needed to put the bobby pins.  


    I look forward to trying some of these new styles, now I just have to hope that my daughters will sit still long enough for me to figure them out.  


    There is a stigma about learning: Learning is often associated with school and tests and things that happen between kindergarten and college—and it’s often seen as something a kid or teen is forced to do. However, I believe that learning can be fun and is actually a life-long process. 

    Think about how a baby will giggle once he learns how to mimic sticking his tongue out. He can’t get enough of the new skill. On the other end of life, I think about my grandmother who up until just a few months before she passed away was learning Spanish, studying Latin, watching documentaries about subjects that interested her, and knitting or crocheting afghans. She was in her 90s and still had an active mind that could run conversational circles around me. And she enjoyed it. (She often played games against me and declared she was the “Grand Champion of the Universe” when she beat me—which was quite frequently!) So, I do not believe that learning is boring or only something that kiddos in school should be doing. We can all enjoy being life-long learners! 

    The library is a great place for people who love to learn. We have so many great (and fun) educational resources. I can’t tell you how many times I see kids so excited that they are jumping up and down after getting out of an afterschool program—they just had so much fun learning! Yeah, you heard me right: Kids like learning. As long as it is a cool subject and they don’t have to take a test afterward…they will enjoy it. And let’s not forget about story time! There is so much giggling and laughing that goes along with those youngsters learning early literacy skills. Not to brag, but kids’ programs are one of our fortes. 

    But what about teens or adults? The good news is that the library has fun learning opportunities for us as well! First of all, the Adult and Teen Department does an amazing series of programs called Learn It. A Learn It can be about anything from personal finance to personal health. In September there is a Learn It about braiding and styling hair (even promising a few quick options for those mornings when you are running late). And there is a Learn It about the health benefits of chocolate. (Who knew that chocolate could be considered healthy?!?) 

    Another option for learning is the database that the library subscribes to. This is a great place to watch professional tutorial videos that are so much better than the YouTube alternatives. Lynda even has certification programs you can list on your resume. Plus, can be accessed from home! 

    Let’s not forget that there are all the regular (but incredible) materials that most people think about when it comes to libraries—books, movies, CDs, magazines—all of which you can check out! I personally love watching a random documentary about a fascinating subject at the end of a long week. Just last week I learned all about the Wright Brothers’ rival who helped change aeronautics as we know it. Who knew?! The point is, life-long learning is fun—and you can do it at the library!

  • youtube

    I spend far more time on YouTube than I probably should, but it’s easy to get sucked in. I watch to learn, to be entertained, to live vicariously, and to satisfy curiosity.

    After being a viewer for so long, one day I thought, I can do that! I can make YouTube videos! I’ve dabbled in videos related to librarianship, and then started dabbling in vlogging. Since my family lives 1000 miles away, I thought it would be fun for them to see what I’m up to when they can’t see me in person.

    My mom enjoys my videos… because she’s my mom. In all honesty, I’m a terrible vlogger. I feel like I never turn the camera on at the right time, I’m stiff and awkward when I talk, my videos aren’t cohesive, and frankly I don’t even want to watch them.

    But I persist… because it’s kind of fun to make something (even if it’s terrible) for my family. So I might as well learn and improve, right?

    A couple years ago I discovered the 8 Passengers YouTube channel. They are a local family documenting their daily life by posting videos to YouTube. In just three short years they have amassed nearly 1.5 million subscribers, and their daily videos often get 200k-500k views.

    How is it that I can spend an entire week trying to find things to film (and hopefully remember to turn on the camera), but they can make something like an average trip to the grocery store interesting enough that I eagerly tune in every morning?

    I must know their secrets!

    So I invited Ruby, the main vlogger and editor of 8 Passengers, to come and share what she’s learned. How does she manage to make an average day become an interesting video? What are things she’s done to engage their audience and keep people coming back? What has she learned about tagging videos to make them more findable so that they can reach new viewers?

    If you or someone you know is interested in making videos for YouTube, join us on Thursday, April 26th in the Shaw Programming room for Learn It @ Your Library: Create for YouTube where we will learn tips and tricks from a creator who’s already doing it successfully.

    I’m ready to take my videos to the next level, are you?

  • NaNo 2017 FB event

    NaNoWriMo. Na. No. Wri. Mo.  NaNoWriMo. Reading this word over and over again makes me think of the Muppets classic song, “Manamana.” How are you supposed to say this word? And what does it mean? I have to admit that I saw this word everywhere for years before I figured it out.

    NaNoWriMo is the shorthand version of National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo takes place every November, and during that time people are challenged to write a novel in one month. Here at the Provo City Library, we host NaNoWriMo Write In sessions the first three Saturdays of November from 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm.

    We’ve been hosting Come Write In sessions at the library for a few years now, but this year things will be a little different. A few months ago we repurposed our old computer lab into a programming space. This is great news, because it means we’ll have more room for you to bring your laptops (or we have some you can use as well) and you can setup your writing space in the way that’s most convenient for you. Come be inspired by the general air of creativity and imagination that gathers when a group of authors come together to write and discuss their work! Fuel up with snacks and participate in writing sprints! 

    Not sure you are quite ready to begin the writing process? Would you like some general guidance on how to craft a good story? Gear up for NaNoWriMo by attending our Fiction Writing Basics classes, held every Wednesday evening from October 4th to November 8th, from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. We’ll be covering topics such as:

    • How to create characters people care about.
    • Writing plots that are engaging and keep your readers' attention, with structures that make sense.
    • Strategies for busting through writer's block.
    • Learning how to edit your piece once it's done.

    All of the above events take place in our Shaw Programming Room, #260.

    One of my favorite parts of working in a library is the opportunity it gives me to meet amazing authors, so I can’t wait for the fun to begin!

  • UT WHistory FB 

    Women have been shaking things up in Utah since before it was even officially a state! Utah women were some of the earliest participants in the fight for women’s voting rights, they helped establish settlements and whole cities as Utah’s population grew, advocated and supplied funding for education and commerce, were active participants in the realms of art, theater, and entertainment, and have long had a hand in government and lawmaking in our great state. Basically, Utah would not be what it is without them!

    For Monday's blog post and today's, we’ve compiled a list of notable books about some of these female movers and shakers. Since March is Women’s History Month and the library is hosting a Utah women's history lecture by Better Days 2020 tonight, there’s no better time to use the resources the library provides to learn more about some of the women whose contributions make Utah such a great place to live. 

    by Christy Karras

    Maybe you want to know more about notable female figures from Utah’s history, but don’t know where to start? Look no further than More Than Petticoats! Containing 12 succinct bios of notable Utah women, this book covers ladies from all walks of life, including Mormon and non-Mormon settlers, polygamy advocates and opponents, actresses who would go on to originate iconic roles, wild western women, and even a notorious “madam” (with a heart of gold, of course). These women broke through social and cultural norms of the day to better the experience of those around them and influence the path of women going forward, both in Utah and beyond.

    This title is available as a set for Book Clubs and the broad topics and varied lives and statuses of the book’s subjects lend themselves well to discussion. You can check out our Book Club set here.


    by Patty Bartlett Sessions

    Though the above mentioned MORE THAN PETTICOATS book gives Patty Barlett Sessions a chapter, this compilation of her journals is a wonderful deep dive into her life. Patty was a midwife who delivered thousands of babies, and hundreds of these were first generation Utahans. She was appointed by Brigham Young to accompany the first trek of pioneers to the Salt Lake Valley. She administered to the sick and even performed deliveries of babies along the trail.

    We know so much about her because she was a prolific journal writer, keeping records of the goings on of the day until she was 92 years old. Her entries are very matter of fact and to the point, but give valuable insight into what life was like for her, and other early Utah settlers, especially women. In addition to medical treatments and her midwifery, she planted some of Utah’s first orchards from cuttings, helped found a women’s organization in the Mormon church called the “Relief Society,” and was an early investor in the “Zion’s Cooperative Mercantile Institution” (ZCMI). Patty used the proceeds she gained from this to open a school, where she also taught classes-- at age 88.


    3.11 Hidden History of UtahHIDDEN HISTORY OF UTAH 
    by Eileen Hallet Stone

    Author and historian Eileen Hallet Stone is a Utah transplant but is nonetheless a notable woman herself! Her work uncovering hidden and forgotten Utah history stories are documented in this compilation of 58 articles she wrote for her Salt Lake Tribune column called “Living History." While not every article in this book is about women, many that are include eye catching front page worthy titles like “Physic Widow Founded Spiritualist Utopia” and “1890s, Utah’s Women Found Freedom on Bicycles."

    She includes well researched chapters on the suffragette movement in Utah, women homesteaders (including one with ties to Butch Cassidy), and Utah women’s contributions as pilots and “Rosies” during World War II. This is a gem of a book where you’ll discover many delightful and heartening stories about lesser known historical figures from Utah’s past.

  • UT WHistory FB

    If you’re joining us this Wednesday evening for Better Days 2020’s presentation on Utah women’s history, you’re in for a treat. Katherine Kitterman, the organization’s historical director, will be here to share stories about Utah women, especially Provo and Utah County residents, of all different backgrounds who shaped local and national history.

    If you asked a typical Utahn, they’d probably struggle to name more than a handful of significant women in Utah history. Better Days 2020 is an organization committed to changing that through art, education, legislation, and activism. Utah women have a long history of political, social, and artistic contributions, and we’re excited that this history is becoming better known.

    Today and Wednesday on the blog, we’ll be recommending a few favorite books related to Utah women's history. As you may have noticed, most of the books on the topic focus on white women, especially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the pioneer and settlement eras. This is somewhat understandable, given the prominence of that group in Utah’s history, but current historians, including those at Better Days 2020, are working hard to bring forward the histories of Utah women of all races, religions, and backgrounds. Look forward to some of those fascinating stories Wednesday night.

    3.11 An Advocate for WomenAN ADVOCATE FOR WOMEN: THE PUBLIC LIFE OF EMMELINE B. WELLS, 1870-1920
    By Carol Cornwall Madsen

    Emmeline B. Wells is a personal hero of mine and was arguably Utah’s best known women’s rights activist in her day. Utah Territory granted women the right to vote in 1870 (a right the national government rescinded 17 years later), and Utah women became some of the most outspoken advocates in the country for female political rights.

    As part of this movement, Wells served as editor of Woman’s Exponent for nearly 40 years, urged Utah’s Territorial Legislature to allow women to serve in public office, developed personal friendships with national suffragists like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, walked a precarious line between pro-polygamy Utah suffragists and anti-polygamy suffragists on the national stage, served as president of the Utah Territorial Women’s Suffrage Association, spoke internationally before the International Council of Women, and organized the Relief Society’s grain-saving program that saved hundreds of lives during World War I. In her last eleven years, Wells also served as Relief Society General President, being released at the age of 93, just three weeks before she passed away.


    By Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

    Ulrich won the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for History for A MIDWIFE’S TALE, which revolutionized the historian’s field with its remarkable examination of social history. In addition to being a renowned historian (and the person who coined the phrase "well-behaved women seldom make history"), Ulrich herself is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, giving her unique insight into her subject matter in A HOUSE FULL OF FEMALES. Don’t be fooled by the narrator’s mispronunciations of common Utah names and Mormon words if you listen to the audiobook – Ulrich knows what she’s talking about.

    Much of published research into Utah women's history has focused on the hotbed of political and social activism that occurred in the late 19th and early 20th century, so it’s a nice change to read about the lead-up to that time period. Ulrich is a master of reconstructing a society based on journals, letters, meeting minutes, and even quilts, and you’ll come away from this book with a much more complete understanding of regular LDS and Utah women’s experiences in the early days of polygamy.


    Edited by Colleen Whitley

    WORTH THEIR SALT offers a glimpse into the lives of a wide variety of Utah women, some familiar, others less so. These include Indian rights advocate and diplomat Chipeta, mining queen Susanna Engalitcheff, Catholic nun and education reformer Mother M. Augusta, artist Mary Teasdel, Greek midwife Georgia Lathrouis Magera, actress Maude Adams (who originated the role of Peter Pan on Broadway), journalist and Japanese-American newspaper owner Kuniko Terasawa, and United States Treasurer Ivy Baker Priest.  

    A variety of professional historians, journalists, descendants, and enthusiasts contributed essays for WORTH THEIR SALT. It’s a collection well worth reading for anyone interested in broadening their familiarity with prominent women in Utah history.


    Be on the lookout for another post later this week with more recommended reads on this topic. Whether you're able to attend on Wednesday of not, we hope these books will get you hooked on the remarkable history of Utah women!

  • Journaling

    I’m not awesome at keeping a journal.  I kept a private blog when I was younger, but now I don’t worry about journaling so much.  There’s always something else I could be doing.  It was therefore very out of the ordinary for me the other day when I suddenly thought to myself, “I should write in my journal.”  It turned out I had a lot that I needed to say.

    As I’ve thought about this, and as I’ve read some really interesting articles about this topic (like this one), I’ve realized how important it is for all of us to record what we’re going through right now.  It will help us process our emotions and make sense of the world around us.  And since this time is literally different from all other times that have come before, you never know how what you write down will help future generations.

    If you’re reading this and thinking to yourself, “I have nothing to say,” or even, “Are you kidding me?  My life is crazy right now!  How am I supposed to add another thing to my To Do list?” Here are some suggestions of ways to ease into the process.

    Focus on the Moment

    One thing that keeps me from journaling is the thought that I have to summarize everything that’s happened since the last time I attempted to journal.  Don’t do that.  Instead, focus on just writing down what you’re thinking of in the moment.  Still don’t know what to say?  Try answering one of these questions, or check out a longer list here (

    1. What did you do today (or this week)? How was that different from what you would do on a “normal” day/week?
    2. What changes have you personally experienced (physically, mentally and/or emotionally) since this crisis began?
    3. What has been the most difficult thing for you personally about this crisis? Do you think there’s anything positive that may come from what’s happening?

    Try a Different Journaling Method

    Journals come in all shapes and forms.  If the task of writing out a traditional journal entry seems daunting, try a different format.  Some examples:

    1. Write down a quick thought somewhere that’s convenient for you. This could be in a notebook, on a computer, or even in the Notes app on your phone.
    2. Explore Bullet Journaling.
    3. Keep lists—this could be a list of what you’re grateful for, what songs you’re currently listening to, the top three things that happened today: anything.
    4. Make an audio or video recording, or post something on social media.
    5. Take pictures.
    6. Work on an art or craft project that expresses what you’re going through.
    7. The Provo Library has a Let’s Learn Guide that covers different ways to keep a journal.

    One thing that helped inspire writing this blog post was finding out about the University of Utah’s COVID-19 Digital Project.  You can submit your photographs and experiences to this project.

    While we don’t want to take away from the above project, the Provo Library would like to do something similar.  We want to record Provo’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic.  If you are interested in submitting journal entries, photographs, or artwork that represent this time, please let us know! While it’s probably best that you keep your journals private, a summarized snapshot of your time in quarantine could be good for future generations to see.  When you look back on this year, what will you remember?

  • yoga

    Yoga? At the library? Aren’t librararies just about books?

    Reading stretches your mind; it’s an excellent way to explore new ideas and realize who you really are in relation to those characters and ideas. Yoga likewise teaches you about yourself as you move through a sequence. Though you may think of it as merely a series of stretches, the moving mediation of yoga invites a stillness of the mind while the body is challenged in stretches and flowing movement. Attention to breath brings an awareness to the body and allows participants to connect with those around them. While doing the sequences together a greater sense of one’s purpose in life and purpose in the community can be revealed. During and after a yoga class you feel an overall sense of gratitude. You are thankful for your body, the exercise, the place it was taught, and your yoga teacher, and you go away with a kinder more positive outlook on life. 

    Yoga at the library welcomes everyone. It’s not about how flexible you are. In fact that is one of the purposes of yoga: to progress in your flexibility and movement. You absolutely don’t have to be bendy to begin a practice. You can come no matter your experience level in yoga. We have pregnant women, college students, moms with their kids, couples on a date, veteran yogis and first timers. While the library is not a health club offering fitness classes, we are an institution that strives to better individuals, families and the community; offering free monthly yoga classes helps fulfill that mission.

    Yoga at the Library is part of our Learn It @ Your Library series. Other topics in this series include Hair 101, how to buy a house, how to use credit card points and miles, bicycle care, emergency preparedness, sewing, writing workshops, parents talking to their kids, and so many more. Learn Its are always FREE. They are open to the public, so you don’t have to have a library card. Invite friends and then when they are here they can get a library card too! Yoga is held monthly on the first Wednesday of every month at 7pm in the Bullock room #309. 

    Hope to see you all at yoga next month! Namaste! If you’re interested in other free yoga classes around the community, Yoga Recyled has got you covered:   

    Yoga @ the Library was on the local news! Check out the clip here