• PCL with sign


    “The public library is one of the few places where people are still treated as citizens rather than consumers.” – Kevin O’Kelly

    1. Materials

    Libraries know that information is key, but there comes a time when you can’t simply consume information any more, you have to produce it. So yes, the library has books and references, magazines, newspapers, CDs, DVDs, audiobooks and many of these resources are available online which means you don’t need to come to library (or even put on pants) to access them. But beyond these resources, the Library offers the space to learn and the materials to succeed. Things like toys designed to foster creativity in children and technology to empower adults the library's free materials offer a lifeline to those without it at home.

    2. Local Art and Performances

    Despite the rising costs of concert and theater tickets, the library acts as a center for the arts by hosting events like concerts, recitals, and gallery displays often offered free of charge and enabling people of any income level to attend. Provo City Library's two galleries are dedicated to bringing in the best art, science and history exhibits from around the country and in Provo.

    3. Games

    Designed to encourage learning or simply to have fun, the games at the library never stop. With activities things like the Whodunnit Murder Mystery, video games, board games, scavenger hunts, contests—the only end to playtime is our closing hours. 

    4. Hobbies

    If you’ve ever wanted to try out a new hobby but didn’t know where to start, the library has a program for that. With free classes offered each month like yoga, beekeeping or coloring, there's something for everyone. See upcoming activities here.

    5. Life Skills

    Often referred to as “the people’s university,” the library is a place where every one of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels can learn something that will change lives. Whether you want to build a career with databases like or take free software or budgeting classes, libraries welcome everyone who sets foot in their doors and prepares them to leave as citizens of the world.

    6. Authorlink

    Okay, so this kind of is related to books but it’s awesome. The library invites several authors every year to speak to you. Meet internationally recognized authors like Cressida Cowell (HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON), Shannon Hale (PRINCESS ACADEMY, GOOSEGIRL) and Gail Carson Levine (ELLA ENCHANTED) and as well as popular local authors like Brandon Sanderson (MISTBORN, The Wheel of Time Series).

    Hear from your favorite authors, get books signed and ask questions like, where on earth does Julianne Donaldson (EDENBROOKE) get inspiration for her romantic heroes? (Answer: Pictures of Christian Bale, Ryan Lochte and Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark taped to her computer.) See upcoming author visits here.

    7. History and Genealogy

    Beyond being housed in the culturally significant Academy Square, beyond the books that hold the diary of the human race, the library contains access to the vital records that immortalize the memories and wisdom of generations. Obituaries, photographs, cemetery records and historical databases have you set for any genealogical project.

    8. Databases

    Albert Einstein said that one should never commit to memory anything that can easily be looked up, and all the sourced, peer-reviewed and free information not accessible to Google is still just a click away with a library card. More than just the obscure information you no longer need for that one paper you wrote in high school, these databases also have the practical information and resources you need to participate in government, fix your car, learn Photoshop, get certified, practice tests or even learn a craft. It’s kind of like Pinterest but with directions that actually work because they’re written by professionals instead of your niece during her Christmas vacation.

    9. Librarians  

    It’s very rare to meet a human who knows everything and yet still knows how to have fun, but these are the exact requirements for a librarian—there’s even a school for it! Author Patrick Ness called librarians “tour-guides for all of knowledge,” because no matter who you are, librarians are here to help you find the answers to your questions.

    In one of our recent blog posts, Provo Librarian Carla said that when one of the best things about being a librarian is knowing that you’re not working to increase profits, but to improve quality of life.

    10. Library

    The fact that communities even have libraries is a miracle in and of itself. Libraries champion democracy because they allow any person to inform themselves and become advocates for themselves and their communities. A realization of the American Dream, libraries act as the refuge where personal background cannot keep anyone from opportunities.

    What is your favorite thing about libraries? 

  • Freegal christmas


    Did you know that your library card gets you streaming music and downloads for free? This Christmas, we’ve complied the ultimate present unwrapping playlist that’s absolutely free.  

    For fans of a cappella music and interesting harmonies...

    A Pentatonix Christmas

    If you like your Christmas songs with a dose of pop and vocal acrobatics...

    Wrapped in Red
    Kelly Clarkson 

    Merry Christmas
    Mariah Carey

    If you're looking for instrumental background music...

    A Family Christmas
    The Piano Guys

    If you're going for a hipster-vibe...

    Christmas Party
    She & Him

    Feeling nostalgic for the late '90s? Try...

    Home For Christmas
    *N Sync 

    If you're looking for that classic mid-century Christmas sound (Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, Perry Como)...

    Christmas with the Crooners
    Various Artists

    What A Night! A Christmas Album
    Harry Connick Jr.

    Christmas With the Stars
    Various Artists

    Elvis Presley's Carols
    Elvis Presley


  • sanderson header


    International best-selling author, Brandon Sanderson (MISTBORN, ALCATRAZ VS. THE EVIL LIBRARIANS) spoke at the Provo Library Wednesday, February 1, 2017 with the Children’s Literature Association of Utah and spent much of the evening encouraging young writers.

    “You aren’t going to sell many books at first, but don’t panic—it’s a slow burn,” said Sanderson. 

    Sanderson explained that he wrote 15 books before he ever sold 1. But he believes that this “slow burn” helped him in the long run. 

    “I wanted to be a writer but I had no idea how to do it. I was really bad at this when I started. It doesn’t sound like an advantage but it really was,” said Sanderson. 

    sanderson 1

    By the time was he good enough to sell his books, he had already tested ideas and learned how to bring stories together. He was able to hit the ground running when he began publishing his books which helps him write more steadily than authors who might just be starting out. 

    Sanderson said that the low point in his career came after he had published nearly 11 books but still wasn’t selling very many.  

    “I started wondering, am I just wasting my life?” Sanderson remembered. “Maybe I really am just terrible at this and nobody will tell me.”

    Sanderson was told that his books were too long, with stories that weren’t gritty enough and worlds that were too weird. 

    sanderson 2

    “I had this soul searching moment where I thought, ‘Why am I doing this?’ And the answer I got was that I like telling stories. I legitimately love writing these books,” explained Sanderson. 

    Even if he couldn’t make a living from writing books. Sanderson said he would still want to write them. 

    “I really wanted to make a living with my writing but at the end of the day that’s not why I was doing it. I love doing it,” said Sanderson.  

    sanderson 3

    To view upcoming visits from authors, check out our schedule or subscribe to our AuthorLink Newsletter

  • cressida cowell header


    Cressida Cowell, author and illustrator of the HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON series, spoke at the Provo Library Monday, November 14 on the inspiration for dragons and writing that she received as a nine year-old girl. 

    “How to Train Your Dragon is sort of is a true story from my childhood, which seems a bit unlikely,” says Cressida. “When I was nine years old, I was always writing, I was always reading, but I didn’t know that being a writer was something I could be.”

    Growing up in London, Cressida spent every summer of her childhood with her parents on a deserted island off the west coast of Scotland. 

    cowell 1

    “A long time ago, real Vikings came down the coast from Norway and lived on that island,” explains Cressida. “I used to play and imagine what it would be like to be a Viking and that the storm was the sound of the dragon waking up.”

    The Vikings believed that dragons existed and the stories they left behind sparked young Cressida’s imagination.  She credits the mysterious stories of dragons in the caves she explored and the very real, strange creatures she met while fishing in the ocean as the source of her storytelling because the task of a writer is to make the reader believe that the story is true. 

    “Writing is like telling a really big lie. The more detail you put into the lie and the more you base it in a tiny vein of truth the more it comes to life,” says Cressida. “You have to treat your fantasy as if it’s real.” 

    cowell 2

    While she loves “lying” and making up worlds around her stories, her favorite part of writing is reading the stories of children and encouraging their imaginations. 

    As child, Cressida wanted to be an illustrator. She would try to copy Snoopy, but no matter how hard she tried, she could never draw him as well as the real Snoopy. 

    “I thought, ‘Oh No! That means I’m not going to be an illustrator!’ But it didn’t mean that. It meant that I was nine,” says Cressida. “Don’t forget that you have plenty of time to grow.”

    cowell 3

    To view upcoming visits from authors, check out our schedule or subscribe to our AuthorLink Newsletter.

  • yang


    On Friday, September 16 we kicked off our first ever, annual Graphic Novel Festival: Get Graphic. Our keynote speaker, Gene Luen Yang, comic book author and the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature (appointed by the Library of Congress, Every Child A Reader, and the Children’s Book Council), explained the educational value of comic books. 

    As the son of immigrant parents, Yang says he grew up in a house full of stories.

    “Immigrant parents tells stories to their children as a way of connecting them to the culture that they left,” says Yang. “I grew up telling stories, and I also grew up drawing.”

    As a child, Yang fell in love with cartoons because they proved that you could use drawings to tell a story. He dreamed of one day becoming a Disney animator. When Yang discovered a Marvel comic book, that all changed and soon he grew from comic book reader to comic book creator.


    “One of my favorite things about comic books is that the dividing line between who’s a fan and who’s a creator is really thin,” says Yang. “If you want to become a comic book creator all you need are some pens, some paper and maybe like a healthy ignorance of your own artistic limitations.”

    Even though Yang’s been creating comics for a long time, he’s only been at it full time for about a year and a half. Before that, he was also a high school teacher, and he would bring up comics with his students hoping to seem cool—it didn’t work. As a high school teacher, he often felt like Batman, living with two separate identities, keeping his comic and his teaching life separate. 

    However, comics began to take on a more pivotal role in his life when one day he needed a substitute teacher. His first solution was to videotape lectures, which he describes as an utter disaster.

    “Mr. Yang we thought you were boring in person, but on video, you are just unbearable,” said his students.  

    In a desperate second attempt, Yang drew his lectures as comics. To his surprise, they were a hit and a preferred means to Yang in person. 


    Surprised that a generation that grew up with screens would prefer reading lectures on a page over a screen, he looked into why comics were working. 

    He found that comics in the classroom was not such a novel idea. Comics have been used all over the world for nearly a century in classrooms all around the world. He realized that comics as a single, unified, multimedia experience give the reader complete control of information transfer rather than the creator. 

    “When I was giving them the comic lectures it was like I was giving them a remote control. If they didn’t understand something in my lecture, they could just read it again, or go more slowly. If I was talking about something they already understood, they could skip over it,” says Yang. “That’s only true of comics. That’s the only visual narrative medium that has that quality.”

    Comics have as much a place in the classroom as a book because, for many reluctant readers, comics lead to a love of reading.  

    After addressing this audience of parents and educators, Yang signed books; on Saturday, he offered a keynote address especially for those hoping to make comics. Look for that recap next week!

  • jennifern recap


    Last month, we were privileged to hear and experience the mind of Jennifer Nielsen, author of THE FALSE PRINCE, for the launch of her latest book, THE SCOURGE.  

    Nielson began the night by introducing a game based on her new novel, THE SCOURGE. She divided the audience into teams, the pinch worms vs. the grubs, which represent the two conflicting classes in the book. The teams were then tasked to complete a series of games such as Cupcake Stacking and Tic-Tac Shaking—as to whether or not these events are also based on the book, you’ll have to read it.  

    Nielsen went on to explain that the idea behind THE SCOURGE, a children’s book, came from the least kid-friendly topic she could think of—Leprosy.

    “In the 20th century, we knew what Leprosy was. It was a disease we could cure, but the stigma on it was so bad that it was still legal to force people away from their homes,” said Nielsen. “The injustice of that just floored me. There are still today places where leprosy victims are living in colonies completely healed, but they have no home left to return to.”

    She explained that she considered that if a person in power manipulated the fear people have of disease, that person would have an incredible about of power over the population. Thus, THE SCOURGE was born.

    Despite the novel’s dark topic, Nielsen claims that through writing for children and crafting their characters, the book became one of the funnier books she’s written.

    To view upcoming visits from authors, check out our fall schedule or subscribe to our AuthorLink Newsletter.

  • J Donaldson

    Julianne Donaldson, author of EDENBROOKE and BLACKMOORE spoke at the Provo Library not of writing advice in a technical sense but of chasing your dreams on Thursday, July 21, 2016.

    She explained that when she first began writing nearly a decade ago, she was already running an eBay business and teaching piano lessons to keep her family afloat while her husband attended law school.

    “Life felt really hard,” Donaldson says. “Every time I went to the grocery store I had to pay with my food stamps card and I just wanted to tell people in line that it’s not going to be like this forever. One day, I’m going to have enough money to buy my own groceries.”

    DSC 5524Over 300 readers came to hear Donaldson speak

    She turned to books like the Regency romances of Georgette Heyer, but found that there weren’t many stories like the ones she wanted to read. So, washing dishes while her three children smashed goldfish on the kitchen table, her own stories and characters began to take form.

    “I was writing this story, with no thought that it would ever be published one day. I was just doing it for myself,” said Donaldson. “I loved the experience of escaping to a place where there was a lot of romance, there were no kids, and both my hero and heroine are filthy rich because it’s fantasy.”

    As an English major, Donaldson had focused on studying literature and had never taken a creative writing class, but began writing what she did know, the Regency romance of those she had studied.

    “I had this moment where I was like, ‘Oh! This is my talent. This is what I was given to do, to write a romance,” says Donaldson.

    She realized that this talent was special and couldn’t be ignored simply because she was already a mother—she had more to do. As she became more passionate about her work she dreamed of traveling to England to begin seriously researching the book she wanted to write.

    “It was this whirlwind adventure of me driving through England, in a rental car, hugging the wrong side of the road,” says Donaldson. “Every time we came to a roundabout I couldn’t stand the terror of going around, so we just kept driving in a circle.”

    DSC 5549She'll be signing for hours!

    When she was able to overcome her fear of right turns, Donaldson set out to experience the grandeur that her characters might experience and she felt inspired to write specific scenes that were more closely focused on the Regency world she wished to make accessible. She took pictures, talked with locals, researched and taped pictures of the attractive men she based her heroes on to her computer while writing and rewriting her books.

    After Donaldson’s many years of hard work and perseverance, her labor of love, EDENBROOKE was finally published, but more importantly, Donaldson felt like she was able to write her way towards the light at the end of the tunnel.

    “I found that pursuing the talents that I had been given and using them to create really helped me to feel better about myself and my life,” Donaldson says. “It’s always the right time to pursue your dreams and it doesn’t matter what they are.”

    DSC 5552

    To view upcoming visits from authors, check out our fall schedule or subscribe to our AuthorLink Newsletter.

  • Rosemary Wells

    International best-selling children’s author and illustrator Rosemary Wells (MAX AND RUBY Series, NOISY NORA, and YOKO) spoke at the Provo City Library on Tuesday, February 28, 2017, about art in children’s books. 

    Rosemary explained that over her 40-year career she has refined her process as an illustrator by committing to perfection. She tries to start every day painting perfectly. 

    “I take a piece of line art and I color it in from beginning to end perfectly. I color it perfectly. If I make a mistake, I throw it away and start again. What this exercise does is keep my eyes sharp and my hands steady,” says Rosemary. 

    20170228 IMG 8642resize

    Rosemary then showed a video of how she paints and explained the various types of media in her artwork: rubberstamps, pencil, pastels, watercolor, and even sometimes rice. She believes it’s important that every child understands the process and the significance behind art to better enable a child to create art themselves.

    “I believe that every child can be an artist and has something of an artist in them even if they don’t grow up to be one like me,” says Rosemary. 

    20170228 IMG 8673resize

    Although Rosemary considers herself a professional illustrator, writing is one of her favorite things to do. She believes that taking the time to teach children to write and to keep them motivated in writing is what will allow children to have the most success. 

    “Writing is the hardest thing that any child will ever learn. It’s harder than physics; it’s harder than calculus. You have to learn to produce valuable material into a readable whole. That is difficult. And it’s particularly difficult for young children," says Rosemary.

    To view upcoming visits from authors, check out our schedule or subscribe to our AuthorLink Newsletter

  • BGLG


    "Once upon a time the famous physicist Albert Einstein was confronted by an overly concerned woman who sought advice on how to raise her small son to become a successful scientist. In particular she wanted to know what kinds of books she should read to her son.

    ‘Fairy tales,’ Einstein responded without hesitation.

    ‘Fine, but what else should I read to him after that?’ the mother asked.

    ‘More fairy tales,’ Einstein stated.

    ‘And after that?'

    'Even more fairy tales,’ replied the great scientist, and he waved his pipe like a wizard pronouncing ahappy end to a long adventure."


    And thus, we invited children to a fairy tea party to make reading fun.

    True to Einstein’s theory, for years children enjoyed learning with fairy fun, live ballet and more tulle than some people see in a lifetime. However, we soon learned that our interpretation of fairy tales didn’t appeal to all types of children.

    You know the type. The ones whose eyes glaze over at the mere thought of watching something instead of doing something. We've all faced them before.  The mighty, the unapologetic, the movers and shakers (literally)—what are their fairytales? Their knights in shining armor, wicked witches, and beautiful fairies are now Cowboys and Stormtroopers and Superheroes.  

    Big Guy, Little Guy was born to let kids be a little less dainty yet still get excited about learning while adventuring. Children can go on quests, show off their muscles and read.

    This year’s Big Guy, Little Guy event invites children ages 3-12 to hone their super skills at out Superhero Training Academy. There will be obstacle courses, crafts, games, snacks, and a free book for every child. Tickets will be available for Provo City Library Cardholders on September 10 at 9 the Circulation Desk; remaining tickets will be released to the general public on September 17.

  • gene yang

    On the second day of our Get Graphic! Festival,  we started thinking about how to be a cartoonist. Artists like Gene Luen Yang, (AMERICAN BORN CHINESE), Jess Smart Smiley (UPSIDE DOWN: A VAMPIRE TALE), and Jake Parker (MISSILE MOUSE) held workshops on the process of making a comic. These are 7 things we learned:

    1. Yang suggested having ideas rooted in what you know. In his first comic, GORDON YAMAMOTO AND THE KING OF THE GEEKS, he tells the story of a young man with a spaceship stuck up his nose.   “This is from my life. I have never had a spaceship stuck up my nose, but I have had a lifelong struggle with sinus issues,” said Yang. “The problem with sinus issues is that it’s never anyone’s fault. But one day I began thinking, what if it was somebody’s fault? What if there was something sentient plugging up my nose?”  

    2. The characters an artist draws and even the artist’s own artistic style change as they are drawing. To overcome this, Yang says that he draws his characters over and over again till they stop changing.  

    3. Real writers organize their stories before writing. You think your subconscious can handle writing blind, but if you're anything like Yang, your subconscious is an idiot.  

    4. Smiley taught us that the job of a panel in a comic is not only to tell a piece of a story but also to get you to read the next part.  

    5. The power of symbolism changes our ideas. Because comics tell stories with words and images, these two types of communication converge to tell a story in a way that is unique to the genre.  

    6. The characters are who we experience the comic through. We need to feel bad for them, they need to be likable, they need to be be funny, says Parker.  We have to want to follow them.  

    7. According to Parker, the most important thing to remember about making comics is clarity. He would sacrifice an awesome picture for a better understanding of what’s going on.


  • Coming of age novels

    As one of the youngest employees of the library, I have the great learning opportunity of not always being as grown-up as I'd like to be. 

    Fortunately, this tumultuous transition is also a major source of inspiration in literature. Coming-of-age books are wondrous, heartbreaking, revolutionary, obnoxious, and more often than not, fun. These books tend to stay with us because they articulate how we grow up. They give us a voice. 

    As someone who is still stubbornly right at the beginning of adulthood, I compiled a list of my favorite coming-of-age books for when I'm not feeling as grown-up as I'd like to be. 

    Jane EyreJANE EYRE 
    Charlotte Bronte 

    I like to think of JANE EYRE as THE coming-of-age story or at least MY coming-of-age story. This achingly romantic novel is about a young orphan who, despite a malicious world and an abundance of external pressures, grows up to be a good person. Maybe that's an oversimplification, but Jane's Lionheart and her courage to choose herself makes me brave. If you can’t get the things in life that you want, can you be the person that you want to be? Can you still choose to be the person you want to be even when all of the options are terrible? The answer is a brutal yet joyous YES! 


    year of yes

    Shonda Rhimes

    Shonda Rhimes, the creator of my favorite, not-so-guilty-pleasure TV shows, GREY’S ANATOMY and SCANDAL, commits to say, "yes" to everything that scares her for one year. I thought this might be easy for an award-winning TV Writer whose characters dance it out, stand in the sun, and tell me to be my own person. But the things she was most scared of are the very same fears that emerge while growing up. She is afraid of being seen; she is scared of failing. Shonda didn't know she was worthy of yes and was hiding from the life that would make her happy. Essentially, YEAR OF YES is a book about getting out of your comfort zone.  


    Harry Potter Order of The Phoenix

    J.K. Rowling

    When we read Harry Potter, we get to watch children learn what it means to be adults. We learn that you can do anything with a bit of brains, courage, and kindness. The Order of the Phoenix is my particular favorite. At 10 years old, this book without a happy ending made sense to me. It showed the darker side to growing up; that it’s hard and often tragic, but worthwhile. Also, I want it etched into my gravestone that each and every single one of Harry James Potter’s outbursts in this book was justified and necessary. 


    mansfield park

    Jane Austen 

    This book continues to shock me. It's a subverted Cinderella story about a young girl in dire circumstances who says, “no” to the prince who comes to save her. Ultimately, it’s not a romance. MANSFIELD PARK is not a story about Fanny Price falling in love. It’s the story of a shy, passive girl who says, "No," to the people who would take advantage of her. Reading about Fanny, I learn that strength comes from choosing your own destiny and realizing you can, in fact, have what you truly want. No matter how shy or scared you are, you don’t need to just accept the way things are in your life. 


    anne of green gables

    Lucy Maud Montgomery

    I love reading about Anne Shirley. She feels like a force of nature. She's so glorious with her large and messy personality that knocks up against everything and gets her into to trouble. Despite all of Anne's faults and mistakes, Her growth into an adult didn’t mean becoming quieter or shrinking herself. Growing into an adult meant she learned how to tackle life’s mistakes. She didn’t have to sacrifice herself to grow into the woman she wanted to be.



    Kelly Williams Brown 

    This book is specifically for people who really need to act like adults, but are like me and don't know the first place to start. This book acts as an encyclopedia for everything you’ve ever seen an adult do but weren’t sure how to do yourself. It answers the questions I actually want to know about life: How do I wash all my cardigans? How can I keep my casual existential dread from ruining all my relationships? What is a tax return? And it offers reassurance and tough love without any of the condescendion.


    What coming-of-age books do you read when growing up is too hard? 

  • how sports became


    The perfect last second catch in the end zone or the daring arc of the 3-point shot made at half-courtmay not have much practical purpose outside the arena, but certain moments that steal our breath away, that catch our eye and make us stop and stare—these moments change us and become works of art themselves.

    In the book IN PRAISE OF ATHLETIC BEAUTY, Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, Professor of literature at Stanford University, laments that much of the popular perspectives of sports tend to be socially patronizing anddismissive of the fans who have fallen for modern-day version of “bread and circuses.”

    “Something does not need to have purpose in order to be beautiful,” says Gumbrect. “Whatever we findbeautiful looks as if it had purpose.”

    At the Provo Library, The Art of Sport Exhibit (on display now in the Attic) celebrates the intriguing intersection between art and sports while reminding us that sports are made beautiful by us.

    IMG 5067edit

    Athletes are not just people who play games well, they are those who can accomplish the impossible. When we watch sports, we don’t just see the game; we see a story. We see the athlete; poised and self-disciplined, the body; pushed to its limits, the personality; where perfection is the only possibleoutcome. In athletes, we see something more than humanity: we see the possibility of greatness.

    Art and sports are interdependent. They inspire each other because since ancient times, we’ve found that merely telling the stories of athletes isn’t enough. The human form demands more than description; it demands depiction. This is why sports seems to live both in the arena and in our backyards.

    Noticing art in sports requires more than just what we look at, it requires us to see. More specifically the art of sport asks us to see ourselves, our possibility for greatness.

    The Art of Sport Exhibit
    On display June 27 - August 27
    4th floor, Academy Wing

    Hours of Operation:
    Monday - Friday: 5-9 PM
    Saturday: 1-6 PM
    Other hours by appointment: 801-852-7685

  • lynda


    Provo City Library offer its cardholders free access to’s 6.300-plus course library of instructional videos. This new database to learn software application, design, job search and business skills that can help you achieve your personal and professional goals.

    While requires a paid subscription to learn from top-quality, industry experts, now a Provo Library card gets you unlimited access’s courses for free. Simply enter your library cardbarcode and PIN on any computer with an Internet connection and begin learning on your own schedule.

    This database is built around five or ten minute video tutorials along with downloadable examples and exercises. Earn certificates of completion that can be added to a resume or attached to a Linkedin profile.

    Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, you can find exactly what you need to update job skills, advance in a career or pursue a hobby with an ever-growing list of courses and videos in business, creativity and technology. Kickstart your career development, step-in to basic or advanced technology,strengthen your eye for creativity, and much more all on your own time, wherever you may be.

    This new service, powered by and Linkedin, is free with your library card. To get started, visit our Online Resources page or use this direct link. You can find helpful tools and information, as well as a link to contact support.

    Related: By the Numbers

  • pearl harbor


    75 years ago, December 7, 1941 was declared "a date which will live in infamy" in American memory after a sudden and deliberate attack on Pearl Harbor that committed the United States to the most devastating war in human history. 

    The Provo City Library commemorates the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor with a new exhibit, “Infamy: December 7, 1941,” a photographic memorial in The Attic.

    On Dec. 7, in honor of the 75th anniversary of the attack, the Provo Library will host Dr. Robert Freeman author of “Saints at War” and associate professor at BYU. Join Freeman as he presents collected stories and experiences from solders at Pearl Harbor.

    Here are five books to honor the memories of that historic day:

    by Craig Nelson  

    The America we live in was not born on July 4, 1776, but on December 7, 1941, when an armada of Japanese warplanes supported by aircraft carriers, destroyers, and midget submarines suddenly attacked the United States, killing 2,403 men and forcing America's entry into World War II. Author Craig Nelson maps the road to war, beginning in 1914 with the laying of the keel of the USS Arizona at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, following Japan's leaders as they lurched into ultranationalist fascism, and providing a blow-by-blow account from both the Japanese and American perspectives.


    day of infamyDAY OF INFAMY
    by Walter Lord 

    Describes the events of December 7, 1941, before, during, and after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, as well as the reactions of the men who lived through the attack.




    by Thomas B. Allen

    Part of National Geographic's "Remember" series, this book shares the stories of survivors in a format accessible to younger readers. 


    what was pearl harborWHAT WAS PEARL HARBOR?
    by Patricia Demuth

    Another title for younger readers, this book teaches important dates and facts about the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.     




    by Gordan W. Prange

    The monumental history of Pearl Harbor that The New York Times called "impossible to forget"--now with a new chapter by Goldstein and Dillon. Based on 37 years of massive research and countless interviews, this is a landmark study written with the dramatic sweep of a martial epic.



  • Free Library Date Ideas


    The best kind of date is a free date. Luckily, 99.99% of everything in a library is free. The best part is that no matter what happens on your date, you won’t have to leave empty handed.

    1. Movie Night

    Every so often we put up a fun, family-friendly movie on the big screen so you can make sure your future significant other isn’t too good for the classics.

    Those big screen movies don’t even cover the movies we have available to check out or stream where the choosing up to you! (Pro-tip for choosing movies: Nobody actually likes Citizen Kane.) Plus a varied selection of foreign films

    2. Learn It

    Is there anything more attractive than watching someone learn something new? As librarians, we submit that there is not. And the library is the perfect place to learn something new, with classes like beekeeping, crafts, yoga, and writing, plus books that introduce fun recipes and cool hobbies.

    You name it—you learn it.

    3. Take a gallery stroll

    The age old dilemma:  You need to convince your date that you’re super cultured, we get it.

    Impress your date with deep, poignant questions, in our not one but two gallery spaces. In the Anderson Gallery you'll find the best of local art; in The Attic you'll find well nationally traveling science, history and art exhibits.

    These free exhibits change out after a few months so you can come back and impress your date over and over.

    4. Find the perfect book

    An incredibly wise scholar once said that finding a person who likes a good book is like that book is recommending that person to you.

    With booklists and librarians, the library is the perfect place to figure out whether or not you’re compatible. Is your intended more ULYSESS or HARRY POTTER?  PARADISE LOST or PRIDE AND PREJUDICE? The possibilities are endless.

    5. Meet your favorite Author

    Trying to woo a book nerd? Here’s how. Talk about their favorite book and then invite them to meet the author at an AuthorLink Event

    Internationally renowned authors visit the Provo Library all the time, your date’s favorite is sure to be among them. Hear about their inspiration and the process of creating your date’s favorite book, and sometimes there’s even food.

    Bonus points: Surprise your intended with a signed copy of their favorite book. (Advisory Note: this action can result in high amounts of squealing and several marriage proposals.)

    6. Game Night

    On Friday nights we bring out our board games. We have classics like Monopoly (capitalism never seemed more romantic) and Sorry! (A word you need to start practicing if you want this relationship to go anywhere).

    If you’re feeling a bit more active, play our interactive Who Dunnit Murder Mystery Game and solve a Clue-style murder inside the library.

    The only end to our activities is the city mandated curfew!


  • stories in the park

    The relaxing summer days of homework-free bliss is our favorite time at the library, so The Provo City Library has designed our favorite activity, Stories In The Park, to include the things we love most about summer to  help your children have fun AND keep reading. 

    From May to July, our fabulous children’s storytellers along with their puppet friends visit a different park around Provo for a fun and adventure with songs and stories. Every weekday morning from 10:00 to 10:30, children of all ages enjoy a dynamic program in the sunshine. 

    Storytime in one of Provo’s beautiful parks breaks out of the traditional storytime-mold to include more activities and fun in the sun while experiencing the fun of reading. The Librarians from The Children’s Department created a hopping program with songs, stories, puppets and secret codes. 

    Join us in the park this summer!  Come with your library card and borrow books from the selection we will have on hand.  

    Mondays:  Lion’s Park
    Tuesdays:  Bicentennial Park
    Wednesdays:  Boulders Park
    Thursdays:  Timp Kiwanis Park
    Fridays:  Lakeview Park

    With challenges and prizes to win throughout the summer, there is still time to sign up for the Summer Reading Program. Earn entrance to our exclusive End of Summer Reading Pool Party for reading and being out of doors. 

    Instagram Giveaway 

    To celebrate our favorite picnic season, we're having a giveaway! Snap a pic at Stories in the Park, post it on Instagram, tag us @provolibrary and use the hashtag #storiesinthepark for a chance to win a package of goodies including a picnic blanket, a Summer Reading t-shirt, and a book chosen by our fabulous storytellers! One random winner will be chosen on July 21 at 1:00 pm. For an extra entry, tag a friend in the comments! (if you are private on Instagram, DM us or email your picture directly to provolibraryprograms @  

    This giveaway is in no way run by or affiliated with Instagram. Must be following @provolibrary to enter. 

  • Streaming video


    I love awards season. I love the pageantry and pretty dresses and people. Also, I like movies. 

    Not that I know enough about movies to know what makes a good one, I just like it when movies I like are liked by people who like movies. I just feel so justified when a movie I love has those little laurel brackets that prove to all the world I do indeed have good taste in movies. 

    Many of these award-winning movies are available through Overdrive to stream for free with a library card. So I compiled a list of 9 must-see favorites (Okay, some of them are only nominated for an Oscar but won plenty of critical acclaim). 

    magnificent sevenTHE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
    Dir. John Sturges

    An oppressed Mexican peasant village hires seven gunfighters to help defend their homes.



    Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

    A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.


    african queenTHE AFRICAN QUEEN
    Dir. John Huston

    In Africa during WW1, a gin-swilling riverboat owner/captain is persuaded by a strait-laced missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship.


    man on wireMAN ON WIRE
    Dir. James Marsh

    A look at tightrope walker Philippe Petit's daring, but illegal, high-wire routine performed between New York City's World Trade Center's twin towers in 1974, what some consider, "the artistic crime of the century."



    imitation gameTHE IMITATION GAME 
    Dir. Morten Tyldum

    During World War II, mathematician Alan Turing tries to crack the enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians.



    lady vanishesTHE LADY VANISHES
    Dir. Alfred Hitchcock

    While traveling in continental Europe, a rich young playgirl realizes that an elderly lady seems to have disappeared from the train.



    Dir. Lee Daniels

    As Cecil Gaines serves eight presidents during his tenure as a butler at the White House, the civil rights movement, Vietnam, and other major events affect this man's life, family, and American society.



    Dir. Stephen Frears

    A world-weary political journalist picks up the story of a woman's search for her son, who was taken away from her decades ago after she became pregnant and was forced to live in a convent.



    iron ladyTHE IRON LADY
    Dir. Phyllida Lloyd

    An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene.




  • summer reading 2016


    This summer, we encouraged everyone to get busy and read with the summer reading program “On your mark, get set, READ.” Now, nearly halfway through our program, we’re celebrating all your hard work. Starting July 5, when you have finished 50% of your reading goal, halfway prizes for those registered in the Children’s program can be claimed at the Children’s Reference Desk. Library patrons from all programs have already claimed 1,340 prizes with many more to come.

    Curious about who else is participating in the Summer Reading Program?

    Participants Registered
    Adults – 1,023     
    Teens – 383      
    Children – 1,812 
    Total – 3,218      

    Medals Awarded
    Adults – 5,607  
    Teens – 25,60 
    Children – 17,076
    Total – 25,243     

    Challenges Completed
    Adults – 2,231     
    Teens – 904 
    Children – 2,826                 
    Total – 5,961      

    Books Read
    Adults – 1,445 
    Teens – 897 
    Totals – 2,342

    Minutes Read
    Children – 24,347

    Want to join the fun? You can still sign up on our Summer Reading page.

    We still have more activities to explore reading, highlight library resources, and have fun.  

    Movie Night: Cool Runnings
    July 8 | 6:30 pm
    Room 201

    Retro Video Game Day
    July 9 | 2:00 pm
    Room 201

    Teen Game Extravaganza
    (ages 12-18)
    July 11 | 2:00 – 4:00 pm
    Library Ballroom

    Book Swap 
    (ages 10+)
    July 20 | 7:00 pm
    Room 201

    AuthorLink with Julianne Donaldson
    July 21 | 7:00 pm
    Library Ballroom

    Teen Movie Night: The Sandlot
    (ages 12-18)
    July 22 | 8:00 pm
    North Courtyard

    End of Summer Reading Party
    For participants who meet their Summer Reading goal
    July 30 |10:00 am - 12:30 pm
    Provo Recreation Center Outdoor Pool and North Park
    450 West 500 North, Provo
    After reaching the summer reading goal, you will earn admission for yourself and your immediate family to the exclusive kid’s pool party. After swimming and treats, head over to North Park (right next to the pool), to play Olympic themed lawn games and make crafts. Admission tickets can be picked up beginning July 26 through the morning of July 30. 



    We have had an incredible fall! Teen Book Fest has been sooo fun with author visits from Jennifer Nielsen, J. Scott Savage, Matthew Kirby, Jennifer Jenkins, Margaret Stohl, Aprilynne Pike, and (tomorrow) Marissa Meyer. The last stop on our Teen Book Fest Tour is the Wrap Party on Saturday, November 12th.

    This teen only event will feature a book giveaway and activities starting at 6:00 pm. Each teen will go home with a brand new book of their choosing! Then at 7:00 we will be treated to an after-hours concert by the band Festive People.

    Check out their music video “Where We Are Today” to get an idea of the awesomeness we’ll experience on Saturday! 

    Wondering what you've missed? Below you'll find our recap from a recent Teen Book Fest Tour stop with YA author Aprilynne Pike. 


    Aprilynne Pike, author of the Wings series, spoke at Provo Library on Thursday, Oct. 27 about her latest novel, GLITTER, a few of the hurdles she overcame to write it and what she hopes readers will learn. 


    GLITTER is described as Breaking Bad meets Marie Antoinette in a near-future world where the residents of Versailles live like it’s the eighteenth century and the almost-queen, Danica, a desperate teenage girl, turns to drug dealing to save her life. 

    Aprilynne describes how her inspiration for the book started while she was watching Breaking Bad and felt slightly dissatisfied with the direction of the story. 

    “In the way that every author with a little bit of an ego does, I started thinking about how I could do it better,” says Aprilynne. “But I wouldn’t want to write Breaking Bad; I wanted to write a book about a girl with pretty dresses.”

    Thus began her story of a drug dealer and dresses infused with futuristic technology and smothered in decadent fashions from the Era of the Sun King. However, as she tried to sell her story, agents were concerned that her exotic, lavish setting was overpowering her plot. But guidance from one agent help solidify her story. 

    “You need to make your plot and your setting so intertwined that your story could not happen anywhere else except your really, really weird setting,” said the agent. ‘If you do that, we’ll buy your really, really weird setting.” 

    With this advice, Aprilynne set about grounding and making sense of the desperate choices made by her protagonist within the world she had created. In the “really, really weird setting” the protagonist, Danica and her bad choices became more defined. 


    Although Pike considers herself to be a “squeaky clean writer,” GLITTER is about a bad person. While bad characters may be fun and the audience may root for Danica as the protagonist, as an anti-heroine we know she is not admirable.

    “We don’t necessarily read books because there’s someone we want to be like, but simply because there’s a story,” says Aprilynne. “There are choices you get to think about with the protagonist, and you see consequences both good and bad that these characters are making.” 

    Writing about the bad choices made by an anti-heroine allows GLITTER to explore the purpose and moral behind the story of a girl selling drugs. Aprilynne hopes that by the end of the story, readers will learn not that selling drugs is a good choice but that you cannot put your toe into a bad world and expect it not to infect the rest of your life. 

    “It’s like putting your toe into a pond of black ink and think that you can still walk around in a white room and no one will know,” says Aprilynne. 

    To view upcoming visits from authors, check out our fall schedule or subscribe to our AuthorLink Newsletter.