From the minute I walked through the doors of Orem Public Library 21 years ago, I have been in love! From the very beginning, I was impressed by the almost 63,000 sq. feet of uniquely designed physical space and the inclusive atmosphere and environment they work hard to create for all the diverse members of the community. I also quickly fell in love with the expansive collection of more than 285,000 items that include books, movies, music, audiobooks, periodicals, and even sheet music. More than 1.4 million items are checked out annually…there really is something for everyone! But over the years, I have found even more treasures to fall in love with at Orem Library, resources that may be lesser-known to patrons but provide rich opportunities and experiences for individuals and families. Come with me as I introduce you to some of Orem Library’s “hidden” gems.

PERC Center (Parent Education Resource Center)

While this organization is not run by Orem Library, they are housed in the basement and provide an amazing lending library of over 10,000 items such as toys, books, educational games, and DVDs. Their purpose is to support parents in strengthening their parenting skills, improve parental involvement in their children’s education, and support parents as their children grow through different developmental stages. 

The PERC center is open to all adults, no matter where you live or what school district you belong to. You will need to sign up with the center separate from the library in order to borrow items but everything is free to lend. Get ready to try out new toys, games, and materials that will give your family a fun boost in whatever areas you need extra support! Please check out their website for specific information about hours and material availability.

MakerSpace

Also housed in the library basement, the Makerspace is a treasure trove of materials and experiences for every creative endeavor you could imagine. This space houses a real sound/recording booth, green screen, sewing machines, vinyl machines, button-making machine, computers with a huge variety of software, a 3D printer, and a list of equipment that can be checked out for 2 days at a time. Due to COVID restrictions, the Makerspace Lab is currently closed to the public but you can still check out equipment, have projects printed on the 3D printer, and pick up/drop off other projects during Makerspace hours. For a list of available services and equipment available for check-out, click here.

Libby the Tarantula

Did you know the library had a pet? In the basement of the library, housed by the Teen section, lives Libby, a female black and white Brazilian tarantula (species: Nhandu coloratovillosus). Be sure to stop by and take a moment to marvel at this beautiful creature and learn a little more about her species. (For example, did you know that except for a painful bite, tarantulas are basically harmless to humans? Their mild venom is weaker than a typical bee’s!)

Windows to the Imagination

Housed on the west end of the children’s wing are 2 stunning stained glass windows reflecting characters from some of the most beloved fairy tales. Measuring at an impressive 8’x36’ and composed of 5000 pieces of glass, this homage to children’s literature was designed and created by Ralph Barksdale of BYU’s design faculty and Tom Holdman of Holdman Studios and took a year and a half to design and create. The windows are made of assembled mosaics of glass that were painted in order to show the intricate details and unique perspective. How many characters and stories can you identify? 

These are just the beginning of the resources you can find through Orem Library. Did you know you can access multiple different databases online that are free for individuals to use and access with their Orem Library card? There are clubs and activities for adults, teens, and children covering a huge variety of interests and experiences. Please take time to visit the “virtual” library at www.oremlibrary.org and explore all the adventures you can have without even leaving the comfort of home. And the best part of the library? The amazing staff that are anxious to help you find exactly what you need and help you find your next passion and adventure. Happy exploring!

Written by Amy Carr, Storyteller

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