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BLOG, Places to Go In Provo,Utah- Near Provo

Provo City Library at Academy Square

By Katerina Gasset

You can not say you are bored living in Provo, Utah. There is so much to do and see! So many places to explore! 

Here is the link to our events calendar for many events happening in Provo and Orem:

I decided to get my new library card. If I had known how cool the Provo library is and how many available resources they offer, it would have been one of the first things I did when moving here.

You can not complete the process online.

The process is: 

  • Download the library card application here.
  • Print it out
  • Fill it out
  • Bring it to the library with your Utah drivers license and proof of your Provo address

If you don’t have a printer at home, you can complete the form at the library. 

You go to the clerk’s desk and complete your process. You will get your library card right away. I was also given a gift card for a free book in the used book store at the library. 

I produce a lot of videos for this website,, and we are going to start a podcast. My production room at my home office is still under construction.

The Provo Library at Academy Square has a basement production center! Who would have known! And it is free! 

The caveat is: you need to have a current library card for the Provo library in good standing and you need to take a 2 hour free class on how to use the media rooms and the equipment. 

You can reserve up to 8 hours per month in the media rooms in “The Basement”. This is so cool!!! 

After I received my library card I toured the buildings. The old historical building is called Academy Square. 

This building was the first BYU - Brigham Young University before it was named BYU and moved to a different location. 

History of Academy Square in Provo, Utah

Modern architecture meets amazing history in the Provo City Library

Oh my! I learned so much about the history of this preserved historical building in Provo. It stands on its own in beauty and stature. 

You can not miss Academy Square when you are driving down University Avenue. Stunning! 

Here are some of the photos I took of the historical part of the building.

A photo taken by Katerina Gasset when she visited the Provo City Library at Academy Square

It all started back in the late 1800s with the Brigham Young Academy, which was designed by Karl G. Maeser along with architect Don Carlos Young. 

As with many historic buildings, Academy Square faced a number of challenges. It was left empty for 20 years. That’s a long time! 

The buildings began to deteriorate. Developers even called for its demolition! 

But, the people didn’t want that to happen. They saw Academy Square as historically significant and worth saving. They worked towards getting the funding needed for the building’s renovation. 

They finally succeeded with the help of a municipal bond and some generous private donations. 

One person who played a vital role in this effort was BYU professor L. Douglas Smoot. In fact, people started calling him “the man who saved Academy Square”. 

On July 9, 1999, there was a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning of Academy Square’s transformation. Two years later, on September 9, 2001, the Academy Building was rededicated as the Provo City Library. Pretty awesome, right? 

The Provo Library Modern Building

Photo of the Provo City Library showing its historic design and impressive architecture at Academy Square in Provo Utah. Photo by Katerina Gasset, owner and author of the Move to Provo Utah website...

The historical building (Academy Square) is connected to the main part of the library by a modern design with a lot of light and glass. It is breathtaking to say the least. 

I love both parts of the library, the old and the new. They are unique in their own ways through architectural details. 

The children’s library is a dream! As you step inside it feels as if you have entered another universe! They have a ton of children’s activities too. 

If you have children and want to meet other moms and keep your littles entertained… don’t miss getting involved with the Children’s Library in the  Provo City Library at Academy Square.

What is the History of the Provo City Library?

Photo of the Provo City Library in black and white...

The history of the Provo City Library started way back in 1905. But even before that, people in Provo had a strong desire to have their own library. 

In fact, as early as 1854, they managed to gather a small collection of 120 books for everyone to enjoy. That’s pretty impressive! Then in 1875, the collection found a new home on the library shelves of the Brigham Young Academy. 

Karl G. Maeser, the principal at the time, was thrilled! He said, “The Library has received an encouraging start by having the privilege of placing the books of the Provo City Library upon its shelves.” 

From there onwards, the library continued to grow and become an essential part of the community. 

On February 1997, a $16 million library bond was approved with 58% of the vote. This bond saved the historic Brigham Young Academy building from being demolished. 

Talk about preserving our history! 

But the community effort didn’t stop there! The Brigham Young Academy Foundation also managed to raise $5.8 million in donations by June 30, 1997. The funds were enough to renovate the building. 

They broke ground in 1999 after a lot of planning and renovation process. Brigham Young Academy building was turned into what is now the Provo City Library at Academy Square. Their goal was to create a modern library while honoring the rich history of the place. 

After all that time and effort, they had a grand dedication ceremony on September 8, 2001. This marked the official opening of the Provo City Library at Academy Square. 

Today, when you visit the Provo City Library, you’ll be proud of the community’s commitment to education and learning. It’s more than just a library - it’s a place that brings people together and promotes a love for books and knowledge. 

It has come such a long way from its humble beginnings of just 120 books! 

So, next time you’re in Provo, be sure to check out the Provo City Library at Academy Square. It’s an incredible place, full of history and an ever-growing collection of reading materials. Even better, you’ll experience firsthand the amazing journey that brought this beloved institution to life. 

It’s a journey worth taking! 

How Many Books are in the Provo City Library?

Image showing shelves full of books at the Provo City Library at Academy Square. Photo captured by Katerina Gasset of the Gasset Group Real Estate Team in Utah...

The Provo City Library is home to an impressive 285,000 volumes! 

It’s like every book lover’s dream come true. You can get lost for hours in the stacks, until you find that hidden gem that speaks to your soul. 

But wait, it gets even better. The collection isn’t limited to just books. You can also find the latest magazines, newspapers, and audiobooks. They’ve got digital resources such as e-books and online databases for all you tech-savvy readers out there. 

Whatever your preferred reading format, you’ll be sure to find it at the Provo City Library! 

What’s even more impressive is the effort they have put into curating a collection for all tastes and interests. They’ve thought of everything from There’s mystery, history, to adventure. You name it, they’ve got it! 

You might just find yourself stumbling upon a hidden gem you never knew you needed. 

Do yourself a favor and visit the Provo City Library’s vast collection. You’re bound to find something that sparks your curiosity. Trust me, it’ll be an experience you won’t forget! 

How Much is the Late Fee at the Provo Library?

Photo showing the Children's Library section of the Provo City Library- one of the best places to go in Provo Utah for free...

The late fee at the Provo Library is $0.10 per day for most materials. Fines don’t pile up on holidays or Sundays. You won’t have to worry about paying extra fees if you are unable to make it to the library on these days. 

There are no overdue fines for children’s items! We know how engrossed little ones can get in their books or activities, and sometimes it’s hard to convince them to give them back. 

So take your time, and don’t worry about fees if you return them a little later. 

The Provo Library offers email or text reminders to help you remember those due dates. It gives you a heads-up three day before your items are due. How convenient is that? 

Just ask one of the library’s clerks if you need help setting it up. Or, you can find instructions on the library’s website if you prefer to do it yourself. 

Does the Provo Library Have Video Games?

The Provo City Library has an amazing collection of video games. Not just a few games, but an extensive collection of titles for popular gaming consoles like PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, and more. 

All you have to do is dive into the library catalog. From there, you can search for specific games and check availability. You can even place holds on your favorites to ensure you get your hands on them as soon as they’re available. 

The video game collection is regularly updated with the latest and greatest titles, so you’ll never miss out on the hot new releases. 

Head on over to the Provo City Library and check out their video game collection. I’m pretty sure you won’t be disappointed! 

Does Provo Library Have Free Wi-Fi?

Side photo of the Provo City Library showing its unique architecture with the Wasatch mountains in the backrground...

The Provo City Library offers free Wi-Fi! 

That’s not all, they even offer wireless printing services. Let’s say you need to print something out while you’re there, no worries at all! 

In case you need any assistance, the librarians are always there to help you. They can guide you through the simple instructions for wireless printing or give you tips on how to optimize your online experience. 

With all these amazing benefits, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t visit the Provo City Library. Don’t hesitate and make it your go-to spot for all your online and offline endeavors! 

You’ll be amazed at how convenient and efficient the Provo City Library is. 

How Do I Get a Library Card in Provo City Library?

Image showing one of the entrances of the Provo City Library at Academy Square. Photo captured by Katerina Gasset during her visit at the Provo Library...

Excited to explore Provo City Library like I am? You’re in luck because all Provo and Orem City residents are entitled to a Provo City Library Card! 

Don’t worry if you’re a nonresident. You can still get a library card for a fee of $60 for six months or $120 for a whole year of library use. 

Here’s how you do it: 

Step 1: Fill out the application 

Download the library card application online. It’s super easy, I promise! It won’t take you more than a few minutes to complete. Remember, you must go in person to receive your brand-new library card. 

Step 2: Get your Documents Ready 

Make sure you have the following two documents with you: 

  • Photo Identification: Pick up your ID that has your picture on it issued by the government, school, or employer. 
  • Proof of current address: You’ll need a document that shows your name and current address. Just remember, it can’t be a photo ID. Examples of acceptable proof include rent receipts/contracts, mail postmarked within the last three months, or utility bills. 

They accept proof of address both electronically and in print. 

Step 3: Present your information to the Circulation Help Desk 

Once you have your application and documents ready, head over to the Circulation Help Desk. The friendly staff there will assist you with the registration process and answer any questions you may have. 

There you go, it’s that simple! 

Note: You can still have your very own library card if you’re under 18. No application needed, but make sure your parent or guardian is with you and has their Provo City Library Card.

Your card will be linked to theirs, making it super easy to access all the resources the library offers. 

Having a library card gives you access to hundreds of educational books, audiobooks, movies, music records, and online resources. Plus, you can also join fun library events, workshops, and programs. 

So what are you waiting for? Get yourself a Provo City Library Card today! 

What Are My Responsibilities as a Provo City Library Cardholder? 

As a Provo City library cardholder, you have some important responsibilities. Here’s what you should keep in mind: 

  1. Remember that you’re responsible for all materials, fines, and fees charged to your library card. Until you report it lost or stolen, any transactions made on your card are on you.

    So, always keep a close eye on your card usage, and make sure to report any suspicious activity immediately. 
  1. Be cautious while giving your card to someone else. If you let someone else use it, you’re responsible for their transactions too. So make sure you trust that person before you let them use your card. 
  1. When you borrow library materials, take good care of them. Be cautious and treat the items as if they were your own. 
  1. Don’t forget to stay on top of any charges you incur and make prompt payments. This helps the library remain a well-resourced and efficient place for the community to enjoy. 
  1. Let the library know if there are any changes to your contact details like your address, phone number, or email address. It’ll help the library communicate with you and keep your account up-to-date. 
  1. Report and call 801-852-6660 if your card goes missing. This way, you can prevent any unauthorized use of your card. 

How Do I Renew My Provo City Library Card?

This is the stairs connecting the modern building of the Provo City Library in Provo Utah. Photo by Katerina Gasset, owner and author of the Move to Provo Utah website...

Note that residents’ library card expire every two years. However, if you fall under a different borrower type, then your expiration period may vary. 

You’ll be notified when your card is about to expire if you’re signed up for email alerts. This is their way of giving you a friendly heads-up. Isn’t that nice? 

When it comes to renewing your card, you have two options. You can either renew it in person at the Circulation Help Desk or give them a call at 801-852-6660. 

Once you renew, you’ll continue to have access to all of their amazing resources, including books, movies, and so much more. 

What to Expect When Visiting Provo City Library at Academy Square 

Green fields surrounding the Provo City Library at Academy Square ...

When you visit the Provo City library, you’ll find a wide selection of books, DVDs, CDs, and Books on CD to check out. The best part? You can borrow as many as you want for three weeks! 

You can also check out one of the library’s book club sets. Each set includes 15 copies of a book along with a discussion guide. You’ll have everything you need for a lively book club gathering. 

The library have some cool discovery kits you can borrow. These kits are themed sets of books, toys, and extension activities that cater to different age groups - toddlers, early learners, and upper elementary students. 

You can check them out for three weeks! 

But hold on, that’s not all. The Provo City Library have a great collection of technology tools you can borrow too. You can borrow Chromebooks, GoPro Cameras, audio recorders, binoculars, and even telescopes! 

All their technology tools are available for a week. They have different late fees for each item, so do keep that in mind. 

Digital Library 

One of the things I loved the most about this library is the vast selection of digital resources available with your library card. 

With just a few clicks, you can access LinkedIn Learning, Pronunciator, Learning Express Library, Libby by Overdrive, Kanopy, and Freegal Music. It’s like having a virtual library in your pocket! 

You can enjoy online courses with LinkedIn Learning, learn a new language with Pronunciator, practice for exams with Learning Express Library, and more. 

Libby by Overdrive is where you can borrow e-books, audiobooks, and videos. It’s so convenient! 

Kanopy is another digital resource that’s a must-try. It’s an excellent streaming platform if you’re interested in documentaries, indie films, classics, or children’s programs. 

With over 30,000 titles, you’ll never run out of things to watch. 

Freegal Music is perfect for anyone who loves music. You can download three free songs per week and enjoy unlimited music streaming. It’s the perfect way to discover new music without breaking the bank. 

Programs and Activities 

There are so many fantastic programs and activities on offer that it’s hard to know where to start. 

For the little ones, the library has early literacy programs that nurture their love of reading and stories. They even have special programs and story times in Spanish! How cool is that? 

It’s a great way to expose your child to a new language and culture. 

The library also has after-school programs for teenager or elementary learners. They won’t get bored with the fun and educational activities and exciting workshops. 

But the learning opportunities don’t stop there! The library also has Learn It @ Your Library program, which brings you classes on a variety of topics every month. 

You could learn how to cultivate healthy relationships, cook, or even get crafty. Their programs are engaging and informative, and you’re sure to have a great time. 

You also need to check out The Attic. The Attic at Academy Square is a must-visit exhibit space on the 4th floor of the Academy Wing. They showcase the best art, science, and history exhibits from around the country. 

The hours vary depending on the exhibit. Make sure to check their website at or give them a call at 801-852-7685 to plan your visit. 

But that’s not all. The Anderson Art Gallery on the 2nd floor is a true gem. It features the wonderful work of talented artists in our community. 

And if you’re an artist yourself, you may want to consider exhibiting your work at the library. They really love showcasing local talent! 

Let’s not forget about the annual Homegrown Amateur Show hosted by The Attic at Academy Square. It’s a really fun celebration of creativity, and they always have some amazing pieces on display. 

As you can see, there’s no shortage of programs and activities to enjoy at Provo City Library at Academy Square. 

Library Spaces 

You’ll find more than 20 of internet computers on each floor of the Rogers Wing. And the cool thing is, you can use them for up to four hours per day FOR FREE if you have a library card! 

No need to worry about paying for internet access. You can even extend your session as long as the computers are available. 

Don’t miss out on the Children’s Department computers and iPads if you’re visiting with your kids. They’ll keep your kids entertained. 

You can book a private study room if you prefer a quieter space to study or work. Guess what? You can use them for free up to two hours per day. 

These rooms can accommodate groups of 4 to 6 people. Simply reserve a room online or just call the library, and you’re good to go! 

You must check out the Basement Creative Lab if you’re feeling extra creative! It’s a fully outfitted audiovisual production studio that’s available to you for FREE, up to eight hours per month! 

All you need is a Provo City Library card in good standing. But before you book your session, you’ll need to attend an introductory class on studio production and sign a user agreement. 

Library Meeting Rooms 

The library has meeting rooms available for you to use. These rooms are perfect for all sorts of events, from community meetings to conferences. You can even enjoy one free monthly use of their meeting rooms if you’re a non-profit organization. 

Plus, the Ballroom is the perfect venue for larger events like weddings or corporate parties. The pricing for the Ballroom varies based on the day and time of your reservation. 

No matter which meeting room you choose, you’ll have everything you need for a successful event. The library will set up tables and chairs for you. Their larger meeting rooms are equipped with projectors and screens for easy presentations. 

How to Request a Tour at the Provo City Library at Academy Square 

Here is how you can request a tour at the Provo City Library: 

All you need is to fill out the Tour Request Form or give the Reference Desk a quick call at 801-852-6661. 

When it comes to the length of the tour, that’s entirely up to you! They offer tours that last anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, depending on your preferences.

They may divide you into smaller groups if you’re coming in with a larger group. 

But, before you get too excited, make sure to request your tour at least one week in advance. 

Location of Provo City Library at Academy Square 

You can find the Provo City Library at Academy Square at 550 N. University Ave, Provo, UT 84601.

Driving Directions 

12 min (7.5 miles) via I-15 S Provo, UT, USA 

  • Take I-15 N to W Center St. Take exit 265 from I-15 S 
  • Head northwest on I-15 N 
  • Use the right 2 lanes to take exit 269 for UT-265 W
  • Turn left to merge onto I-15 S toward Las Vegas 
  • Take exit 265 toward Provo Center St 
  • Follow W Center St and N 500 W to your destination 
  • Continue onto W Center St 
  • Use the left 2 lanes to turn left onto N 500 W 

(Pass by O’Reilly Auto Parts (on the left))

  • Turn right onto 500 N 
  • Turn left after 7-Eleven (on the right) 

(Destination will be on the left) 

Parking Directions 

One thing you’ll love about the Provo City Library is that parking is completely free of charge for anyone visiting the library or attending an event here. How cool is that? 

You’ll see two parking lots on the north and south sides. They’re great options if you want to quickly park your car and head straight to the library. 

Head on to the one-level underground parking garage on the east side of the library, just off 100 East, if you’re looking for a more sheltered spot to park. It’s the perfect option for rainy days or hot summer afternoons. 

Here’s something you need to be aware of– the garage’s entrance clearance is 8 feet and 6 inches. Also, watch out for beams in the garage that are as low as 7 feet, so you don’t accidentally scrape your car! 

Another thing to remember— don’t leave your car in the parking garage overnight without proper authorization. It may end up getting towed at your expense, and you don’t want that to happen. 

The Provo City Library offers reserved accessible parking slots. Do check the website for more details. 

Hours of Provo City Library at Academy Square 

Photo showing the library hours of Provo City Library at Academy Square engraved in glass...

The Provo City Library is open: 

Monday - Friday: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. 

Saturday: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. 

Note that the library is close every Sunday, including holidays. 

Mark these dates on our calendar as the library will be closed: 

June 19, 2023 - Juneteenth 

July 24, 2023 - Independence Day 

July 24, 2023 - Pioneer Day 

September 4, 2023 - Labor Day 

October 9, 2023 - Staff Training Day 

November 23, 2023 - Thanksgiving Day *

November 24, 2023 - Day after Thanksgiving *

December 23, 2023 - Christmas Eve **

December 25, 2023 - Christmas Day **

During these closures, their outdoor book drops will also be unavailable. Make sure to plan ahead if you need to return books. 

*The outdoor book drops will be closed from November 22 at 9 p.m. until November 25 at 9 a.m. 

**The outdoor book drops will be closed from December 22 at 9 p.m. until  December 26 at 9 a.m. 

How Can I Volunteer at Provo City Library? 

The first step is to fill out the Volunteer Application. You can either find it on the website or request a copy in person when you visit the library. 

You have to be 14 years or older to volunteer. Make sure to get your Parental/Guardian Consent Form signed if you’re under 18. 

Once your application is submitted, the Provo City’s Human Resources Department will conduct a mandatory background check. After that, your application will be reviewed by the department that manages the volunteer program. 

Assuming your application is approved, a member of the library staff will contact you with all the necessary information to start your volunteer journey. It’s that easy!   

One of the most exciting ways to make an impact as a volunteer is by supporting the Children’s programming. You can also lend your skills to special projects in the Technical Services and Community Relations departments. 

Think organizing books, assisting with community events, or helping out with exciting programs. The opportunities are endless! 


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About the author of Move to Provo Utah Website 

Katerina Gasset

When I moved here I was blessed to have my daughter to help with different things you need to know when you move to a new place. I had background from living here before but things have changed a lot too since the '80s. 

We were able to get all the good places to eat down fast - since she knows all that and we have a lot of the same likes in food. But things like how to turn on my electricity or what power company services my home... well... I was at a total loss! 

I know that other people moving to Provo don't always have family here to guide and help them. And most people don't have a real estate agent who gives them a welcome package on all the important numbers and places they need to know. 

My goal is for this website to be your go to resource for everything you need to know before, during, and after you move here to Provo, Utah. I want you to have the best experience and love living here as much as I do

Author Katerina Gasset - photo of me the author