State can't afford to protect its greatest treasure

A magnitude earthquake could collapse the Marriott Library at the University of Utah, endangering thousands of students and many rare books.
February 25, 2004, 11am PST | Peter Christiansen
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"If you can judge the cultural and intellectual status of a community by its libraries . . . then Salt Lake City is one of the best places to live in America." In addition to the many libraries in the city and county, the Marriott Library at the University of Utah is the most valuable. Hundreds of thousands of students visit every year, with daily visits approaching ten thousand. Housing millions of books and databases, it a treasure unmatched in Utah. However, an earthquake as small as magnitude 5 could reduce it and everything in it to rubble. Despite the importance of protecting this resource, there is little money and a long list of competing buildings that also need to be earthquake-proofed. Private donations have raised over $11 million towards the project, but for now it is a race against time.

Thanks to Peter Christensen

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Published on Sunday, February 22, 2004 in The Salt Lake Tribune
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