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Salt Lake County 'cooling zones' now open to help residents beat the heat

Posted at 9:50 PM, Jun 08, 2024

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s about more than just books at the Salt Lake City Public Library. It is a designated "Cooling Zone" by the county, where people can come in to escape the heat.

“People are welcome to come in anytime that we're open, spend as much time as they'd like here, cool off, and celebrate our AC,” explained Quinn McQueen, the library's director of marketing and communications.

“We love going to the library,” said Mercy Paih, who lives in Bluffdale. “We've been going to the library since the kids were young."

Paih and her family visit almost every week with little ones who love running around and picking out stories.

"It’s really nice. It's like an escape from outside where we can come here, and it's much quieter than other places you can go to," she said.

The library is open to everyone during their normal hours, and people can fill their water too and get various resources if they are in need.

"I know there are some people for who the library may be the only escape they have. So I think it's very important to have stuff like this,” added Paih.

There is also an on-site safety team who have their eyes out for anyone who might be feeling unwell.

"We see a lot of people come in and if it's heat exhaustion, or with the heat, a lot of profuse sweating, paleness of the skin, or general feeling on being unwell,” said Ethan Borg, a safety associate and EMT at the library.

They can help before or without needing to call 911.

"It gives me a sense of purpose of being able to have the knowledge of if someone is in trouble, how I can best help them,” added Borg.

So the next time you’re looking for someplace to cool down, the library could be a spot to visit.

For a full list of Salt Lake County's cooling centers, click here.