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Salt Lake County Library Aunt Flow Dispenser

Salt Lake County Library Offers Free Period Products at All Branches

All 18 branches of the county library system now provide free tampons and pads in women’s and unisex restrooms!

“Part of that normative restroom experience should also be having period products,” said Rebecca Baker, assistant manager at the Salt Lake County Library’s Granite Branch.

Baker says this change makes the difference between patrons staying to utilize library services or going home.

Working in libraries, we see a lot of how inequities affect our patrons and how libraries can bridge the gap.

Rebecca Baker

Around 26% of the global population menstruates. In Utah, 1 in 9 women and girls between the ages of 12 and 44 live below the federal poverty line, making period products a potential strain on family budgets.

Baker got excited about providing free period products when she read about HB162, a 2022 Utah law that required public and charter schools to provide free period products to students.

Utah government buildings and the Salt Lake airport were also starting to offer free period products.

Baker knew there was a need for hygiene products in libraries, too. Prior to the project, library branches didn’t even have paid product dispensers. Several branches had mentioned patrons asking for pads at the reference desk — and there were probably countless more who needed them but didn’t ask.

“There’s still embarrassment around asking for hygiene items,” Harris said. “There’s no reason to be embarrassed.”

These products aren’t just for school-aged girls menstruating for the first time — they also benefit people dealing with postpartum leaks, incontinence or menopause.

Baker worked with library administration to apply for a grant to provide free period products. Through the Library Services and Technology Act, the Institute of Museum of Library Services provided $20,300, which was administered by the Utah State Library Division.

Since product dispensers were installed in the Granite Branch two weeks ago, Baker has restocked 160 pads and 70 tampons.

“It’s a silent need,” she said. Occasionally, a patron will come up to the reference desk and thank a librarian for the free service, but for the most part, patrons just gratefully — and quietly — take what they need.

Check out the full article!

Stay in the flow — we’ll send you period positivity + timely updates on the menstrual movement.

claire coder,founder + ceo

claire coder,
founder + ceo

Hi! I’m Claire. I founded Aunt Flow after getting my period in public without the supplies needed.

At 18 years old, I dedicated my life to developing a solution to ensure businesses and schools could sustainably provide quality period products, for free, in bathrooms. Our products are made with organic cotton and we are constantly working to reduce our environmental impact! Since 2021, we've donated over 6 MILLION period products to menstruators in need. I call this people helping people. PERIOD.®

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