Salt Lake County Library System's newest "jewel" will be open to the public after a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. today.

It's the new $3 million Bingham Creek Library at 4834 W. 9000 South. The library, the 17th to be built in the county system, has been a monumental project that has consumed large numbers of people for many years, said county library director Eileen B. Longsworth."As our newest library jewel comes on-line, I find myself thinking about all of the work and planning that goes into this type of project," she said.

With much landscaping work yet to be done and some furniture yet to be delivered, "we've had to make some compromises. But everything will look wonderful. We're just about there. The public is anxious" for the opening, Longsworth said Friday.

The 19,000-square-foot structure was scheduled to be open for public use July 6, with the ribbon cutting and grand opening planned for Saturday. But delays in receiving furnishings and equipment, problems in getting landscaping under way, installation of electronic equip-ment for materials security and other difficulties forced postponement of the opening.

But the problems didn't halt a number of previously scheduled activities held earlier this week in the library auditorium.

And the problems haven't seemed to dampen the enthusiasm of the county library system staff, Bingham Creek Library manager Susan Hamada, the county library board and scores of others involved in the project.

The taupe brick structure, with its burgundy metal roof and windows that highlight vaulted ceilings, commands a panoramic view of the Salt Lake Valley.

The library will fill a growing need for library services in the southwestern end of the valley, officials say.

In addition to Bingham Creek plus two existing libraries in West Jordan and South Jordan, a new library is under construction in Riverton. It is tentatively scheduled to open in March.

And land was recently purchased for a future library in Draper, said Scott R. Russell, library marketing manager.

The Bingham Creek Library has 32 computers available for visitors' use. The library contains about 90,000 items - including an audiovisual collection featuring books on tape, videos and compact discs - and has the capacity for an additional 60,000 items. It was designed with families in mind, said David Fetzer, project architect for MHTN Architects Inc.

The children's area, where a number of miniature airplanes are suspended from the ceiling, was "nicely planned so that all children's materials are together. The children's area contains a large and more diversified audiovisual collection," said Anne Nabaum, a children's librarian.

Hamada said she hopes library staff and visitors will enjoy the new facility. But she said library visitors have not been asking about the building, its burgundy and willow carpeting, furnishings and equipment.