The Public Libraries of Alaska

Right now, while we wait out a bit of rain in Denali, I would like to give a shout out to one of Alaska’s finest public institutions; the Joint Library Consortium. The Joint Library Consortium is made up of a dozen or so libraries scattered from south east to central Alaska. While we are not able to take out books from the Park Ridge library (an easy one mile walk from our house ), we were able to get a library card in Sitka then take and return books over a span of about 2000 miles.

haines library

The library in Haines really reflect the character of the town; friendly, functional, and easy to access.

In visiting the libraries, we were able to satiate Henna’s bottomless book appetite while also gaining a better insight into whatever town we were in. So in Juneau we sat with over a dozen cruise ship workers many of whom were skyping loved ones. The library is on the top floor of a building next to the cruise ships and a look out a window brought you eye ball to eye ball with an older couple enjoying a fancy looking lunch. In Seward I overheard several pre-teen boys complain about having nothing to do. One suggested they go to the skate park (the same skate park near our campsite) and off they went. While updating our blog in Haines we observed several little kids being read to by the librarian. When she was done they lined up to get their hand stamped. And so on and so on. Sometimes it easy to forget that people live their lives in the same space we gawk at nature’s wonders. The libraries helped us remember.

juneau libraries

Henna in Juneau

 

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