Scene at your library

Internationally, public libraries have for centuries been places of community, education, and tradition-sharing. Wherever I am in the world, I first visit the city’s public library. After the city’s international airport, a community’s public library is one of the best reflections of the new area I’ve landed in.

I think I am ready to give up my books. There, I said it. Now, if I can just follow through. When it comes to books, I am a bit of a hoarder. I have boxes stashed under beds, in closets and in the crawl space. And yes, it was because I was deprived as a child.

The last week of March is really busy for Anchorage Public Library this year. We are marking the anniversaries of two huge, environmental disasters and hosting a one-of-a-kind art installation starring our resident dragon. In addition, Friends of the Library is hosting a fundraiser; and that “sharing good ideas” event, TEDxAnchorage, is back in town.


Exxon Valdez

For the last couple years, The Readers, as I have come to think of them, have come to the fourth floor of Loussac regularly. Two guys, each with a stack of books, sit on either end of the red couch near my office, each engrossed in a book. Obviously, since I work in a library, I see people reading all the time. But the intensity and focus of these two, along with the regularity of their visits, set them apart.

You can help make the library even better by making a donation to the Friends of the Library and Anchorage Library Foundation. When you contribute to these organizations, we invest in special projects that help the library go above and beyond what they can do with their regular budget.

In just the past few years, community members like you have helped the Friends and Foundation open new libraries, launch initiatives in early education and keep the shelves full of great books and movies.


Why donate to a publically supported institution?

Imagine no science-fiction heroines.

No Buffy or Hermione. No Xenia or Storm. And no Katniss Everdeen in the “Hunger Games” trilogy.

Seems pretty ridiculous, huh?

But 50 years ago, one of the most popular children’s books ever written almost didn’t get published because editors didn’t think young readers would like a plain, smart, courageous female protagonist. Boy, were they wrong!

Library planners have outdone themselves this month with more interesting and diverse events scheduled than in years.

The Zombie Apocalypse returns to the Loussac Library on Saturday, Oct. 19, with the scavenger hunt maze open from 6:45-10 p.m. The focus is on learning what your family needs for shelter, what to do in case of a pandemic and, of course, having a screaming good time.

Imagine following a guide as he swims through Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. He holds up shells for you to see and points out colorful fish. You wave your hand to get his attention and ask a question. After listening to the answer, you continue exploring together: You and the other 50 people seated in Muldoon Neighborhood Library’s community room.

Alaska Public Library Director Mary Jo Torgenson just released the 2012 report for the library. This document was a great reminder of the importance of stepping back and looking at the big picture. Though filled with numbers, the overall arc of the report emphasizes why the library does what it is doing.

The mission of the library is to “deliver opportunities for education, information and enrichment for Municipal residents.” To help focus this broad mission statement, we have set accomplishment goals: