September 19, 2013 | Vol. 39, No. 38

New library opens with unique modernizations

The Petersburg Library opened its doors to the public for the first time Monday. The facility boasts several new features such as a self-checkout station, a teen room and the ability to borrow laptops and iPads.

Kyle Clayton / Petersburg Pilot
The teen room was dubbed “The Room of Requirement” by the library’s Teen Advisory Group, a committee of youths who meet once a month to schedule their own programming. It came up with the idea based off the Harry Potter series. It’s a room in Hogwarts Castle that only appears if a student is in great need of it and transforms itself to meet the needs of whatever the witch or wizard needs at the time. The room contains an electric fireplace, a flat screen television and an area for youths to hang out. It will soon have a game system and more seating options.

There are six stationary express computers library users can log onto for 30 minutes at a time. But Tara Alcock, Borough Librarian, said people generally need more time than that.

“People can come check them out (laptops and ipads), have two full hours and can sit anywhere they want in the building,” Alcock said. “I think people are really going to like that. It’s a lot better than sitting elbow to elbow with people.”

Library patrons don’t have to get new cards but will need new ones if they want to use the self-checkout station or borrow the laptops and iPads.

There are also two meeting rooms with multimedia equipment and a sound dampening children’s area

Alcock reported nearly 700 items were checked out on opening day, “roughly four times more than we would check out on an average day at the old library.”

The library will have a grand opening September 28 at 2 p.m. Senator Burt Stedman and CEO of the Rasmuson Foundation Diane Kaplin will attend. Tlingit dancers from Kake will also perform outside the facility.

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