January 16, 2014 | Vol. 40, No. 3

New library usage nearly doubles

The new library is buzzing since its opening last fall.

“It’s been pretty steady,” said Borough Librarian Tara Alcock. “Some days are pretty manageable and other days we’re screaming busy.”

As of October through December of 2013, the library checked out 18,679 items—a 40 percent increase compared to 2012. The average number of people coming into the facility has roughly doubled as well.

Alcock said the most noticeable increase has been with teens stopping by after school.

“The teen-room is pretty much packed,” Alcock said. “And we actually observed them doing their homework.”

She said visitors’ ability to use the Internet at the new facility has increased exponentially. Visitors can check out laptops for two hours.

The library also received a state grant for more than $16,900 to join the Alaska Digital Archive—an organization that preserves digital images of artifacts and other historical items.

Alcock hired a contractual employee who will contact local tribe members to get ahold of photographs. Staff will scan and preserve the images for the archive.

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