SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Kake Reopens its Public Library, Closed for 16 Years


June 22, 2015
Monday PM

(SitNews) - In 1999 the town of Kake, with a population over 500, shut its public library’s doors. Though the space still served as the high school’s library, lack of a dedicated librarian to oversee the collection reduced the library to little more than a warehouse for books. Over the next sixteen years the library fell further and further into disarray.

jpg Kake Reopens its Public Library, Closed for 16 Years

Interior of Shirly Jackson Community Library
Photo courtesy Alaska Department of Education

Recently, community members partnered with the Alaska State Library’s VISTA project “Libraries Build Communities” . In February, VISTA Volunteer Lindsey Bennet arrived in Kake and began coordinating the renovation of the abandoned library. She assisted with recruiting volunteers and facilitating library board meetings. She worked with the library board to develop library policies and wrote a public library assistance grant.

On June 8 the renovated library was renamed the Shirly Jackson Community Library and re-opened its doors to the public for the first time in sixteen years. This monumental task was accomplished thanks to the generous support and efforts of community members. The Shirly Jackson Community Library is open 10 hours a week and will begin hosting community programs in the coming months.

Kake is on the northwest coast of Kupreanof Island in the Alexander Archipelago in southeastern Alaska.



Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


Source of News:

Alaska Department of Education


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