SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Ketchikan's Rock Pit Library
By Robert D. Warner


July 06, 2010
Tuesday PM

Dear Sitnews Editor:

Some of us are rather tired of hearing about "Ketchikan's harassed public librarians." The last time I checked, many of them have been feeding quite heartily at the public trough. We are also tired of the continuing effort to hide our public library in an unsightly rock pit removed from the center of Ketchikan. This is both frustrating and discouraging. Why doesn't Ketchikan Public Library have professional leadership and courage to stop this misguided effort? It is fortunate that several folks like Mr. Bergeron are willing to speak out on this important issue. Shouldn't we be pleased that the public library would remain at the hub of a city center as it has for over 100 years? Why would we want to hide it at a unsightly rock pit?

The root of this issue seems to focus on the activities of a special interest group called " Friends of the Ketchikan Public Library." They seem to barge in to take over library planning as if they alone own the public library. What ever happened to the Ketchikan Public Library Board that has official responsibility for advising the City Council on public library matters? Many public libraries in Alaska and other states have active groups of friends. These groups often provide service hours so that the public library is not completely dependent on paid staffing. In Kenai, for example, their Friends of the Library group provided 2,102 hours of volunteer work in 2005. In Ketchikan, this local friends group provided only 86 hours of such service during that same year.

Do we have the courage to reconsider this important issue and keep our public library in Ketchikan's downtown core area?

Robert D. Warner
Ketchikan, AK


Received July 01 , 2010 - Published July 06, 2010


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