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Ketchikan opens $12 million library

Alaska Dispatch

Ketchikan has unveiled its new, majorly upgraded library -- a $12 million project that's nearly doubled the facility’s size,offering many new features that will benefit the Southeast Alaska town, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports.

More than 16,000 square feet will allow residents to wander amongst lighted bookshelves. The shelves aren't yet full, meaning the library will be able to add new books to their collections. "The old building was so small and so stacked with shelves that it was almost like a drive-up restaurant," Lisa Pearson, adult technical services librarian, told the News-Miner. "People would come in, grab their books and leave."

Pearson called the new facility "a community center where people can come in and spend some time relaxing and seeing all the things we have to offer."

Among the new features are a propane fireplace, study rooms, floor-to-ceiling windows and a kaleidoscopic tree made from fabric in the children’s library, crafted by local artists. Audio-conference technology will also allow the library to hold conferences with speakers who would normally be too expensive to bring to the community.

While the library is already open, a grand opening will happen 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 19, with activities for kids, door prizes and an opening ceremony with local officials. Read more at the News-Miner.