New Library Cause Taken Up By Ad Hoc Group


Jay Barrett/KMXT

With the city of Kodiak struggling to build a new police station and jail, and the borough embarking on a 100-million-dollar-plus push for a new high school, there’s a group that believes there’s room for considering the construction of a new Kodiak library.

The Kodiak Public Library Association, a private, ad hoc group, is spearheading the push for a new library, and is hoping to build it with largely private funding. Erin Harrington leads the association. She says besides the current library being too small and out of date, there is money out there to build new libraries in Alaska.

(Library 1 56 sec "… also believe they’re important investments."))

Homer’s new library, which Harrington credits with spurring the new Kodiak library movement, is about 17-thousand square feet in size, and cost about 8-and-a-half-million dollars. With construction costs increase up to 25-percent per year, a 20-thousand-square-foot library in Kodiak would likely be quite a bit more expensive.

Joe D’Elia is the head librarian at the A. Holmes Johnson Library, owned and operated by the city. He says the advent of the World Wide Web and Google only enhances a library’s mission, not detracts from it:

(Library 2 :59 "… communicate with their friends and relatives back home.")

Harrington said libraries are becoming more than just a place to keep books:

(Library 3 :47 sec "… if you’re designing one in the modern era.")

The Kodiak Public Library Association is in the very early stages of generating interest in a new library, and while a few potential sites have been identified, Harrington says where it is put and what it will look like will be a community-driven process. Optimistically, her timeline has the doors opening sometime in 2011.


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