Library Visit: Sitka, Alaska

 320 Harbor Drive
Sitka, AK 99835

Sitka was our second port of call in Alaska.  Instead of the library being the first thing I saw in town, it happened to be the last thing I saw before it was time to re-board and so I didn’t have a lot of time to look around.

The Sitka Library was established in 1923.  The current building was a gift from Sitka resident Theodore Kettleson in 1967 and is named after him. An addition in 1983 doubled the size of the library. 

I found these statistics about the library on Wikipedia: It receives about 100,000 guests annually and houses a collection of 75,000 books, audiobooks, music recordings, reference resources, videos (DVD and VHS) as well as an assortment of Alaskan and national periodicals. Its annual circulation is 133,000.  Pretty impressive for a town of around 9,000 inhabitants.

When you first walk into the library there is a cluster of computer stations.  All of the computer terminals were in use and the library was hopping when I was there.  Patrons where everywhere–a wonderful situation!–and so I didn’t want to be rude and take a bunch of pictures inside since they’d all contain people who probably value their privacy.  However, there were two things I couldn’t resist taking pictures of inside the library. The first is a shot of the poster below.

Not sure about the connection between libraries and Route 66, but since I’ve seen this poster I’m kicking myself for not taking pictures of libraries along the way when we drove The Mother Road a few years ago.  Because I had already delayed the polite but very busy librarian from getting back into the room she needed to get to (this poster is on a door between two rooms and so my derriere was blocking her way), I didn’t want to further interfere with her work by asking if the poster was from a promotional reading program that they’d done or is a generic library poster. If anyone who reads this post knows if there’s some history behind this poster, I’d love to hear about it.


The second picture that I couldn’t resist taking is the view of the Sitka Sound from the library’s reading area.


That’s our ship in the background.  The clouds were low and it was rainy when I took the picture, so you don’t get a sense of the mountains all around, but, still, even on a rainy day, I can’t imagine getting much reading done with such a view!

I’ll leave you with a view from right outside the library.

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