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While we're closed ...

Originally published in the Ketchikan Daily News, May 2020; written by Lisa Pearson.

It’s been a weird couple of months for all of us here at the public library as we develop new ways to deliver library services remotely from our homes. Facebook storytimes on Thursday and Friday mornings, Read-Aloud short stories on KRBD on Thursday evenings, increasing the collection of ebook and digital audiobook titles we offer through Alaska Digital Library, and craft, cooking & DIY videos for children and adults are some of the different ways we have been reaching out to our patrons during this difficult period.

We are now allowed to work back in the building, and this week we have been able to offer curbside pickup of library items. While we still miss seeing all our friends and neighbors who usually come to the library, we are happy to be able to provide access to the collection this way. If you would like to use the service, call the library between 10 am and 4 pm on Monday through Saturday at 225-3331. You can select up to 10 items for pickup the following day (items requested on Saturday will be available on Monday). You can also place public library items on hold using our online catalog at

If you don’t have a library account – or if you would like extra reading materials for yourself or your children – the Friends of the Library are offering free grab bags of books. Simply contact the public library during calling hours (Mon-Sat., 10-4) and give us a little information about what types of books you would like. We have lots of fiction and nonfiction for kids, and fiction In a variety of genres for adults. Based on your input, we will select 5 books from our supply, and you can pick them up the next day. These books will be yours to keep.

As always, we are happy to help with selecting books and providing suggestions. Various members of the library staff specialize in certain genres – graphic novels, mysteries, westerns, books for reluctant readers, gentle reads, etc. – so even if you’re not sure what you want to read we can try to select books for you to pick up. We are constantly posting book suggestions, reviews and updates on our Facebook and Instagram pages, so those are other great ways to get ideas of what to read.

We are still continuing to get new materials in our collection, so be sure to check our online catalog to see what is new. If you do an Advanced Search in our catalog, you can limit your results to our newer items by selecting the appropriate ‘Location’: PL Juv New (for children’s titles) ; PL Large Print New ; PL New Book Fiction and PL New Book Nonfiction (for adult titles). The catalog will tell you if they are currently on the shelf, or if there will be a wait time until they are due to be returned.

We are also continuing to provide our online programming during this curbside pickup phase, so be sure to check out our Facebook and Instagram pages. The Teen Advisory Group even has their own Instagram page. Our website has a calendar with all the online options listed. The library staff are busy preparing for June and devising a Summer Reading Challenge for kids and teens that will provide entertaining incentives and ideas for staying mentally and physically active over the summer.

The community of Ketchikan has had library services for 119 years – through good times and bad – and the staff at the public library are committed to continuing that tradition of service. It might look a little different than usual, but it will still be there for you. Call 225-3331 if you need assistance.

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