Alaska Room Redesign Update
The Alaska Room Redesign project is back in full swing, and we want to hear from you! While the redesign plans were originally going to relocate the Alaska Collection to the northeast corner of the 3rd floor at Loussac Library, several logistical factors including space, construction considerations, and decreased demand for the former Alaska Collection rotunda as an event space have led Library Director Virginia McClure to request a redesign of the rotunda and relocate Alaska Collection materials into the space in a new way.
Our goal and vision remain the same: to ensure the Alaska Collection is accessible to the public and encourages the appreciation of Alaska's history, culture, development, institutions, and natural resources and is relevant to the study and understanding of the state.
Background & History
Image above: potential design of a new Alaska Room in the main building.
Our goal: Bring Alaska and Anchorage history to life, make it relevant to community members of all ages and backgrounds, and use collaborative learning and exploration to develop solutions to today’s issues.
Our vision: People of all backgrounds see themselves reflected in the Alaska Room, to know that Alaska’s history is not someone else’s past, but their own, as well as a place to reflect on the present, and shape the future.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of libraries sharing information and creating connections during uncertain times. This project can be a path forward in our community's recovery, providing access to the world of social and cultural ideas, which is more important now than ever.
task force on the Alaska Room
- Evelyn Abello
- Rochelle Adams, Native People’s Action
- Charlene Apok, Native Movement
- Brooks Banker
- Britt’Nee Brower
- Barbara Brown
- Penny Cordes
- Lourdes Linato Crawford, Past President of Bridge Builders, Library Advisory Board
- Justin Dickens
- Lucy Hansen, Polynesian Association of Alaska
- Shawna Larson, Chickaloon Village Traditional Council
- Beth Ginondidoy Leonard, PhD, Alaska Pacific University Indigenous Studies
- Theresa Lyons, YWCA
- Meagan McBride, Alaska Studies teacher at East High
- Gabriela Olmos
- Bruce Parham, former director, National Archives at Anchorage; former employee National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); secretary of the Cook Inlet Historical Society Board of Directors
- Katie Ringsmuth, Tundra Vision, State of Alaska Historian
- Melissa Shaginoff
- Arthur Sosa, Abbott Loop Elementary Principal, active in ENLACES
- Rachel Blakeslee, Kenai Mountains Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area
- Yaso Thiru, Professor at Alaska Pacific University
- Yolandus "Doyle" Williams, Alaska Black Caucus
The 2013 Loussac Facility Plan calls for the creation of a new home for the Alaska Collection in the NE corner of the third floor of the main building. This new space will unite the Alaska Collection with genealogy and microfiche materials in one location that is more accessible to the public and more efficient for staff to operate.
A flood from a broken pipe in the Alaska Wing in 2017 sped up the schedule for relocating the Alaska Collection. The Alaska Collection was moved to a temporary location on the third floor of the main building and the Ann Stevens Room is open to the public. The Rotunda was renovated into an event center, available for rent by the public for receptions, weddings and conferences.
In summer 2019, we worked with McCool Carlson Green Architects to create a first draft of plans for the new Alaska Room. We held focus groups, conducted an online survey and interviewed individuals to hear more about what you want out of the space and the Library's Alaska program.
We learned that you want the new room to be inviting and accessible, while maintaining the traditional coziness that so many had come to love in the previous space. We learned that you wanted a robust collection for scholarly research, and that you want the room design and programs to reflect Alaska Indigenous cultures, as well as the many cultures that call Anchorage home today.
As we raise funds, we will work on final designs. Throughout the process, we will continue to seek community feedback and input.
If at any time you have ideas or comments, email email@example.com.
View the work we did in Fall 2018 to collect community feedback: