Douglas Public Library Helped Me Solve a Problem

I had a problem today. I had a bunch of recipe clippings and printouts I wanted to consolidate into a recipe binder. This problem had two sub problems:

– No table space to sort recipes.

– Couldn’t find my three-hole punch

Where could I find a workspace that came with basic office supplies? Right. My public library just two blocks from me. So I gathered all of my loose recipes into an envelope, grabbed my three-ring recipe binder and walked over to the Douglas Public Library. The staff was friendly and gave me what I needed. I was able to use their meeting room so that I could sort my recipes by type of dish using two tables. It was a luxury to have so much sorting space and it made the job more quickly and in better comfort than I could have managed at home.

After an hour and a half, I was able to discard duplicate recipes, stuff I didn’t really want to try, and left with a well organized recipe binder that is starting to inspire me to cook at home more.

Do you have a project that needs a little more room and/or organization? Consider your local library as a project space. Then check out what else they have to offer.


Juneau Public Libraries – Hours and Locations

Alaskans – Homework Help Till 2am

If you didn’t know about it, Alaskans from kindergarten through the first year of college have access to free* online tutoring on most any subject. The service is called Live Homework Help. This service is:

  • available through any computer (PC or Mac) or mobile device with an internet connection
  • compatible with a variety of browsers Check here for details
  • available as a service to Alaskan students in grades K-12 and intro-level college students
  • offered seven days a week from noon to 2am Alaska Time
  • Online tutors receive background checks and no personally identifying information is shared between tutors and students
  • Practice quizzes, the WriteTutor Review drop-off service and the SkillsCenter™ Resource Library that connects you to thousands of homework, test prep, and career resources is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The service is available to residents within the state of Alaska. Live Homework Help is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and Independence Day.

Here are some of the comments that have been made by students using Live Homework Help as reported on a recent mailing list posting:

  • They know how to actually teach someone with dyslexia, which teachers here in my town lack so i love this site 🙂 (11th)


  • Great to have the night shifters to help me out! I work nights so makes going to the math lab that much harder! so great someone is there to help me at 2am! Thanks again great job! (College intro)


  • This is an excellent service that I couldn’t begin to imagine my school life without. With a busy life who has time to try and find a tutor (especially for difficult subjects). This site finds tutors for you! AND THEY REALLY KNOW THEIR MATERIAL! (College intro)


  • This tutor has now taught me 3 different formulas to help me solve equations I didnt go over in class. Not sure how I would even do my homework without this service unless I sat at the math lab at UAA for hours. This allows me to still cook, hang out with the kids and work on my HW at my own pace thanks!!!! (College intro)


  • My tutor was very patient with me I havent gone to school in a while because of a brain injury. I had problems with the math my teachers have been giving me and my tutor has helped me with so much stuff. I have a feeling that we went way over the time that I was supposed to use. (9th)


  • I absolutely love Been using it for over a year now, and I love it from the very bottom of my heart. You guys are so amazing (though I have said this millions of times). You guys have saved my life. (10th)


  • I would spiral into depression without this service. (11th)


  • I never thought I would use an online service like this, but definitely has this concept down! From the tutors to the interface, always extremely clear, helpful, and thorough. So grateful. Alaska State Library, if you read this, great use of resources! Thank you! (College intro)


  • Please keep this service going. I have used it since high school, and now I AM ABOUT TO GRADUATE COLLEGE. (College intro)

So, if you are an Alaskan student or know someone who is, have them give Live Homework Help at try.



*It’s free to you as an individual, but is purchased by the State Legislature on behalf of Alaskan students.

Alaskans! Time to get your library card!

September is National Library Card signup month. I’d like to encourage every Alaskan who does not yet have a library card to go out and get one. Even if you hate books. Because the library is about so much more than books. Though we will always love readers and find them good reads.

If you live in Anchorage, visit to learn how to get your free library card. Aside from free access to books, music and videos from libraries stretching from Valdez to Juneau, you’ll get free access to:


If you live in Fairbanks, visit to learn how you can get your library card. Aside from all the physical items you’d expect to find in a library system, your library card will give you access to:


If you live in Juneau, visit to learn how a library card can be yours. This card will give you access to all the physical collections of the same system Anchorage is a part of, plus additional resources including:


If you live somewhere else in Alaska, check out the Alaska Library Association’s Library Directory. It contacts contact information for every known library in Alaska. The people at your local library can tell you how to get a library card and what good stuff comes with it.

Getting a library card is free and easy. It puts you in touch with a world of information and entertainment, much of which cannot be freely (or in some cases legally) accessed over the open web. What’s holding you back? Step out today and get yours today. Before the snow falls.



Attn Anchorage: Nerd Art, Job Search Help, Start Your Business and More @ Your Library

I live in Juneau, not Anchorage. But I know people who do. This week you ought to be paying attention to what’s going on in your libraries:

From: []
Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2014 4:50 PM
Subject: [AKLA List] Adult Services Events – Loussac Library – Week of May 18


(This is an AKLA List message, replies will go to the whole list.)

May 1-31st

Nerd Art – 3rd Floor Gallery and 4th Floor Innovation Lab

Fan art, science as art, comic book art, manga, and more!  Explore all manner of geekery at Loussac Public Library! FYI – You might just see a certain blue police box while you’re here!


For more information please contact


Tuesday, May 20

Job Search 101: Resumes and Interviews – 6pm – Innovation Lab

Ben Krisher, Castle Resume Services, explains how to write a resume and tips for a successful interview. The workshop introduces resume styles, resume building tips and formatting tricks to make your resume stand out.
A Q&A about job seeking and interview skills will also be included.


Please contact Darla at or 907-343-2893 for more information.


Conversation Salon: Information is Not Knowledge – 6pm – Ann Stevens Room

Join UAA and APU faculty, community leaders and your neighbors for an informal exploration of the themes in Brooke Gladstone’s book, The Influencing Machine. How are these themes relevant to ourselves, our community and our state?
May’s discussion topic:  How Media Shapes Our Reality of Everyday Life
Facilitated by Sue Fallon, Alaska Pacific University, and Anna Brawley, Agnew: Beck Consulting


For more information please contact


Sandra Walker: Little Merchants – 7pm – Public Conference Room

Join author Sandra Walker as she shares evocative stories from hilarious to horrific and poignant to repugnant from the golden era of youth delivering newspapers.

Based on extensive research and interviews with hundreds of former news carriers, Little Merchants explores the rich and colorful history of this important icon.

The author will be signing books after the presentation.


For more information please contact


Wednesday, May 21

Let’s Talk Anchorage: Doing Democracy – 6pm – Ann Stevens Room

Doing Democracy is collaboration between Let’s Talk Anchorage, the Anchorage Public Library and Alaska Common Ground.

Please join the community conversation about how we do democracy. What are the responsibilities of citizens, and what information do we need to make decisions?

Join facilitators from Let’s Talk Anchorage as we engage in a deliberative dialog and democratic process around important issues facing Alaskans.


For more information please contact


Alaska Writer’s Guild – 7pm – Innovation Lab

Join us at the Loussac Library to hear author David Brown discuss “The Transition Game, From Writing to Marketing.” This informative workshop takes a look at the difficulty involved transitioning from writing a book to switching gears & getting that book on the market.

David Brown attended Cuesta College Creative Writing Program. Served as a Columnist for the Woonsocket Call (RI), Edible East Bay(CA) & Castro Valley Forum(CA). Author of true crime story, Deacon’s Crossbow (Createspace). Past President and Program Director for AWG. A 400 page historical novel, Return of the Free Faller is in the hands of Mr. Brown’s literary agent. Recently completed, Grace and Dizzy, a book of short stories.


For more information please contact


Thursday, May 22

Heck Yeah! It’s Time to Start My Own Business – 5pm – Public Conference Room – Also Available Via OWL

This 2-hour interactive, informative, and never the same way twice, monthly tutorial, serves as a starting point for anyone who has ever thought about starting their own business.

“Diamond” Dar Johnson will answer questions about business and financial planning needed to start your own business.

For more information, please contact


Rick Mystrom: Solve Diabetes, Lose Weight, and Live Healthy – 7pm – Wilda Marston Theatre

Rick Mystrom, author, former mayor of Anchorage and type I diabetic will share ways on how to be healthier, trimmer, and feel better by developing good eating patterns that become good eating habits.

This presentation will be life-changing for type 2 diabetics who want to lower their blood sugar and lose weight, pre-diabetics or borderline diabetics who want to avoid ever getting diabetes, type 1 diabetics who want to improve their blood sugar control, and anyone—diabetic or not—who wants to loseweight and live healthier.


For more information please contact


Saturday, May 24

Loussac Library Science Fiction Double Feature Picture Show – 12pm – Wilda Marston Theatre

Loussac Library will be showing a mixture of classic and cult science fiction movies this summer! All films are free and open to the public.

Not all films will be appropriate for children. Due to licensing restrictions, Loussac Library is not able to advertise the titles of the movies shown.

Please e-mail for titles.


12pm – “Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect escape from the Earth moments before its destruction and join forces with Zaphod Beeblebrox on board the Heart of Gold and search for the ultimate question.” Rated PG

2:30pm – “In the future, a spaceship is harboring a passenger with a deadly secret. Six rebels on the run. An assassin in pursuit. When the renegade crew agrees to hide a fugitive on their ship, they find themselves in an awesome action-packed battle between the relentless military might of a totalitarian regime who will destroy anything – or anyone – to get the girl back and the bloodthirsty creatures who roam the uncharted areas of space. But, the greatest danger of all may be on their ship.” Rated PG-13

For more information, please contact


Figure Drawing with Nic and Vee Sweet – 12pm – Innovation Lab

            Join Nic and Vanessa (Vee) Sweet for a free figure drawing workshop!  This is a workshop geared towards adults and high school aged teens.  All participants must bring their own supplies.

Nic and Vee Sweet are both graduates of the California Institute of the Arts for Animation.  Currently they run Sleeping Fox Studios.


For more information please contact


Keep These on Your Radar!

Photojournalism Art Exhibit – June 1 – Open Call for Art

For more information please contact or

Jane Austen Book Club – Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope – Discussion on Wednesday, June 4

For more information please contact

Maker Faire – July – Volunteers Needed

For more information please contact

Thrift Fashion Show – August – Volunteers Needed

For more information please contact

National Library Week Day 7: Well, When Will YOU Visit Your Library? #nlw14

Now that I’ve spent a whole week talking about the benefits of my local public library, it is my devout wish that you will go forth and visit your local library. If you live in Juneau, that would be the Juneau Public Libraries that I’ve been writing about all week. Here are some pointers if you live elsewhere:


Ideally you would visit in person. But checking out their website or even Listen Alaska Plus would do. But visit. Then share what you find. On your blog. On Twitter. On Facebook. Whereever suits you.



National Library Week Day 6: ebooks #nlw14

As recently as two years ago, only about of a third of Americans were aware that libraries loaned ebooks. So I want to be sure to let you know that the Juneau Public Libraries (JPL)  and more than three quarters of libraries nationwide do lend ebooks. Actually, Juneau Public Libraries goes the extra mile and loans Nook readers as well.

JPL has a number of sources for ebooks. The three that I think are the most useful for the general patron are:


listen_alaska graphic ListenAlaska+ brings you digital downloads from the library, available anytime, from home or on the go!

    • eBooks (ePub, PDF, Kindle)
    • Audiobooks (MP3, WMA)
    • Music (WMA only)


Titles available in ListenAlaska can also be found in the library catalog.  If you see [electronic resource] next to a title, it is available in electronic format (ie ebook or audiobook).


Need ebook help? Check out the great resources at OverdriveHelp or contact a librarian.

Image link to Freading eBook collection

Freading Ebooks, a new look at ebook lending.

No more waiting for eBooks!

  • More than 20,000 ebooks (ePub, PDF)
  • Always available, no holds lists.
  • Cardholders receive 4 tokens per week to use for ebook downloads. Tokens refresh Monday morning and carryover for 4 weeks.
  • Mobile apps available for iOS and Android or you can use the same Overdrive Media Console Mobile app used with ListenAlaska.


Need help? Check out this list of Frequently  Asked Questions or contact a librarian.


  • Animated, talking ebooks for kids!
  • Select titles are iPad compatible.
  • Over 300 titles including 100 in French and Spanish.

I haven’t tried Tumblebooks, but I have used Listen Alaska Plus and Freading on mobile devices and desktop computers. Listen Alaska these days has gotten very easy to use. If you tried it a few years ago and didn’t like it, try it again.

As the name implies, Listen Alaska Plus includes audiobooks. These can come in very handy on the lengthy flights we Alaskans often find ourselves on. Sometimes I’ll check out an ebook or audiobook from the library just to see if I like it. If I do, often I’ll buy it. That’s how I became the proud owner of an electronic library of the Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold.

National Library Week Day 5: Learning, Growing, Laughing #nlw14

Aside from providing meeting space for community groups to meet, the Juneau Public Libraries (JPL) offer quite a bit of specialty programming. Some of it is based around books, but not all of it is. While there may be a TV channel or website for everything, the advantage of a library event is that it gets community people talking to each other about shared interests.

Here’s a sampling of events from April 2014:

  • Cuentacuentos Infantil
  • Second Friday Author Tea (Lois McMaster Bujold)
  • Kim Heacox Author presentation
  • Fourth Thursday TEDx
  • John Straley Author presentation

For more information, visit the JPL calendar.

If you liked this post or have a library event story of your own, share on your favorite social media using #nlw14.