Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


Museum, library cut seasonal hours


The Sheldon Museum and Cultural Center is currently shut down on weekends, and the Haines Borough Public Library will cut back its hours for the winter months starting Dec. 1.

The museum is closing its doors on weekends for October, and staff will reevaluate in November to see if the facility can reopen on Saturdays, said museum assistant Kris Reeves.

The museum went to winter hours in mid-September, which shortens daily hours and cuts out Sunday completely. It is currently open from 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Interim director Blythe Carter said the Saturday closure is due to a staffing shortage. Reeves is away for personal reasons and then is scheduled for training in Juneau, and the director position remains unfilled.

In addition to stepping in as interim director and covering Reeves’ position during her absence, Carter also is the museum’s operations coordinator. “The big thing is we are without a director right now, so I am wearing like three hats all at the same time and I don’t want to be here another day.”

The museum board recently restarted the director hiring process after two botched attempts. The first applicant offered the job declined, as did the second, who waited six weeks before also rejecting the offer.

The board currently is in the process of reviewing applications and conducting interviews, but Carter couldn’t say when a new director will arrive. “It depends when the person is available. We hope to get them in here within a couple months.”

Carter said she expects the museum will return to regular winter hours in November.

Library director Patricia Brown said the library will also return to winter hours, starting Dec. 1 and running through March 1.

The library began implementing winter hours in December 2011, which involves closing two hours earlier on most weekdays.

Brown said the early closure is an attempt to be more efficient with volunteer hours, as sometimes volunteer workers will only clock one or two people coming into the library between 7 and 9 p.m. in the winter.

Positive community and volunteer response to the shorter hours over the past two winters has encouraged the library to continue with the winter hours system. “It has worked well for us and the community, too,” Brown said.

Beginning Dec. 1, the library will be open Monday-Wednesday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m ., Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m ., Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m ., and Saturday-Sunday 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. The library will stay open until 9 p.m. on Thursdays to accommodate meetings and events.