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

Student internships improve library


November 9, 2017

The Haines Borough Public Library has a new space for teens thanks to the work of summer library interns Sarah Long and Keegan Palmieri. The library took advantage of a pilot project from the Institute of Museum and Library Services called the Inclusive Intern Initiative to help with funding.

Long and Palmieri traveled with their mentor and Library Director Patricia Brown to Washington, D.C. for the initial training workshop. High school students from all over the country attended.

Alaska State Senator Lisa Murkowski met with the students during their visit. After the meeting Senator Murkowski said that the future of libraries was in good hands.

Over the summer Long and Palmieri fixed holes in the wall, painted the space and inspired other library staff members to get involved. “I think we thought we would show them how interesting library work can be and yet how much detail there is to the job,” said staff member Deborah Gravel. “But, guess what, they showed us how creative and fun the library is.”

Long and Palmieri went to local businesses for donations. Library volunteer Bill Broste was so inspired by their enthusiasm he made chairs for the Teen Space. Additional funding provided by a grant from the Chilkat Valley Community Foundation will be used for other furnishings, shelving and lighting.

In October, Long and Palmieri also traveled with Brown to the American Library Association headquarters in Chicago where they presented their project to over 200 people. They shared how the Teen Area at the Haines Library needed to be modernized and reflect their lifestyles.

The first day the area opened one teen commented that the library needs another space because all the seats were already full. The Haines library is currently raising funds for an expansion project which could include a multipurpose room where teens might find additional space.


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