No one knows for sure what Kegoayah Kozga means, but it had its origins with Nome’s Kegoayah Kozga Womens Club, the northernmost womens club in America, formed in 1902. In those days, such clubs were a thriving part of the social fabric of communities around the country. Women banded together for fellowship, to improve their knowledge of the world through shared literary resources and discussions, and to improve their communities through volunteer efforts. (The Anchorage Womens Club built that city’s first schoolhouse, for example).
The relationship between women’s clubs and libraries was a strong one. Kegoayah Kozga was part of a network of reading and study clubs in the U.S. called the Bay View Readers Club. In its 1913 magazine, the Bay View Readers Club described Kegoayah Kozga, noting that the name meant Aurora Club, in reference to “the dawn of woman’s work in Alaska.”
Today the Kegoayah Kozga Public Library boasts 18,000 books, a collection of old and rare items on Alaska and the Seward Peninsula, and a new home in the Richard Foster building on Steadman and 7th Streets. The library encourages reading at “all ages and stages,” and seeks to make Kegoayah Kozga a welcoming place, where you can check email, read a magazine, or bring the kids to a children’s program.