The new Ketchikan Public Library embodies both the rich history and the modern feel of Ketchikan itself. Warm and inviting spaces greet visitors who want to research Ketchikan’s past or partake in a number of scheduled library and community activities.
You’ll find this gorgeous $12 million facility perched atop Copper Ridge, a 20-minute walk from downtown Ketchikan. It’s a long jaunt up the hill, but it’s worth the stunning views of Bear Valley and Deer Mountain that you can enjoy while kicking back with a new novel or checking your email. (Hint: the Green Line public bus heads to the library from downtown hourly).
While thoroughly modern now, the Ketchikan Public Library had humble beginnings when it opened in 1901 as a simple bookshelf that moved from store to store as space allowed. After outgrowing various buildings over the years, the library finally has its own spot and a new vision as a community gathering place.
With its cozy fireplace and its collection of local art, the Ketchikan Public Library has already distinguished itself with a “unique design” award from American Libraries Magazine. Among other works, patrons will find a 20-foot fabric tree in the children’s library created by Deb Turnbull, Sherry Henrickson, Ann Carlson and Jackie Keizer, a hanging in the entryway by Evon Zerbetz and Rich Stage, and a wooden medallion depicting female and male salmon crafted by master carver Nathan Jackson hanging above the fireplace.
If you want a chance to sit back and enjoy an iconic view of Alaska, catch up on your work, or peruse a large collection of Alaskana, there’s no more perfect place than the new Ketchikan library.
Museum open daily during summer.
- Summer: 8am-5pm
- Winter: Hours vary
Museum admission $2.