This Anchorage library is much more than a spot for locals to check out books—it’s one of the most spectacular buildings in Anchorage and a true destination for visitors. With a large section of Alaskana, gorgeous artwork, and numerous events, it’s a great place for travelers to get a better sense of the state. Free wi-fi, public computers, and laptops for rent offer are other resources you can find here.
Many travelers come to peruse the Alaskana section—the state’s best collection of all things Alaska. You’ll find books about Alaska’s history, geography, native art, hiking trails, wildflowers, and more. There’s always a reference librarian in the Alaska section so ask them questions—they’re terrific sources of information. Check out the Alaska Almanac, a fascinating compendium of facts. The library also has films, periodicals, maps, Alaska-related DVDs, local newspapers dating back to their origins, and even a collection of local high school yearbooks. Some 1,000 people a day visit the library, but you can still find quiet places to just sit and read a book. The Alaska wing is a designated quiet area, with little reading nooks and crannies to hide out in.
Another quiet area is the Ann Stevens room, which is gorgeously decorated in Nigerian mahogany, Persian rugs, and leather wingback chairs. This is also where you’ll find Sydney Lawrence oil paintings on display.
The library is truly a community center that brings in people of all ages. The Anchorage Assembly meets here, and it’s almost always booked with government meetings. There’s also a theater for concerts year-round.
In summertime, the library draws families, who check out books and have picnics out on the lawn. And if you’re in Anchorage in winter, don’t miss the Ice Fountain out front. Water sprays from the fountain on metal rods, and when the water freezes, different colored lights shine dramatically on it.
- Live at the Library concerts, Thursdays at lunchtime from June to early August
- Author lectures occur throughout the year
- Computer and other classes
- Kids Programs: Science workshops, story time, and more