Kenny Lake Public Library

Hc 60
Copper Center, AK 99573

907-822-3015

History of the Library:

The Frances Kibble Kenny Lake Public Library is a vital part of a small, rural community near the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Located in the unincorporated community of Kenny Lake, about 250 miles east of Anchorage, Alaska, the library serves nearly one thousand area residents.

In February 2004, the Kenny Lake library board voted to recognize the part Frances Kibble played in the evolution of the library. Without her perseverance and the enormous commitment she made of her time and energy, Kenny Lake would be a community without a library. Before small rural libraries received any state funding Fran begged, cajoled, scrimped, and improvised to give Kenny Lakers basic library services. She even cut old envelopes in half to make card pockets for books! To honor Fran's vision and determination the library was named the "Frances Kibble Kenny Lake Public Library".

A born historian, Fran kept a detailed record of the early days in Kenny Lake. According to her notes, "Our library was started in the winter of '61-62 much, I suppose, as many community libraries begin. We nine homestead wives and three Native women formed a club for fun and service. One project we undertook was the library. This had been a dream of mine before I came to Alaska. I was asked to be the librarian. I wrote to the State Library and set up the enterprise in our bare cabin using stacked Blazo boxes sawed in half for the shelves. The first library accession record [entered in January 1962] lists 18 books on loan from the Alaska State Library.

 

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