Noel Wien Library

1215 Cowles Street
Fairbanks, AK 99701


History :

1904 - st. Matthew's mission established. Episcopal archdeacon hudson stuck donates 1,000 volumes to establish a reading room.

1909 - philadelphian george c. Thomas donates money for construction of a library building and gives $1,000 a year for three years to buy new books.

1942 - st. Matthew's deeds the lot, building, and contents to the city of fairbanks. News-miner editorial states "with the acquisition of a public library fairbanks takes on more of the aspects of a city and becomes a little less like an overgrown mining camp."

1949 - an october 25th fire destroys one third of the library's book collection. Through donations collection grows to over 4,000 volumes.

1967 - the august flood causes damage and loss of thousands of books, but the building survives.

1968 - ownership of the library is transferred to the new fairbanks north star borough. Number of volumes tops 20,000.

1972 - a friends of the library study recommends a new library be constructed. Borough assembly selects a weeks field site.

1973 - media van (bookmobile) service begins to state institutions.

1974 - a bond issue, library proposition #3, passes to provide $4.9 million for construction of a new library.

1977 - on october 29 the noel wien library opens to the public.

1986 - the 100,000th title is added to the noel wien library.

1987 - noel wien library tenth anniversary celebration.

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