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Library History

1938
Anthony J. Dimond, the territorial delegate, contacted Mabel Shotter, a teacher in Homer, to let her know that the territory would help with books if a library could be formed.

1940s
Members of the Homer Women’s Club, led by Arleen Kranich, worked to get the library housed in an old school building. They received books at no cost from Washington D.C. and collected donations from local residents. The library was incorporated in order to receive operating funds of $50.00 from the State.

1950s
The Dewey Decimal System was implemented at HPL.

1960s
HPL was an all-volunteer library operating out of the old fire hall.

1970s
Homer had outgrown its popular but tiny library.

1978
The library became a department of the City of Homer. Homer Public Library, Inc., the non-profit group that had previously operated the library, asked the Homer City Council to apply for funds to construct a new building.

1979
The 3,500 square foot library at 141 W. Pioneer Ave. was completed. BJ Mauseth was hired as Homer’s first professional librarian. There were 8,000 books in the collection.

1990
Library use had more than tripled during the 10 years since the new library had opened.

1999
The library was filled to capacity; more than 35,000 books were shelved floor to ceiling, and room for public use computers was needed. The Library Advisory Board compiled a Space Needs Study.

2002
The Capital Campaign for the New Library Project was launched at the Pratt Museum (because there was not enough room to hold the meeting at the library). The New Library Project was a partnership of the Library Advisory Board, the Friends of the Homer Public Library, the City of Homer, and many dedicated volunteers from the community. The campaign raised $8.1 Million to build a new 17,000 square foot facility at the corner of Hazel and Heath Streets.

May 16, 2005
Volunteers and members of the public marched from the old library to the new library site, where the Groundbreaking Ceremony was held.

September 16, 2006
The Grand Opening of the new library at 500 Hazel Ave., designed by ECI/Hyer Architects and constructed by Jay-Brant General Contractors, was a joyous celebration.