The official reopening ceremony for the Consortium Library was held Oct. 8 in the Great Room of the new facility.
The new library features more room than the previous one, an ornate Foucault Pendulum, two temperature-controlled vaults to preserve sensitive documents and new partnerships between entities like the Alaska Moving Image Preservation Association and the Alaska Resources Library and Information Services.
Dubbed the “Library of the 21st Century,” it will serve as a center of information and will provide UAA and Alaska Pacific University students with plenty of space to study and research.
The ceremony attracted a star-studded cast of local academics. Steve Rollins, dean of the Consortium Library, Mark Hamilton, UA President, Douglas North, APU President, Elaine Maimon, UAA chancellor and Lee Gorsuch, former UAA Chancellor all spoke at the event.
Also speaking at the event was former U.S. Nobel Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky.
In Pinsky’s opening remarks, he talked about mankind’s ability to keep and learn from records and said libraries are secular temples to that notion.
“We are links in a chain that goes back further than we can see or even know,” Pinsky said.
North took the stage later in the event and talked about the benefits the new library will bring to Anchorage .
“This is a University town. The more that is known, the more I think our city will shine. There are so many things about Alaska that more people need to know,” North said.
After the opening ceremony, guests were invited upstairs for refreshments and chamber music by the UAA guitar ensemble.
The theme of the after-event was poetry. Sandwich boards with elegantly printed poems picked by some of the event’s speakers peppered the third floor. “Stepping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost was chosen by Steve Rollins; and “On the Pulse of Morning the Inaugural Poem” by Maya Angelou was selected by Lee Gorsuch.
Cora Neal, an associate professor of mathematics and applied statistics, has been serving as co-chair of the library advisory committee for the last two years. She said the new library will be an important part of Anchorage and Alaska now and into the future.
“There are so many components to the new library, but there are three big ones. First, the size. There is much more space than the old library. Second, the technological advances, like the digital archive. Third, structurally, it’s built to grow.”