Welcome to Our Seward Community Library Museum Project

Our Vision

The Seward Community Library Museum is a community center with the facilities and resources to provide its users with the opportunity for continuing education, community enrichment and preservation of Seward’s heritage.

We are committed to providing professional expertise, space, information, education and access to our collections, technology and programs to everyone, regardless of income or background, in a safe and secure environment.

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Resurrection Bay Historical Society newsletter, January 2013

Click here to read the latest newsletter from  RBHS!

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Contributors thanked for new library museum building

Posted with permission from Heidi Zemach, reporter for Seward City News (SCN)

Seward’s grand new library museum building on Sixth Avenue will open its doors to the public Saturday, Jan 12, at 1:30 p.m. for a dedication ceremony. The beautiful new building has been accomplished, and has an inviting finished look to it. It is surprisingly spacious inside, and stands up to its fundraising, public relations campaign name, “Something for Us.” It’s many rooms and spaces, comfortable new furniture, and window coverings featuring old photographs from Seward’s past will be a treat for locals and visitors alike.

Contributors gather in the entry hall of the Library Museum, photo by Heidi Zemach

This Friday night it filled with its major financial backers and supporters from across the state, for an invitation-only sneak preview prior to Saturday’s opening, and for the building committee to thank them for bringing the building to completion. Building committee board members, Seward museum and library backers, politicians including former city mayors, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, and head contractors who worked on the building, were amazed and some were moved to tears by its beauty, and the realization that what had begun as a dream for the community more than nine years ago was a reality and would become “the heart of Seward” for decades to come.

Photo by Heidi Zemach

Forensics and Debate Club cheer for each contributor.The Seward High School Forensics and Debate Club, dressed to the nines in smart black suits, skirts and ties, welcomed the senator and visitors, and gave an enthusiastic “hip hip horray” for each contributor named and thanked in a ceremony in the spacious first floor meeting room. Meanwhile AVTEC culinary arts students, just returned from winter vacation, and dressed in pressed whites, graciously offered up the amazing finger foods they had prepared including filet mignon sliders, au jus, duck and mushroom pates, quinoa salad. Even they couldn’t contain their enthusiasm for the new Seward building: It just makes you want to read in my opinion,” said AVTEC student Alexandra Prabuki.


Keith Campbell shows Senator Lisa Murkowski vintage hair curling maching (Heidi Zemach photo)

Keith Campbell gave Senator Murkowski and other public dignitaries a tour of some of the museum exhibits, such as the permanent wave hair curling machine, used in the 1920s. “It smelled of burnt hair,” said Beverly Dunham. Head Librarian Patty Linville illustrated the work put into planning the project by telling the audience of backers how the library has some 1,900 files contained in 308 folders dating back to 2004. That’s about the time when the idea was first conceived as a Seward Centennial project that could be enjoyed by all Seward residents. She also has three fat subfolders titled “Mary’s Stuff”, “Keith’s Stuff” and “Kerry’s Stuff.” Mary Tougas, Keith Campbell and Kerry Martin were some of the most instrumental volunteers in seeing the project through, Linville said, fighting back tears of gratitude and perhaps relief. “I’m continually humbled by their dedication. It’s been a pleasure working with you,” she said. Kent Crandall, the project manager, from RISE Alaska, stood in the crowd, watching the speakers, with a broad grin filling his face.

“I am delighted to be with you this evening,” said Murkowski. “To be here with this community, to celebrate a community event is really quite special. I don’t know if you feel what is present in this room but this is the heart of a community, it’s your history in a beautiful little museum, the opportunity to share discussion and thought.” In many Alaska communities that she visits, the library is the focus and pride of that community and it defines them, she said. The state helped fund the Seward Library Museum along with six other community library projects, some yet to be built. Their support for a library demonstrates the love they have for their town, she said. A representative for State Senator Gary Stevens, who now represents a new district, echoed her sentiments. Stevens was a strong supporter of the library museum building effort. Stevens was very sorry not to be able to make it to the opening ceremony, and gave his loving regards to a town he has come to know and love, he said. “We will never forget all the help he gave to us, and to this project,” said Assistant City Manager Ron Long.


Major contributors toast new building. Heidi Zemach photo.

Building Committee member Vanta Shafer thanked Former Mayor Edgar Blatchford who created the “Something for Us” committee, and promoted the idea of the new building project early on. “When I drive by I’m proud of it, I love it, and can’t wait to seeing it here for years to come,” Shafer said. “I’m so proud of this I can hardly stand it, and it’s all here because of you,” gushed former Seward Mayor Willard Dunham, another longtime project supporter.

Drop by and visit the new building and see for yourself Saturday for the opening ceremony, or come see it Monday, when it officially opens to the public for business. The ceremony begins at 1:30 p.m. with the Seward Singers and Seward Seahawks choir performing the Alaska Flag Song, and a ribbon cutting. Nancy White Carlstrom the noted author of the popular “Jesse Bear” children’s book series will be there and give presentations on her books to the young children.

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Seward Community Library Museum Dedication slated Saturday, January 12 at 1:30 p.m.

Embracing History, Growing by Volumes becomes reality

Organizers say everyone in Seward is invited to celebrate the dedication of the new Seward Community Library Museum this Saturday afternoon, but that preschoolers and school children and their parents are especially welcome.  Besides an opening dedication ceremony with singing by the Seward High School Chorus, and self-tours, two afternoon presentations by nationally-known children’s author Nancy White Carlstrom are scheduled along with fun, school child “book worm” craft activities at the afternoon-long celebration that begins at 1:30 p.m. with the formal dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony.  Free book bags, and free books by White Carlstrom, are available on a first-come basis for preschool and early reading children who attend the event.

White Carlstrom is the author of the popular “Jesse Bear” series. A former resident of Interior Alaska, she will be leading two presentations on Saturday. The first one, “Singing with Jesse Bear” from 2:30-3:00 p.m. is designed for preschoolers to 1st graders. The second White Carlstrom presentation, “Writing in Alaska: From Idea to Finished Book,” is aimed at older readers and writers from 2nd to 5th grade.

Children will have two age-appropriate craft stations to choose from and they will be treated to locally baked “book worm” cookies.

“Seward residents deserve a big pat on the back for sticking with this new facility during the nine years it took to plan, develop, fund and finish it,” says Keith Campbell, Chair of the building committee.  The $10.3 million, 16,300 square-foot facility provides the highest possible energy efficient standards, ADA compliant access for all patrons, and provides better preservation of Seward’s historical and cultural collections. Originally envisioned in 2002 as part of Seward’s 100th anniversary year celebration in 2012, the new facility will contribute to Seward’s quality of life and its economy; provide additional, flexible meeting spaces for community gatherings, events and small conferences, and more space for books and educational exhibits.

The Seward Community Library Museum is formally open for business on Monday, January 14th.

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Nancy White Carlstrom is featured author at new Library Museum Dedication Two presentations just for kids adds spice to love of literacy

Two presentations just for kids adds spice to love of literacy.

Local children are in for a treat as nationally-known children’s author Nancy White Carlstrom makes two presentations during the afternoon of the dedication of the new Seward Community Library Museum on Saturday January 12.

The author of over 50 books for children, White Carlstrom says she thought about being an author since she was a child. She worked in her town’s library, growing up in Pennsylvania, and went on to Wheaton College, where she majored in Elementary Education. She attended Harvard Extension School and Radcliffe for two years and taught school in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts for four years.

During summer breaks she taught in West Africa, the West Indies and in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Moving to Seattle, she owned The Secret Garden Children’s Bookstore until 1983, when her family moved to Interior Alaska for 18 years. All those experiences started coming together as the stuff her books would come from, but it wasn’t until she became a mother for the first time, and started singing to her son Jesse, that she wrote, Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? It was published on her son’s 2nd birthday and has since sold over a million copies. Kirkus Reviews describes it as “a bubbling verse that combines rhythm and rhyme to create a lovely sound…One is tempted to sing Carlstrom’s words aloud. She has a rich imagination…” Bruce Degan, of Magic School Bus fame, is the illustrator of the Jesse Bear series.

A second son, and living, teaching and traveling throughout Interior Alaska for 18 years inspired her writing even more. She will be making two presentations during the afternoon of the dedication.

Nancy White Carlstrom Saturday, January 12 Presentations

Seward Community Library Museum

2:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. “Singing with Jesse Bear” designed for preschooler to 1st grader
3:15 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. “Writing in Alaska: From Idea to Finished Book” designed for 2nd to 5th graders

Nancy White Carlstrom’s numerous awards include: the Editor’s Choice from Booklist in 1986; the Children’s Choice award from the International Reading Association/Children’s Book Council (IRA/CBC) in 1987; the American Booksellers Pick of the List and Notable Book from the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) in 1987; the Best Book of 1990 from Parents’ Magazine for Where Does the Night Hide?; a second Children’s Choice from the IRA/CBC and the Parents’ Choice award from Booklist in 1991; a Notable Book award from NCTE in 1991; a citation on the Best Books of the Year list from Publishers Weekly in 1992; a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators and Best Books from the Bulletin of Children’s Books; a Parents’ Choice Paperback in 1994; and the National Outdoor Book Award in 2001.

Her books for children include:

Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? New York: Macmillan, 1986.
Wild, Wild Sunflower Child Anna. New York: Macmillan, 1987.
Blow Me a Kiss, Miss Lily. New York: Harper & Row: 1990.
Where Does the Night Hide? New York: Macmillan, 1990.
Goodbye Geese. New York: Philomel, 1991.
Baby-O. Boston: Little, Brown, 1992.
Northern Lullaby. New York: Philomel, 1992.
The Snow Speaks. Boston: Little, Brown, 1992.
What a Scare, Jesse Bear! New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999.
Where is Christmas, Jesse Bear? New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000.
What Does the Sky Say? Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2001.
Climb the Family Tree, Jesse Bear! New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004.

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Happy Holidays!

Click the Holly for our newsletter!

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ASHRAB Awards Amy Carney and Lee Poleske Certificates of Excellence

Alaska, Announcement, Seward History, From  http://Sewardcitynews.com

October 17, 2012 10:35 am

State of Alaska Press Release

JUNEAU – On Oct. 10, the Alaska State Historical Records Advisory Board (ASHRAB) awarded Amy Carney and Lee Poleske archival Certificates of Excellence for their innovative Bits of History series of 5- to 7-minute historical videos covering all aspects of Seward, Alaska’s past. Carney is the Seward Community Library Museum Collections Coordinator, and Poleske is a local historian who has tirelessly volunteered to gather and share Seward’s history for all who care to listen.

Carney and Poleske used archival records including photographs, maps, newspapers, and 16mm archival video footage to produce 40 videos that are accessible on the Seward Library website and YouTube.  Topics covered include the first Moscow to New York flight in 1929 with a stopover in Seward, the story of the Alaska state flag created by 13-year old Benny Benson of the Jesse Lee Mission School in 1927, and the 1928 Mt. Marathon race.

The ASHRAB members noted that this collection of historical vignettes is local history at its best and that the medium chosen enables the older generation to communicate with and pass on the torch of history to its successors.

The ASHRAB, coordinated by the State Archivist, is a 9-member Governor-appointed state board. The ASHRAB believes that the collection and preservation of historical records, Alaska’s priceless legacy, are fundamental to understanding our past and guiding our future. This was the ASHRAB’s second award.

Bits of History click here to view their videos!

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Hard Hat Tour of Library Museum, Wed., Oct. 10

Note: Our 2nd public tour!

Construction is on time and within budget at this time with a turn over projected time of mid-November and the opening celebration to be set soon.  The inside progress is at a point that will allow guided tours.

If you would like to do a walk through ‘Hard Hat Tour’ of the Library Museum, we have 10 spaces available for this coming Wednesday evening, October 10rd, 5:45 meet up, 6:00 start.

Space is limit to eight persons, sign up is at the library.

Follow our progress at our website:  http://somethingforus.org

Seward Community Library Museum Building Committee (SCLMBC)

Siding up on building Oct 9, 2012

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Hard Hat Tour of Library Museum, Oct 3rd

Construction is on time and within budget at this time with a turn over projected time of mid-November and the opening celebration to be set soon.  The inside progress is at a point that will allow guided tours.

If you would like to do a walk through ‘Hard Hat Tour’ of the Library Museum, we have eight spaces available for this coming Wednesday evening, October 3rd, 5:45 meet up, 6:00 start.  Info and sign up sheet is available at the Library.

Space is limit to eight persons, we will give one more tour if ,we have the interest, later in October.

Seward Community Library Museum Building Committee (SCLMBC)

First Hard Hat Tour-Aug, 2012

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Sail Away Dinner Auction with Dana Stabenow

June 17, 2012

Our ‘Sail Away’ with Dana was fantastic!  We want to thank Dana, all the volunteers and businesses that donated to this event.  The weather was wonderful, the meal delicious and the company fun!

The event ticket and auction dollars were over $8000.  After our expenses, the monies will go toward our final items for the building project.   See more about our progress at our page above “About Construction.”

About our Event:

Come ‘Sail Away’ with us on Friday June 15 on a Resurrection Bay dinner cruise with special guest author Dana Stabenow!  Tickets are on sale now at the Seward Library or by calling 907.362.1225 with a credit card.  Limited number will be sold, get your tickets today…

Dinner, cruise on the bay, visiting with book lovers, silent auction with Alaska travel adventures.  Come have a great evening and support Alaska’s newest library!

Read more about Dana at her website, she’s excited to come to Seward.  We even have an auction item to have lunch with Dana the next day at Ray’s on the waterfront!

http://www.stabenow.com/2012/05/29/im-sailing-a-way

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Seward $500,000 capital campaign reaches library museum goal

Photo by: Heidi Zemach

The Seward Community Library Museum Building Committee fulfilled its pledge to raise a half-million dollars in their community when they delivered a check for $500,000 this week to Seward City Council members. Capping the successful two-year fund raising campaign named “Be Part of the Heart,” the check presentation put the final financial piece in place for the funding needed to complete the $10.4 million facility currently under construction. Building Committee members made the check presentation as part of the centennial celebration of Seward’s founding.  A Seward centennial committee identified a new library seven years ago as a fitting, 100-year tribute. Since that time, community volunteers worked hard to make the new library museum become a sparkling reality. The new facility will open this December.

Keith Campbell, chairman of the Building Committee, acknowledged the generosity of the Seward community as proof of the library’s popularity with the businesses and people in Seward. State funding and private endowments account for about 70 percent of the funding package needed for the project, while a city-wide general obligation bond and capital campaign provided the remaining 30 percent. “In terms of what the community will gain in services and civic pride, I think this new library is a deal. I expect our entire downtown area to experience a new flourish when it opens in December,” said Campbell. “That opening day is going to be a proud one for all of us.”

Reaching the promised fund-raising goal is just part of the picture, said Building Committee Co-Chair Mary Tougas. Their work is not complete. A gala fund-raising dinner cruise is scheduled for June 15, and proceeds from the cruise will fund some things that were originally cut from the original building budget, like a flagpole, landscaping and more. “Plus, we have some additional unfunded display needs in the Museum that would really enhance showing Seward’s history

“Our next focus is getting our entire community involved with the dedication ceremony inDecember,” said Tougas.

In Photo: Seward City Council members stand behind the presentation check for $500,000 that marks reaching the community-wide goal to complete funding for the new Seward Community Library Museum, slated to open this December.

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