Libraries: Bastions of Real News


This year marked the Fairbanks North Star Borough Noel Wien Library’s 40th anniversary. The library, as a Fairbanks institution, goes much further back to a log cabin on 1st Ave. founded by the Episcopal Church. But the main building that currently serves as a library was opened four decades ago. And the librarian who helped spearhead the project returned to participate in the celebration.


The subtitle of this show is Alaska in Conversation. It reflects my belief in the power of earnest conversation to draw us closer as a community and to achieve greater understanding about the challenges before us.

As it happens, those beliefs are shared by William Schneider, Professor Emeritus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Bill, as he is known, is also responsible for starting Project Jukebox at UAF’s Elmer E. Rasmuson Library. The project continues the tradition of oral history you heard my first guest, Patsy Gavin, discuss. But it goes one step further by providing internet users access to many of the historical recordings.


This episode, I’ve been celebrating libraries as bastions of dependable information. That got katexic clippings’ Chris Lott thinking about branding.


And finally, as we draw towards the end of 2017 and the year’s final episode of the show, I wanted to share a subject we’ve debated in the KUAC newsroom. This year seemed to produce a bumper crop of anniversaries that organizations held up for celebration. So, I turned to KUAC’s Math Guy John Gimble.  John is actually a mathematics professor at UAF, and he has a way of making the numbers make sense. I asked him what was behind the confluence of anniversaries.

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