History

From 1928 to now...

The first Haines Public Library was started by the Haines Women's Club. It was located in a 12' X 12' building at the Alaska Steamship Office. Later, on May 22, 1931, the Haines Women's Club incorporated under the title of "The Haines Library Association" and purchased a 12' X 25' frame house on Main Street. This building is now at the Chilkoot Cultural Camp. By 1957 it was time to expand once again. The Haines Women's Club purchased land and with the help of many volunteers built a new library, opening officially in August 1958.

The Haines Borough accepted responsibility for the operation of the library as part of the educational system of the valley in the early 1970's. Two additions, funded by grants through the Alaska Department of Education, Division of Libraries and Museums, were built in 1979 and in 1987. This building now houses the Haines Borough’s administrative offices.

In 1996 the Library Board, staff, Friends of the Library and community volunteers began grassroots fundraising to raise funds for a new library facility that would meet the expanding needs and interests of the community. Voters supported a revenue bond in an advisory vote in 1998. Major grants from USDA Rural Development, the Denali Commission, Rasmuson Foundation, Murdock Charitable Trust and Paul G. Allen Foundations were received. These grants, along with generous donations from corporations, local businesses, and many individuals provided the $2.5 million needed for the project. These donors shared the vision that a new library would improve the quality of life in the community and were instrumental in the successful fundraising campaign.

The new building, designed by Juneau architectural firm Minch Ritter Voelkers, was completed in January 2003. A groundbreaking celebration was held on April 14, 2002 and the Grand Opening was held on January 28, 2003.