ANCHORAGE, Alaska — After years in the works, Mountain View once again has a library to call its own. Residents of the Anchorage neighborhood packed the new library at Mountain View Drive and Bragaw Street Saturday as they celebrated its grand opening.
The Mountain View Branch Library shut down in 1988 because of budget cuts. In the years since, Clark Middle School served as a temporary library, but restoring the branch library has been a long-awaited project.
Rhani Kochergin loves to read, and with her library card the 8-year-old now holds the power to do so in her hands.
“I like the library because it has fun books and the books I like to read, like ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ and comics,” Kochergin said.
All around Kochergin, there are children who share her passion.
“It's my first time here -- I heard it's been open,” said 11-year-old Adam Demit. “I like to read a lot.”
Like many others, even after checking out Demit doesn't quite want to leave.
“We've been about 350 visitors every day,” said the library’s manager, Elizabeth Moreau.
The library has been open for three weeks, in which it’s issued more than 250 new library cards, but Saturday’s grand opening was a day of celebration.
“A lot of people say it was going to be very hard to do, and the community came together when I was mayor, put together a lot of community support, financial help -- and today we sit in a new library in a community that has just really changed,” said former Anchorage mayor Sen. Mark Begich.
The library holds special meaning for mother Deadra Browne, who grew up going to the Mountain View library before it shut down -- and brought her 3-year-old son to Saturday’s grand opening.
“It's nice that I can share something that I did as a child, and I had memories attached to,” Browne said. “He's going to have memories attached to the same place.”
The $4.1 million library includes a reading lounge for adults, a computer lab and a community room.
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