Kenai Library

Kenai Community Library

Kids can dig into a good book and a good meal a little longer at the Kenai Community Library.

The library has been distributing lunches since June 1, through a partnership with the Food Bank of Alaska. Anyone 18 and under, or parents of kids, can stop by the library from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and pick up lunch to go or call from the drive-through and someone will bring lunch out to the vehicle.

The program was set to end today but James Adcox, children’s librarian, says it’s been extended until Aug. 21, the last weekday before school starts.

“We asked the Food Bank of Alaska to get permission to do that and they approved that, just to fill a community need. And we felt like the need was there and the need is still there to do it as long as we can until school starts,” Adcox said.

Adcox doesn’t have numbers for August yet but says the library provided lunch to over 350 kids in June and July. And not just PB and J.

“In every meal pack there is a milk and then there’s always some protein and an additional dairy product,” Adcox said. “They had chicken bites and there’s a beef jerky one. There’s a cheese stick with a beef stick. And then there’s always sunflower seeds and some additional, like applesauce. There’s a chicken salad spread with crackers, so a variety of different meals. I think we had 14 different meals that we were distributing.”

Kenai Community Library

It’s been a long time since libraries were only about providing reading material, so when they shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic, it wasn’t just books that patrons were missing. As the weeks have passed, the Kenai and Soldotna libraries have figured out ways to still offer much of what they did before.

“You know, I was looking at our calendar and I was really surprised and impressed. I was kind of comparing it to where we were a year ago and we have the same number of programs every week as we just normally would, maybe even more,” said Rachel Nash, director of the Soldotna Library.

Programming at the Kenai and Soldotna libraries has moved online. Storytime for kids, Lego building challenges, DIY projects for all ages, art classes, science lessons and more learning experiences are offered on the libraries’ Facebook pages and websites. Creating that content has been a learning experience for librarians.  

“I think the major adjustment has just been getting to learn each of the different technologies we’re using and kind of figuring out what works better for people,” Nash said. “… And, of course, there’s always technical issues — did you push the right button, what does that button do? I think what everybody’s going through right now.”

Kids earn laughs at library's first comedy showcase

Nov 11, 2019


There was no two drink minimum at the Kenai Library Thursday afternoon, but there were plenty of laughs. The library hosted its first comedy workshop and showcase for kids. Children's librarian James Adcox, in addition to his emcee duties, also ran the two-day workshop.



Kenai Conversation: NASA Astronaut Rex Walheim

Aug 9, 2019

All summer, libraries around the state have focused their seasonal reading programs on the skies above, using space and science to spark imaginations. As part of those programs, retired NASA astronaut Rex Walheim was on the Kenai Peninsula last week to share his unique perspective and he took some time to sit down for this week's episode of the Kenai Conversation.

Governor vetoes variety of local capital projects

Aug 9, 2019

        Governor Mike Dunleavey’s office released the latest round of vetoes to the state budget yesterday (Thursday) afternoon, and several local projects got the ax.

Safety and security projects at the Sterling Area Senior Citizens Center to the tune of $42,800 was cut. The explanation given was that “The State's fiscal reality dictates a reduction in expenditures across all agencies.” It was the stated reason for most of the vetoes.

Dunleavy also vetoed $15,000 to earthquake proof the library shelving in the children’s reading room at the Kenai City Library.