Since being a party-pooper is part of a columnist’s job description, let me be among
the first to say that opening a daycare center for the homeless in the guise of a branch library could be a terrible idea.
The library supposedly is intended to help rejuvenate Anchorage’s city center. It would be built using a trust fund currently valued at $7.8 million which was established by Janet Goetz and her husband, John, long-time residents of Second Avenue. Janet died in 2010, John in 2001. The Anchorage Library Foundation also has $2 million set aside for the project.
It sounds like a wonderful idea and resulted in part from the fact that Janet Goetz never got over the fact that the main library closed in 1986 and moved to Midtown. For many years she walked the two blocks from her house on Second Avenue to the old library at Fourth Avenue and F Street. She was a voracious reader and loved having a treasure trove of books so close to her home. She hated the new Loussac Library in Midtown, which then had a huge outdoor staircase and large parking lot, totally unlike the old facility near her little house.