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By Dan Rudy 

Former head librarian appointed to governor's council

 

Kay Jabusch

Wrangell's former head librarian recently received an appointment by Gov. Bill Walker to sit on his Advisory Council on Libraries.

Kay Jabusch will serve on the 12-person council through the end of 2016. She will help coordinate the state's five-year plan to implement the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) slated to take effect after the current one expires

in 2017. The LSTA provides over $150 million to state systems across the nation, with Alaska State Libraries receiving $2.4 million for the 2015 fiscal year.

"They have very specific objectives that they have gleaned from talking to the various libraries across the state," Jabusch explained of the council.

These funds are primarily distributed through sub-grants to public, academic and special libraries across the state, and the advisory council will identify areas where the funds would be put to best use.

With the goal of providing lifelong learning opportunities in mind, Jabusch explained this includes reviewing grant

applications and targeting for support programs and services that have a broad reach

across Alaska's diverse population.

The council's mission also involves brainstorming trends in emerging formats and how libraries provide content to their users. When Jabusch first started, Wrangell's library did not even have an electric typewriter. In the decades since-in part due to the opportunities presented by LSTA-funded initiatives-it has come to offer a variety of computers, e-books, and early literacy tablets for its patrons to use, connecting them to the wider world.

Retiring from Irene Ingle Public Library in January, Jabusch said she received a call from an acquaintance with the State Library earlier this summer who recommended she submit a resume for the council position.

"I didn't hesitate," Jabusch said. It took a bit of drafting-after 34 years with the library, she hasn't ever submitted a resume before-but she received a phone call late last month inviting her to sit on the council.

"I was thrilled," said Jabusch. Throughout her tenure as a librarian, she said the council had been a strong source of support for the community's branch. "I felt, 'Hey, this is an opportunity to assist other libraries.'"

This will not be her first time on the advisory council, having also been appointed in 1998. In addition to the benefit of her experience, Jabusch pointed out she will be bringing Wrangell's medium-sized perspective to the the council and the needs of users in the mid- to small-scale local libraries across the state.

Wrangell's library stands out for its size within the wider state system, she said, because it is not only well-used but also well supported by members of the community.

 

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