Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
ALASKA PENINSULA:Education Lending Library Now On-Line
Alaska Region, July 30, 2012
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Janet and Ralph Saczawa in front of the King Salmon Visitor Center lending library.
Janet and Ralph Saczawa in front of the King Salmon Visitor Center lending library. - Photo Credit: Melissa Martin and Ralph Saczawa

The multi-agency King Salmon Visitor Center has a large collection of educational materials available for teachers, but until this year, it has been searchable only in person. This summer, USFWS volunteer Janet Saczawa put the entire library on line.


The visitor center is a partnership between Alaska Peninsula and Becharof National Wildlife Refuges, Katmai National Park, Bristol Bay Borough, and Lake and Peninsula Borough. It is operated year-round by Refuge staff, supplemented in summer by a Park Service seasonal. Refuge employee Debi Tibbetts has maintained the library for years, but saw use declining as teachers in the region moved elsewhere and knowledge of the resource was not passed on.

Visitor Services Manager Julia Pinnix advertised for a librarian to reorganize the collection and put it into an on-line database. Janet Saczawa of Alabama learned about the opportunity when her husband Ralph paid a visit to King Salmon. Janet has been a teacher and librarian for 30 years. Now retired, she was eager to help.

Janet arrived June 1st, and by July 15th, had accomplished the daunting task. The collection is now on the website Library Thing: http://www.librarything.com/catalog/KingSalmonVC. When teachers arrive in August, flyers will be sent to every school in the region describing the library contents and how to search for materials. Orders for loans can be placed through the King Salmon Visitor Center.

Janet’s husband Ralph took his two weeks of annual vacation to join her in King Salmon. During his stay, he also volunteered. The two of them worked on digitizing part of the Refuge’s slide collection. The Refuge and its nonprofit partner, Alaska Geographic, recognized Janet for her outstanding work by giving her an award.

Contact Info: Julia Pinnix, 907-246-1211, Julia_Pinnix@fws.gov
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