Challenge Programs: Challenge Grants

Period of Performance

6/1/2003 - 1/31/2008

Funding Totals (matching)

$400,000.00 (approved)
$400,000.00 (offered)
$400,000.00 (awarded)

Homer Public Library

FAIN: CH-50085-05

City of Homer (Homer, AK 99603)
Helen K. Hill (Project Director: November 2003 to November 2008)

Construction of a new public library to serve residents of Alaska's southern Kenai Peninsula.

The City of Homer, in cooperation with the Homer library Advisory Board and Friends of the Homer Public Library, requests support to help build a new public library to serve residents of Alaska's southern Kenai Peninsula. The City pledges to raise $1.2 million from non-federal sources as match for a $400,000 challenge grant from NEH. Homer's 3,500 square-foot library, built in 1979, is much too small to adequately serve the 11,000 residents of the southern peninsula - a population which continues to grow. In a community which prides itself on appreciation of arts and culture, Homer's library is unable to provide the level of humanities resources and programming that would be possible in a larger library. With the completion of a space needs study completed in 2000, the City of Homer determined that a library of approximately 17,000 square feet is needed to serve area residents for the next 20 years. With more space, the library will be able to expand its collection by an estimated 34%, including 9,800 additional items in the humanities (86% of total). The new library will include a separate Children's Room and Alaskana Room, and will offer space for book group meetings and community presentations in the humanities. Collaboration with the local Pratt Museum, Kachemak Bay College, and Islands and Ocean Visitor Center is planned to provide regular programming in the humanities, including Native history and culture. The new library will be built to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and will also be the first public building in Homer constructed with "one percent for the arts" enhancements. A site and architect have been chosen. The building is scheduled for completion in August 2006. The New Library Project capital campaign has raised $1.3 million toward a $5.7 million goal. An NEH challenge grant will greatly assist in efforts to raise additional funds.