- Associated Press - Saturday, May 7, 2016

BETHEL, Alaska (AP) - Bethel’s only library will be closed for at least three months as the Kuskokwim University Campus facility undergoes renovations.

Members of the public who use the library’s computers and other resources will have to go elsewhere for the summer, KYUK-AM reported (http://bit.ly/1WffSxa).

Library technician Teresa Quiner said the closure will be hard on many members of the community who rely on the library for computers and Wi-Fi.

“People do all of their business related things on the public computers. They apply for jobs. They check their email. A lot of people stay in touch with their family through Facebook. People fill out their PFD applications here. They do their taxes here,” Quiner said.

The closure is for much needed upgrades including a wall to separate the library from the rest of the facility in which it is housed, a new paint job, new carpet and a bathroom that won’t be shared with the rest of the building, she said.

“It’s a big space to monitor when there’s only one or two people on staff. So when there have been incidents in the back hallway or in the bathroom, it’s not super safe for staff to be monitoring that and also trying to keep an eye on what’s going on down at the library,” Quiner said.

The YK Delta Job Center in Bethel will help fill the void left by the library. People can use the Job Center’s computers to apply for jobs or fill out PFD forms. Youth programs will be run by the 4-H Youth Center over the summer, with clubs and book exchanges available starting later this month.

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Information from: KYUK-AM, http://www.kyuk.org

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