Anchorage is a military town, and Chugiak-Eagle River has a high concentration of military families.
With relocating every few years, it takes effort to find your bearings in a new place. Anchorage Public Library (http://www.anchoragelibrary.org) is here to help you out.
If you have kids, you may be interested in our youth programs. For the younger ones, we have Toddler Time (age 18 months to 3 years) and Storytime (age 3 to 5 years). Toddler Time is 20 minutes of songs, stories, and simple fingerplays. Storytime has longer stories and more complicated songs for the preschool set. Both programs introduce early literacy skills to help get kids ready for preschool and kindergarten, and they’re lots of fun as well. It’s also a great way to meet other parents who have kids the same age. At Chugiak-Eagle River Branch, Toddler Time is at 10:30 am Thursdays and Fridays; Storytime is at 11:30 am on Fridays. We occasionally offer a Spanish bilingual storytime, so please ask if you’re interested. On the last Thursday of the month, we have Build with Blocks for kids ages 18 months to 5 years.
STEM (Science/Technology/Engineering/Math) programs are also offered at the Chugiak-Eagle River Library. We have what we like to call STEM Wednesdays. On the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month during the school year, we have Science in the Library. A geologist/mom presents lessons, crafts, and activities on different natural history themes appropriate for kids age 5 to 8 years. On the alternate Wednesdays, we have LEGO building time! Both programs begin at 4 pm on Wednesday, and we encourage parents (or other adult caregivers) to join in the fun.
Sometimes, you’re looking for cheap and easy family entertainment, right?
Chugiak-Eagle River Library has a free family movie every Friday at 4 pm. All movies are rated G or PG, and we provide popcorn and Red Vines for our viewing patrons. It’s a nice way to decompress after the school week.
Speaking of school, we have many online educational resources for children and adults alike. With a library card—free and easy to get—you have access to so many things. At the APL website, you can find Live Homework Help (live online tutoring for kindergarten through college), Explora (health and education database geared toward grades 6-12), and World Book Encyclopedia online edition. We also have the Testing and Educational Resource Center to find colleges, career resources, resume building and test preparation materials. For more details on these, contact the library, browse the library website, or check out one of my previous articles in this publication.
Military spouses may be looking for jobs, and APL has tools for that, too.
Aside from resume building and job interview preparation resources, we have Alaska driving manuals in case you need a CDL, tips for getting inexpensive (or even free) interview clothing, and the Municipality of Anchorage food handlers test. If you need to brush up your office technology skills, Lynda.com has video tutorials on most office software as well as building management skills. Again, check with the library, and we’ll walk you through it.
If you’re planning to relocate to a new duty station overseas, you can hone your language skills with Duolingo or Mango Languages. These tools are available through the library website, and offer helpful lessons on many different world languages to ease your transition.
We realize that it isn’t always easy being in the military or part of a military family, and there are times when you need support. The Department of Health and Human Services has a Community Resource Coordinator stationed at Loussac Library in Midtown. She can meet privately and confidentially about your circumstances and your needs, and refer you to whatever appropriate community resources are available. There are also two interns who work with her, and one of them is a military spouse with a personal understanding of the demands placed on military families. One of the interns is located at the Mountain View Library, while the other is at Loussac Library.
Regardless of your needs, please know that the Anchorage Public Library is here to serve you in whatever way we can. Thank you for your service!
Chugiak-Eagle River Library Youth Programs:
Toddler Time Thursdays & Fridays 10:30 am
Storytime Fridays 11:30 am
Build with Blocks Last Thursday of the month 11 am
Science in the Library 2nd & 4th Wednesdays, 4-5 pm
LEGOs 1st & 3rd Wednesdays, 4-6 pm
Family Movie Every Friday 4-5:30 pm
Anchorage Public Library website: http://www.anchoragelibrary.org
Rebecca Barker, MSW
DHHS Community Resource Coordinator at Loussac Library
Monday-Friday 9 am – 6 pm