Community editor and columnist Kris Capps is a longtime resident of Fairbanks and Denali Park. Contact her at, in the office at 459-7546 or by cell at 322-6334. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.

Noel Wien Library is 40 years old, so it’s time for a facelift. Library users can help determine what that facelift will look like.

The library is holding a special meeting entitled “Visioning Our Library’s Future” from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesday at the Noel Wien Library Auditorium.

Times and technology have changed since the library first opened it’s doors 40 years ago. The Noel Wien Library was built in 1977 and was expanded in 1997. The goal now is to create a user-focused modern library experience. To do that, the public is invited to provide their ideas for improvement and upgrading.

The meeting will be led by Martha Kyrillidou of Quality Metrics LLC and Carson Block of Carson Block Consulting. One is an expert in user-based library redesign and the other is a national leader in technological applications in libraries. The study is funded by the Fairbanks Library Foundation and the Library Commission.

“The true challenge of modern public libraries is to keep up multiple formats on which data is stored and accessed in order to meet the needs of our users,” said Melissa Harter, library director. “We are excited to begin the planning process of determining how better we can serve our community. To produce the best result, we plan to use public opinion, expert advice and staff expertise.

“This is, after all, Fairbanks’ library and this process will reflect that.”

For more information, call 459-1020 or email


Vote North Pole

A North Pole resident, moved by the kindness of strangers, nominated North Pole as The Nicest Place in Alaska, a national contest for Reader’s Digest Magazine. North Pole is now the Alaska finalist.

For the third year in a row one town has been selected from each state for this annual contest. It’s an attempt to uncover places where people are kind and treat each other with respect.

“In an era of unprecedented cultural and political divides, and ‘news-avoidance’ on the rise, ‘Nicest Places in America’ is Reader’s Digest’s response,” according to the press release.

The winner is selected by online voting, which ends July 21. The winning finalist will get a cover story in the November issue of Reader’s Digest magazine. Nine others will also be featured. Vote here:

Here is a heartwarming note from the Reader’s Digest Editor-in-Chief Bruce Kelly. “This year, we sifted through 1,000 stories of places where people stick together because of kindness and these are the best from each state,” he said. “In doing so, we learned something amazing, which is that no matter what’s going on in the news or social media, the truth is that there’s goodness all around us. We hope these stories lift spirits and inspire all of us to be better neighbors, friends and family.”

Here is the nomination, from Elizabeth Mogg of North Pole:

“I have two pit bulls that got loose a couple weeks ago. I had around 15 different people I’ve never meet get into their vehicles and drive around for hours, trying to help find my dogs. And I can’t even count how many people in North Pole stayed in touch until we found both of them.

“I have never seen so many strangers come to help find lost dogs before.”

Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at Call her at the office 459-7546. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.