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Aklavik's new library is alive with language

Philippe Morin
Northern News Services

Aklavik (Dec 04/06) - It's called 'story house,' 'Unipkaarvik' and also 'Edinehtl'eh zheh,' in English, Gwich'in and Inuvialuit.

Indeed, Aklavik's new library, which is scheduled to open next month, will have a sign that displays its names in three languages.

NNSL Photo/graphic

Terry Lynn Storr will be among those (quietly) working at Aklavik's new public library, which is scheduled to open next month. - photo courtesy of Ann Galway / Moose Kerr School

Ann Galway, who works with the library committee and Moose Kerr school, said the name was decided upon by community elders.

It will no doubt reflect the library's new collection, which she said will contain all manner of books in english and aboriginal languages.

"There's not that many people except perhaps some of the elders who read in those languages, but we will have some books (in Gwich'in and Inuvialuit)" she said.

Galway said staff were busy preparing the library and alphabetizing new books, in preparation for a grand opening next month.

"It's almost ready, and it's very exciting," she said.

Galway added the staff especially appreciated the new reading material, which will replace some of Moose Kerr's old volumes from the 1980s.

"It's all brand-new books purchased from library services in Hay River," she said.

But while the library will officially open in January, Galway said visitors might still see a few empty shelves here and there.

"Naturally, the collection will continue for the next couple of years, until the library is full," she said.