Karen Crane is a person who believes in the power of education to change individuals and communities. That belief has guided her to be a strong supporter of education funding throughout her professional career and as a member of the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly. In fact, while on the Assembly she voted five times to fully fund the Juneau School District budget. Last year she supported full funding and an additional $995,000 for other services. She also has worked with other municipalities to convince the Legislature to increase the formula funding for districts throughout the state.
Karen, as director of Alaska State Libraries Archives and Museums, worked with all libraries in Juneau to develop the Capitol City Libraries, a collaborative effort that enhanced the services for everyone in Juneau but particularly for elementary and secondary students, as well as university students. As chancellor of UAS, I worked with Karen and the director of the University of Alaska Southeast Egan Library to develop a statewide library system that enables all Alaskans to utilize both public libraries and university libraries for interlibrary loans and the sharing of other materials and resources. This statewide system is in place and continues to serve all Alaskans.
The capital city also owes Karen a big thank you for our new building — the State Library Archives and Museum, or SLAM as it has become known. During her tenure as director of Alaska State Libraries Archives and Museums, she had a vision about building a single facility to house the State Library, the State Archives and the State Museum. She developed that vision collaborating with the many stakeholders and she acquired the additional property needed to build the facility. The SLAM will open this spring in time for our tourists (and all Alaskans) to enjoy this incredible educational facility.
As mayor of Juneau, we can count on Karen to continue her support for the Juneau School District and the University of Alaska Southeast. We also can count on her to take big ideas and collaborate with folks to develop them and to see them to completion. That is the Karen Crane I have worked with for many years.