Juneau Public Libraries installed a new piece of public art outside the Mendenhall Valley Public Library titled “The Librarian” by Ohio-based steel sculptor James Havens on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. The 5-foot tall piece was donated by a local Juneau resident Fred Koken. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Juneau Public Libraries installed a new piece of public art outside the Mendenhall Valley Public Library titled “The Librarian” by Ohio-based steel sculptor James Havens on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. The 5-foot tall piece was donated by a local Juneau resident Fred Koken. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Valley Library displays ‘Librarian’ sculpture

Steel sculture was made by Ohio artist

People driving on Riverside Drive by the Mendenhall Valley Public Library will notice something shiny and new outside the library.

On Tuesday, the Juneau Public Libraries installed a new piece of public art outside the library, which depicts a person reading a book. The sculpture, entitled “The Librarian,” was donated to JPL by Juneau resident Fred Koken, according to a City and Borough of Juneau release.

“We’re fortunate to have so much public art around town and I’m grateful to Fred Koken for donating ‘The Librarian’ for display on the grounds of the Valley Library,” Library Director Robert Barr said in the release.

The statue was made by one of Koken’s longtime friends, Ohio-based steel sculptor James Havens. Koken and Havens were roommates at a boarding school in Northern India in 1954, and have remained close every since, according to the release. Havens’ art appears in Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon and Washington, D.C., as well as India and Nicaragua. He’s the founder of Havens Studio and Rose Foundry in Gibsonburg, Ohio.

The sculpture stands about five and a half feet tall and weighs 250 pounds, according to the release. People driving by the library can see it, but it’s also placed within view of library patrons seated near the hearth of the library indoors.

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