Nancy Bertels

Nancy's Photos

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Meet Nancy Bertels from Sutton, Alaska

Sutton, Alaska is located in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, which is one of 16 boroughs in Alaska. It’s not far from Wasilla, which is just outside Anchorage and the population of Sutton is 1,080. Nancy Bertels is the librarian at the Sutton Public Library.

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This library also serves as the community resource center so Nancy has requested $2,000 to purchase LEGOs for a new LEGO Club to be hosted by the library. The club, which will be open to children ages 6 and up accompanied by a parent or adult, will be a way to bring adults and children together for a fun, healthy, safe activity. Although the library’s currently collection of LEGOs is small and mismatched, local kids and their parents still get hours of enjoyment with them. Locals include American Indian and Alaska Natives.

“Especially important to us is the elementary aged boy population,” said Nancy. “We will begin the program with new LEGO sets to construct, and as we progress, we will migrate to a program that has the kids construct something according to a theme (i.e. “Monsters” for October, etc.). Kids will be asked to construct and present their project to the group with their adult partner! We will provide a space for them to display their work.”

Along with the new LEGOs, Nancy will be buying folding tables, stacking chairs & shipping, and totes for storage.

Diary Starts Here

August 12th, 2009
Nancy sent us an update... "We are just finishing up our summer reading program for the summer so I am trying to wrap up all the loose ends from that. Here are a couple of photos that show the furniture in use. The chairs finally arrived and while we haven't used them for LEGO club yet they were a life saver for our annual community potluck/picnic event - they have also been used for community council meetings. The tables in the LEGO club photo are also the ones you purchased. And I have included a photo of our Friendship Fence - from Alaska to you - since you now have friends in Sutton, Alaska!"

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May 1st, 2009
Nancy held her first LEGO Club event this week... In an email, Nancy wrote, "Here are some photos from our first LEGO Club gathering. We had 23 in attendance... parents and children, big kids helping little kids... lots of fun and cooperation. We are looking forward to next month already! Thank you."

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February 26th, 2009
Nancy has already sent us her order for the library!

February 25th, 2009
I called Nancy today to surprise her with the good news about her grant. She thought she was going to a meeting about other library business and was joined by Dan Keyes, the Manager of Recreation and Library Services at the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, along with Linda Brenner (Community Development Director) and Patti Sullivan (Public Affairs Director). I asked Nancy about LEGOs since I never had them growing up and she said their current mismatched set was donated by her brother who played with them as a young boy. I also asked about the library itself which Nancy says was an old fire hall. Nancy grew up in Anchorage and has three children, ages 18, 21, and 23. Her two older ones are currently studying at the University of Wyoming.

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02/25/09: Jenny wrote... "Nancy, I have visited Alaska twice and loved it (had reindeer sausage for breakfast!) and I’m happy to help you bring LEGOs to all the families in Sutton."

02/25/09: Damon wrote... "Congratulations, Nancy for helping kids stay active and be creative, as well as providing important family time."

02/27/09: Pat Moore wrote... "Wonderful! I very much enjoyed the Sutton Library while living nearby for a month and a half this winter. You're a great librarian, Nancy, and I am so glad you've received this award to help provide your young patrons an even better library experience."

03/02/09: T.O.B. wrote... "What a cool librarian you are Nancy! LEGOs are a great way for kids to develop their skills. And, fun for adults too!"