Kay Shelton, Alaska State Librarian and Director of the Alaska Division of Libraries, Archives, and Museum from 2005 – 2008, passed away at her home in Juneau last week following a long illness. Kay graduated from Randolph-Macon Women’s college in Lynchburg, VA and earned an MS in Library Science from Simmons College in Boston and an MA in American Studies from the University of Minnesota. She did non-degree work at a variety of institutions, including the National Archives in Washington DC; in addition to her library credentials, she was a certified archivist.
Kay’s early library work was at the Minneapolis Public Library and at Carleton College’s Library. While at Carleton, she met and married Jev. In 1970 they came to Alaska, like many others, just for a couple of years of adventure. Like many others, they stayed and here they raised three children, Kirsten, Martin and Ole. Jev became a commercial fisherman and fishermen’s advocate and Kay pursued her library career.
Kay began her Alaskan library service in 1970 as Head Librarian at the University of Alaska Juneau, then set up the Department of Environmental Conservation Library with the Alaska State Library, was a reference librarian for Legislative Affairs Agency, an archivist at the Alaska State Archives and Head Librarian of the Information Services section of the Alaska State Library. In 1987 she became Head of Historical Collections for the Alaska State Library and held that position until 2005. Kay served as State Librarian and Division Director from 2005 to 2008. Kay had an active retirement, enjoying her family, traveling, and finally finding time to remodel her kitchen in the family home overlooking Gastineau Channel.
Announcement of her celebration of life is forthcoming. Condolences can be sent to the family at 1670 Evergreen Avenue, Juneau, AK 99801. An organization and address for donations in Kay’s name may be forthcoming.