Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Make summer plans with SLAM

Summer is just around the corner and that means fishing, camping, hiking, and traveling, but we've also got 10 ideas for great things to do with SLAM this summer.

10. Join us for the Grand Opening of the Father Andrew P. Kashevaroff State Library, Archives, and Museum on June 6, 2016. This community celebration is an opportunity for us to welcome Juneauites and visitors to the new facility, and we can't wait to share it with you.

9. If you just can't wait for June 6 or are looking for some VIP treatment, then get your tickets for the Friends of the State Library, Archives, and Museum special preview on Saturday, June 4, 5:30-8:30. There will be live music, delicious hors d'ouevres, and a no host bar, and a rare opportunity to go behind the scenes. Tickets are $75 for Friends members and $100 for non-members. For more information, visit http://foslam.org/events. Tickets are on sale now from JAHC and both locations of Hearthside Books.
The construction fence came down this week, so people can enjoy walking through the grounds. The Friends special preview will be the first chance to get inside.

8. Participate in summer reading at your local library. If you have young children, help prevent summer slide by reading, learning, and creating with free activities at the library. If you're child-free, many public libraries are now offering adult summer reading programs, where you can win great prizes, join book groups, and expand your reading interests.

7. Take a tour of the new permanent exhibits in the Alaska State Museum, on your own or guided by one of the Museum's volunteer docents. All the exhibits have been completely re-imagined, updated, and expanded with the help of community curators from around the state. You'll find artifacts that you've never seen before, as well as familiar favorites, and make new connections across cultures.

6. Come dance your heart out at a Rock Around the Block Party! Every Friday from June 10 through August 26, there will be live music and dancing on our Pivot Plaza next to Nimbus, and delicious eats at the food trucks on the JACC lawn from 5:00 to 7:30 pm.
Image courtesy of the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council

5. Enjoy the summer's temporary show, "Living Alaska," a 10-year retrospective of contemporary artwork by Alaskan artists purchased by museums with funds from Rasmuson Foundation, on tour from the Anchorage Museum. Read the rave review in Alaska Dispatch News.

4. Research Alaskan history in the new, combined Historical Collections and Archives Research Center. For the first time, researchers can visit one location to delve into territorial records, historical photos, maps, and manuscripts.
Looking for information about the Iditarod? You can read telegrams from the Archives, look at photos from the Historical Collections, or browse a 1925 newspaper on microfilm.

3. Relax in the new Richard Foster Reading Room, where you can enjoy an unbeatable view, read an Alaskan newspaper or magazine, or study on your own. We'll have wi-fi, public computers, and plenty of outlets, where you can plug in, recharge, and relax.
One of the views from the Reading Room looks back on our old home in the State Office Building, but others look down the Channel, toward Mount Juneau, or over the Willoughby district.

2. Eat lunch in our atrium while observing the eagles in the new Eagle Tree exhibit, getting lost in Walter Gordinier's Glacial Ponding glasswork, or sitting on Martin Shelton's exquisite wood benches.

1. Brush up your Shakespeare during First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library. We are Alaska's host site for this national traveling exhibit, which will be on display from July 26 through August 24, and we'll have tons of great lectures, activities, and events for Shakespeare fans of all ages.
An original First Folio of Shakespeare's works, printed in 1623, will be on display for four weeks in our new building.

It's going to be a great summer! Hope to see you at SLAM.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

How to move a library: Books

The Alaska State Library is one of many Alaskan libraries that have moved to new digs in the past few years. To name a few, Sitka Public Library (formerly Kettleson), Cordova Library, Seward Community Library & Museum, Nome's Kegoayah Kozga Library, Talkeetna Library, and Juneau Public Library's Valley location all have new buildings.

We're fortunate that we're not moving very far. Our old and new locations are only a few blocks apart, but it's still too far to hand carry all the books or even for a book brigade, like this one used in Cordova. Video posted by Cordova Telephone Cooperative.


Every library move has different requirements and should use a moving method best suited to the collections, staff, and equipment of that library. Our collections move team, led by Public Services Librarian Katie Fearer, decided to move our book, periodical, and media collections on book carts. We already had more than 30 carts and were able to borrow six more from Juneau Public Libraries. The cart system allowed us to keep our materials on the shelves until the move actually started, which was important since we closed our doors on Friday, April 15, and started moving Monday, April 18.
Full, wrapped carts waiting to be loaded onto the truck for transport to the new building. Photo by Ginny Jacobs.

Our staff and volunteers were split into three teams, one unshelving in the old building, one shelving in the new building, and one managing the traffic flow, which meant directing movers, operating the freight elevators, and communicating between the teams. This arrangement allowed staff to do all of the handling of books and other collections. Two movers wrapped the carts with pallet wrap, pushed the full carts from the old library into the truck and from the truck to the new Reading Room.
State Librarian Linda Thibodeau and Library Assistant Ginny Jacobs unshelve books in the old building. Photo by Amy Carney.

We did have a few mishaps, which informed us how to fine-tune our systems. A couple of times the books fell off a cart in transit, which meant that they had to be carefully reordered before going on the shelf. One small cart had a catastrophic caster failure where the wheel cracked in half. Two brand new carts ended up with bent casters, which will need to be replaced before they can be safely used again. But overall, we were thrilled with how well the process worked and were able to move our collections in half the time we originally scheduled.
According to the manufacturer, casters may be damaged, like this one, when moved over door thresholds with under heavy loads. These casters will be replaced before being used in the Library.

We can't wait to show off our beautiful new Reading Room after the Father Andrew P. Kashevaroff State Library, Archives, and Museum opens on June 6. We hope to see you there, browsing an Alaskan newspaper, doing research from our microfilm, or just enjoying the view.
The view from our new home to our old one through one of many large windows in the Richard Foster Reading Room.

Finally, a huge thanks to Juneau Public Libraries for sharing their expertise, staff, and book carts with us! We're so lucky to have such a fantastic library community here in Juneau.