Monday, September 28, 2015

Getting ready for our move

 The Alaska State Library will join the Archives, Historical Collections, and Museum in the Kashevaroff State Library, Archives, and Museum next spring. Although our move is months away, it's never too early to start planning.
Father Andrew P. Kashevaroff State Library, Archives, and Museum during construction.
The exterior of SLAM is mostly complete. Crews are working on the interiors and on landscaping the courtyard now.

One of the first decisions we made was to split our staff into two main teams, one in charge of the collections, including the books, periodicals, microfilm, and maps, and one responsible for the offices, like the files, furniture, supplies, and other paraphernalia that make an office run smoothly. This division allows our small staff to focus on more manageable pieces of the move rather than needing to be involved in everything. It's a lesson we learned from the Alaska State Museum's move last summer.

We've also been working on de-cluttering our lives. That means going through old files, sending reams of paper to recycling, dumping broken equipment, and surplussing unnecessary furniture. Much of the furniture will move with us to the new building, but not everything. Since the work spaces in SLAM will conform to the Alaska space standards, we all need to consolidate our work areas. We're having a contest to find the oldest unnecessary paperwork in our files.
Although not the oldest we've found, this triplicate form for ILL statistics from 1992 did not make the cut to come over to SLAM with us.

The downsizing effort extends to our collections, which we've weeded extensively. For non-library folks, that means removing outdated or little-used materials from the library collection to make room for new stuff. We had held onto VHS and cassette collections but finally decided it was time to get rid of the non-Alaskan ones.

Since Murphy's Law is always in effect, we've had two big influxes to our library recently. The first is a large collection from the Department of Transportation library in Fairbanks. The DOT library consists of 22,500 items and was previously housed at Mather Library at University of Alaska Fairbanks. Although not everything will come here to the Alaska State Library, it is still a significant collection that will get integrated. The second is a reference collection from the Alaska State Museum. When the Museum closed last year, its reference collection was boxed up and put into storage. This collection consists of museology and Alaska history materials that will be particularly relevant to patrons of SLAM. We're excited to introduce both these collections in our new space.
Seventy-two boxes of books from the Alaska State Museum will get added to our collection prior to the move.
We'll keep you posted about the lessons we learn related to the move as it progresses. We're busy researching moving plans, picking supplies, and measuring our collections now.

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