Tuesday, December 29, 2015

What we did in 2015

The front doors of the State Library with a talking bubble "Still open! NOT closed! (yet)"
The Library's State Office Building location will be open through the spring. We will move the collection after we get occupancy in A.P. Kashevaroff State Library, Archives, and Museum.

Despite unfounded rumors that the Alaska State Library is closed, 2015 has been a very busy year for us. Here's a look at our year in review.

We answered 34,000 requests for information. These requests came from near and far: legislators looking for information to shape their decisions, authors wanting historic photos for their books, and children needing Alaska facts for their school reports. We also provided 15,000 full-text journal articles to state employees, helped people from around the world find genealogical information about their Alaskan ancestors, and showed people how to use their smartphones.

We hosted 58 programs and events that encourage lifelong learning for Alaskans. These included webinars on using e-books, leading effective meetings, and copyright, First Friday art openings, French language practice groups, lunchtime lectures, and opportunities to explore resources like Ancestry and Listen Alaska+. Although we've suspended most programs to prepare for our impending move, we're cooking up ideas for fun events in the Andrew P. Kashevaroff State Library, Archives, and Museum.
We exhibited artwork from the children's book Mary's Wild Winter Feast by local author Hannah Lindoff and illustrators Clarissa Rizal and Nobu Koch in February and March.

Through our interlibrary loan program, we provided library patrons with nearly 1,000 articles, books, and other materials not held by our consortium from libraries in all 50 states, Canada, and Europe. We shared our unique materials with libraries around the world, fulfilling nearly 500 requests. We also bid farewell to a longtime friend, Becky Orford, who retired in April. She had been the queen of interlibrary loan for many years and was a master at fulfilling even the most obscure requests.
Interlibrary Loan maven Becky, shown with one of her favorite books, The Complete Works of Shakespeare, retired in April of this year.

We provided 5,500 internet sessions to Juneau patrons, tourists, and researchers, many of whom have no personal internet service and rely on the library to access government information, news, email, and social networks.

We celebrated milestones with our community partners, including the opening of the Walter Soboleff Center, the opening of the Mendenhall Valley Public Library, and the 25th birthday of the Egan Library at University of Alaska Southeast. We also cheered for Craig Public Library's National Medal win, as well as the many other honors received by Alaskan libraries this year.
Dancers perform in front of the Walter Soboleff building.
The spectacular grand opening of the Walter Soboleff Center inspired and excited us about our own opening next spring.

We prepared to move to our new home. The building we've affectionately called SLAM received an official and apropos name, the Father Andrew P. Kashevaroff State Library, Archives, and Museum, and at the library, we've been weeding, measuring, and packing our collections to prepare for the move.
Governor Walker signs SB 63, which officially named our new building the Father Andrew P. Kashevaroff State Library, Archives, and Museum, with the Richard Foster Reading Room.
Library staff admire the progress on the Richard Foster Reading Room during a site tour in November.

Thanks to all of our patrons and friends for making this a great year! Happy New Year from all of us at the Alaska State Library.

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