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Starting A New Job in an Alaskan Library

Page history last edited by Sue Sherif 15 years, 3 months ago

Who can I ask for help?


  • The Library Development section of the Alaska State Library: We are consultants who specialize in public and school libraries and areas of library management, such as: E-Rate; grants; library governance and administration; organizational development; statistics; telecommunications; and youth services. If we cannot answer your question, we will help you find someone who can.
  • To contact the Alaska State Library: Anchorage offices: 1-800-776-6566 or Juneau offices: 1-888- 820-4525. Hours: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM Monday - Friday. For additional information, follow the link For Librarians
  • Library Science Professional Collection at the Alaska State Library: We purchase many practical books about library science, with holdings in both the Anchorage offices and in the general collection at the State Library in Juneau. You can check these titles out from the State Library. To look for these books, search the Capital City Libraries Catalog



What library organizations operate in Alaska?


  • Alaska Library Association (AkLA): A statewide membership organization that offers a conference, a listserve, a newsletter, a library directory, and opportunities to network with your Alaskan peers.
  • Association of Alaska School Librarians (AkASL): A membership organization that provides an electronic newsletter, support for the annual Battle of the Books campaign, and a way to meet and work with school librarians during the AkLA conference and year-round.
  • Pacific Northwest Library Association (PNLA): The oldest regional library membership organization that offers a conference, a listserve, a journal, a library job listing, and the chance to network with Canadian and Pacific Northwest colleagues.
  • Governor’s Advisory Commission on Libraries (GAC): A twelve-member commission that advises the Alaska State Library on its Federal Library Services and Technology Act plan and on the development and evaluation of library services in Alaska.



What publications are available so I can keep current on Alaska library news?


  • From AkLA: The best way to stay current on library events and news is the AkLA Listserve, which is open to members and non-members. Join the listserve. AkLA members also receive the quarterly newsletter Newspoke and the annual Alaska Library Directory. The AkLA Web page is another source of library information.
  • From AkASL: Learn about school library issues by reading Puffin, the electronic newsletter published three times a year on the AkASL Web page. School libraries and school library staff are listed in the Alaska Library Directory.
  • From PNLA: Check out the PNLA Web page for regional Events and Conferences, regional Continuing Education opportunities, and the Association’s journal, PNLA Quarterly.
  • From the Alaska State Library: The State Librarian publishes a weekly electronic newsletter for librarians, the Friday Bulletin, which is distributed on the AkLA listserve. You can also check the State Library’s Web page, with links to services, publications, and other information For Librarians.
  • For school and youth services librarians: Jacque Peterson, the coordinator for school services librarians at the State Library and Sue Sherif, head of Library Development, who covers public library youth services, provides a weekly electronic newsletter named SAYLMail. The newsletter includes grant information, training opportunities, programming ideas, and information about new Alaskana for young people. To subscribe, write Jacque at jacque.peterson@alaska.gov . 


What conferences and workshops should I know about?


  • Alaska Library Association (AkLA) Annual Conference: THE major conference for staff from all types of libraries Alaska. Usually, but not always, held the first weekend in March on a four-year rotation between Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, and a smaller community. Some travel grants are available. Registration packet with travel grant information mailed to AkLA members and posted on the AkLA Web page annually after Christmas.
  • Pacific Northwest Library Association (PNLA) Annual Conference: The other major conference for staff from libraries across five states and two Canadian provinces. Held annually in August in different locations throughout the region served by the Association. Registration packet mailed out PNLA members and posted on the PNLA Web page annually in early summer.
  • Institutes Provided by the Alaska State Library: Library Development staff organize and teach multi-day institutes for specific groups of librarians. Events in recent years include: Small Library Institute for Management (SLIM) for new public library directors, Small Library Institute for Continuing Education (SLICE) for public library directors with some experience, the School Librarian Boot Camp for new school library aides, and School Librarians Leadership Academy. 
  • Workshops on specific subjects: AkLA, AkASL and the State Library sponsor workshops on different subjects as needed. Join the AkLA listserve to learn about these opportunities. Notice of these events usually appear on the AkLA list and can also appear in the State Library’s electronic newsletter, Friday Bulletin. For regional events, scan links to Continuing Education and Events and Conferences on the PNLA Web page.



How do I find library jobs in Alaska?


  • PNLA Web page: An extensive listing of current library jobs in the Pacific Northwest, including Alaska, appears in the Jobs section of the PNLA Web page.
  • AkLA Web page: A shorter list of current library vacancies in Alaska appears on the AkLA Web page. Job openings are also announced periodically on the AkLA listserve.

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