To provide access to government information; to collect, organize, preserve, and make available materials that document the history of the state; and to promote the development of libraries, archives and museums statewide.
- Provide access to the Alaska State Libraries, Archives and Museums programs and services.
- Promote educational opportunities for the development of Libraries, Archives and Museums statewide.
- Continue to collect and manage the care of objects and documents that represent the people and history of Alaska.
|Mission Results||Core Services|
|Mission Results||Core Services|
|Mission Results||Core Services|
|A: Result - Increase usage of Alaska State Libraries, Archives and Museums services and programs.|
|A1: Core Service - Provide access to the Alaska State Libraries, Archives and Museums programs and services.|
Target #1: Provide reference services at the Libraries, Archives and Museums.
Number of Reference Questions Answered
Analysis of results and challenges: Each section of the Division answers reference questions in its own way, but all provide an important resource for the public and researchers. The public primarily asks quick reference questions at the Library, while State employees ask the Library more technical or statutory questions pertinent to their job duties. Researchers or curators ask fewer, but more complex or technical questions at the Archives and Museums. Museum visitors have many questions about the objects in the exhibits. The Library Development unit answers reference questions from library staff statewide, just as Archives and Museum staff answer questions from local archives and museum staff. These questions primarily cover operational or training topics with these institutions. Questions arrive in person or by email, text, phone, fax, and mail.
The Division experienced an overall 1.4% decrease in the number of reference questions in FY2021. Division facilities were completely closed to the public from October 15 through December 31, 2020. During May through June 2021, no large cruise ships came to Alaska. Both COVID-19-related closures negatively impacted the number of Museum reference questions due to the loss of visitor queries. The Library responded to many more reference questions, which were easily accommodated, since reference service by phone and email has been standard procedure for librarians for more than two decades. The Archives received fewer in-depth research questions, possibly because it moved to appointment-only services due to staff vacancies. Staff at libraries, archives, and museums statewide had many questions about COVID-19 health pandemic closures that they directed to the consultants who work in the development units of the State Library, State Archives, and State Museum. Overall, since FY2008, reference within the Division has increased by 159%.
Target #2: Increase the number of patrons served and items circulated at the Talking Book Center.
Circulations Per Patron at Talking Book Center
Analysis of results and challenges: The Talking Book Center (TBC) is a partnership between the Library of Congress' National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) and the Alaska State Library. Serving the entire state, the TBC is responsible for library services for patrons who are visually impaired or physically handicapped to such an extent that they cannot read standard print materials.
Circulation includes digital audiobooks and large print books mailed to patrons statewide, as well as patron-initiated downloads of books, music, and magazines through the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) service. The TBC contracts with the Utah State Library to provide services for Alaskan users. This results in cost savings for Alaska, while providing a broader array of services to the patrons, since Utah is a much larger talking book service. The downside is that shipping is not quite as fast, so Alaska patrons tend to request more books to cover longer shipping times. Staff at the Alaska State Library process applications, manage the contract with Utah, and provide marketing and general assistance.
The COVID-19 health pandemic had little impact on the TBC. First, the Utah State Library did not close to the public, other than two days due to the earthquake that hit Salt Lake City. Second, since TBC services have always been offered remotely, staff at the Utah State Library simply continued with reference, reader's advisory, and circulation services as usual. Alaska State Library staff continued to review new applications and coordinate with the Utah State Library. These numbers indicate that the patrons who are being served by the Utah State Library are receiving excellent service since they are each borrowing many more items per person than the previous year. It is likely that COVID-19 also played a large part in this one-year surge in checkouts. Overall, since 2008, circulation per patron has increased 121.7%.
During FY2021, the TBC began executing a marketing plan to increase the number of Alaskans using these services. We contracted with Alaska Public Media to advertise the TBC on public radio, TV, and web, but it is too early to determine whether this campaign results in more patrons signing up for service. Staff continued doing outreach to organizations and individuals that work with this population, including the National Federation of the Blind of Alaska, support groups, and special education teachers and administrators.
Target #3: Increase the number of annual visitors to the Alaska State Museums.
Number of Visitors to Alaska State Museums
Analysis of results and challenges: The State Museums experienced an 84% decrease in the number of visitor admissions during FY2021. Academic programs and youth art activities were also negatively impacted due to COVID-19 closures and mitigations. The Museums were completely closed to the public from October 15 through December 31, 2020. During May through June 2021, no large cruise ships came to Alaska. Both COVID-19 closures severely impacted Museum visitors, programs, and activities during FY2021.
The COVID-19 health pandemic halted the upward trajectory of museum admissions occurring since FY2017 and the opening of the Father Andrew P. Kashevaroff building in Juneau. The summer 2021 tourism season featured no large cruise ships until mid-August and severely reduced numbers of cruise ships with limited numbers of passengers through mid-October 2021. Independent travelers did help a great deal, but their numbers could not totally replace the loss of admissions due to the crash of industrial cruise tourism. It may take three years or more for admission numbers to increase to FY2019 levels. The visitor count has decreased 84.2% since FY2008.
Target #4: Increase the number of Alaskana objects available online.
Alaskana Available Online
Analysis of results and challenges: Alaska-related materials on the Division website have steadily increased. The Guides to Alaska Collections describe the contents of a variety of collections held by the Division. The Alaska State Publications Program provides free, permanent public access to the materials produced by state agencies, regardless of format. Born-digital state documents are preserved on a library server. Often the State Library provides access to more agency periodical material than is available at the issuing agency website. Reference staff refer patrons to digital surrogates in the Alaska Digital Archives, rather than to the original item, thus preserving endangered, fragile materials.
Online museum exhibits, added in 2014, showcase contemporary Alaskan artwork and explore in-depth cultural or historical themes. Museum staff have placed a premium on making new online exhibits available to the public during the pandemic. From FY2008 to FY2021, a total of 23,203 more Alaskana items have been made accessible online, an average of 1,843 items each year. From FY2008 to FY2021, Alaskana items available online increased by 158.8%.
Target #5: Provide for public programming throughout Division facilities.
Attendance at Programs Held or Initiated at Division Facilities
Analysis of results and challenges: From the Father Andrew P. Kashevaroff (APK) Building in Juneau, the Division coordinates, sponsors, and hosts many in-person and broadcast educational events such as conferences, lectures, trainings, workshops, school group programs, and literary readings that meet the educational mission of the Division. Government agencies, private, and non-profit organizations also use Division facilities for meetings, conferences, kaizens, and receptions.
From FY2019 to FY2021, attendance at events declined 34.4%, another decrease that can be attributed to the 3-month COVID-19 health pandemic closure. Over the nine months the building was open, a monthly average of 775 people attended events at APK, down from a monthly average of 1,155 people during FY2020. The APK had become a popular meeting place in Juneau and has been hosting a growing number of virtual meetings with statewide impact. It may take a few years for these numbers to climb back to FY2019 levels.
Target #7: Increase usage of digital collections through downloads from Division web pages.
Number of Document Downloads from Division Pages
Analysis of results and challenges: This Document Download measure quantifies the shift the Division is experiencing from serving solely as a brick-and-mortar location housing physical materials to also serving as a repository of virtual Alaskana materials for Alaskans and people everywhere. Materials posted on Division web pages are accessible 24/7 without staff assistance and accessible to all Alaskans and all people with access to the World Wide Web. Document downloads are comparable to counts of physical items checked out. This is another measure that shows how the Division is meeting the goal of providing services to all Alaskans. This measure shows the total number of items downloaded from Division web pages, an average of 35,518 items each month during FY2021.
The Alaska State Library is a leader and major funder in statewide cooperative efforts to provide virtual library resources to all Alaskans. For example, the State Library is a member of the statewide Alaska Digital Library, through which people can download ebooks and audiobooks. During FY2021, people with a library card issued by the State Library downloaded 808 adult and juvenile ebooks and 508 adult and juvenile audiobooks.
The Statewide Library Electronic Doorway (SLED), established in 1996, is a prime example of this ongoing effort. Some resources on SLED provide statistics down to the library-level. The State Library is responsible for other ebook resources found on SLED. During FY2021, a total of 904 ebooks were downloaded from Sesame Street and 123,391 ebooks were downloaded from Tumblebooks. The Division of Innovation and Education Excellence funds Sesame Street and Tumblebooks, while State Library staff coordinates the contracts and posting of these ebook resources on SLED. Usage of Tumblebooks surged due to COVID-19 health pandemic, increasing from 59,214 in FY2020 to 123,391 in FY2021, a surge of 208.4%.
|B: Result - Increase capacity, skills and professional development for staff and management of Libraries, Archives and Museums.|
|B1: Core Service - Promote educational opportunities for the development of Libraries, Archives and Museums statewide.|
Target #1: Provide professional development and training events for Libraries, Archives and Museums staff statewide.
Number of Participants in Professional Development and Training Events
Analysis of results and challenges: As the State Library, State Archives, and State Museums, Division staff are charged with providing or coordinating training and professional development for their peers in local libraries, archives, and museums. Staff accomplish this using a variety of presentation methods: providing the actual training in-person at workshops or conferences or providing remote training on Zoom and other networks. Audioconferenced trainings have fallen by the wayside in favor of Zoom or Microsoft Teams events.
From FY2020 to FY2021, attendance at these training events declined 4.83%. This small decrease can be attributed to the fact that attendees may be experiencing Zoom fatigue after the surge in remote events that occurred during the first four months of the pandemic through June 2020. The other reason is that as staff returned to work in the State Library, Archives and Museums (LAM) facilities, their duties with collections took more precedence than their training duties had during the shutdown of LAM facilities.
|C: Result - Ensure state historical acquisitions and documents are preserved.|
|C1: Core Service - Continue to collect and manage the care of objects and documents that represent the people and history of Alaska.|
Target #1: Ensure state historical documents are preserved and available to the public.
Libraries, Archives and Museums Holdings
Analysis of results and challenges: This data set shows that the Division is providing ever-increasing access to Alaska materials. The State Library shares circulating and online materials, the Archives and Historical Library's materials are used in-house, and the Museum's collections are available for exhibition and research. Annual library acquisitions are relatively steady. Archives containers is the total holdings of the Archives, which includes cubic foot storage containers, recorders volumes, and microfilm reels. Museums objects increase slowly because acquisitions are often by donation and because of the high cost to purchase artifacts. Since FY2008, an average of 2,919 items are added to the Division's holdings annually. From FY2008 to FY2021, the holdings increased by 31.8%.
The large increase in FY2015 in Archives Containers is due to the 3,000 boxes of records that were received from the National Archives & Records Administration (NARA). NARA closed its Alaska facility and affirmed that these records (primarily from the Alaska Courts and Alaska Railroad) should most appropriately stay in Alaska and were transferred to the State Archives.
Current as of November 9, 2021