Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Holiday Closure: Martin Luther King, Jr Day

  • All Division facilities will be closed on Monday 1/18/21.

Governor's Advisory Council on Libraries

Introduction

This plan is prepared in accordance with the Library Services and Technology Act of 1996, as re-authorized in 2003 and 2010 and codified at 20 U.S.C. § 9121 – 9151 (1-9). Its purpose is to comply with 20 U.S.C. 9134 and to show how funds under the Act will be used to advance library services in Alaska for the period October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2022.

The goals in this plan were developed in accordance with the purposes of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA):

  1. Expand services for learning and access to information and educational resources in a variety of formats, in all types of libraries, for individuals of all ages in order to support such individuals’ needs for education, lifelong learning, workforce development, and digital literacy skills;
  2. Establish or enhance electronic and other linkages and improve coordination among and between libraries and entities for the purpose of improving the quality of and access to library and information services;
  3. Provide training and professional development, including continuing education, to enhance the skills of the current library workforce and leadership, and advance the delivery of library and information services, and enhance efforts to recruit future professionals to the field of library and information services;
  4. Develop public and private partnerships with other agencies and community-based organizations;
  5. Target library services to individuals of diverse geographic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds, to individuals with disabilities, and to individuals with limited functional literacy or information skills;
  6. Target library and information services to persons having difficulty using a library and to underserved urban and rural communities, including children (from birth through age 17) from families with incomes below the poverty line; and
  7. Develop library services that provide all users access to information through local, state, regional, national, and international collaborations and networks;
  8. Carry out other activities consistent with the purposes set forth in Section 9121, as described in the State Library’s plan.

Structure and Mission

The Alaska State Library is located in the Division of Libraries, Archives, and Museums, which is part of the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. It is designated as Alaska’s State Library Administrative Agency (SLAA) for the receipt of federal LSTA funds administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

The mission of the Alaska State Library is to:

  • promote and coordinate library services to the community of Alaskan libraries,
  • serve as the primary research library for state government, and
  • collect, preserve, and make accessible Alaska-related materials.

The Library Development unit of the State Library cooperates with the State Librarian and the Governor’s Advisory Council on Libraries to develop, execute, evaluate, and provide leadership for Alaska’s LSTA program. Library Development staff provide leadership, assistance, and expertise to Alaska’s libraries to support a cooperative network of strong and vibrant libraries that serve Alaska’s educational and cultural needs.

LSTA funds assist the State Library in addressing the first and third goals of its mission statement. The State Library uses LSTA funds to directly support statewide initiatives and services and distributes these funds through sub-grants to academic, public, school, and special libraries and library cooperatives.

Needs Assessment

In preparation for writing this current plan, the Alaska State Library initiated a needs assessment process that consisted of these tasks:

  1. In February 2017, the Alaska State Library contracted with Strategic Performance Systems of Greensboro, North Carolina to research, analyze, and produce: Alaska 2013-2017 Library Services and Technology Act Evaluation Report. The evaluation was submitted to the Institute of Museum and Library Services and shared with the Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) on April 28, 2017.
  2. The evaluation employed both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Qualitative methods included gathering state program reports; conducting interviews with the State Librarian and LSTA Administrator; facilitating focus groups with State Library staff, the Governor’s Advisory Committee, Alaska librarians and library patrons; creating online surveys for staff, librarians and patrons; and conducting library site visits. Quantitative analysis included frequencies, percentages, sums and means when analyzing state program report data and survey responses. The evaluator also analyzed Alaska’s public library statistics over a 10-year period. The contractor noted high levels of satisfaction amongst staff and librarians with Alaska’s LSTA Program. The evaluation report recommended that Alaska State Library staff:
    1. Continue to focus on State Plan Goals 1 and 2, which were successfully achieved;
    2. Prioritize and publicize State Plan Goal 3, which was only partially achieved;
    3. Annually review recurring projects to ensure high return-on-investment (ROI);
    4. Prioritize support of school librarians and school libraries to support all literacies;
    5. Evaluate and possibly refine grant application processes, including development of minigrants;
    6. Develop a logic model to monitor grants awarded over the next five years; and
    7. Develop a more rigorous Outcome-Based Evaluation (OBE) process for training grants.
  3. Library Development prepared a review and analysis of the grants awarded and services undertaken for each activity in the 2013-2017 state plan for the GAC to review during their January 2017 meeting. This review included grants and services funded with federal (IMLS) and state grant funds. The GAC members then brainstormed future library trends.
  4. At the February meeting of the GAC, Library Development presented an analysis of the Statistical Profile of Alaska’s Public Libraries FY1990 - FY2015, a 1-page school library fact sheet and a 2-page snapshot of Alaska’s changing demographics. After an exhaustive review of the three state plan goals for 2013 - 2017, the GAC members voted to keep the goals as written for 2018 - 2022.
  5. At the 2017 Alaska Library Association library conference in Ketchikan, Patience Frederiksen, the Alaska State Librarian, asked conference attendees to participate in the State Plan planning process by completing a single-page survey. Attendees listed the activities they thought should be funded under each of the three state plan goals. Forty-four attendees representing 27 zip codes submitted 249 activities they thought should be funded under the new state plan.
  6. From March through May 2017, Library Development populated Collective Innovations, an online idea platform, with the three goals and 70 proposed activities collected from the completed surveys. In order to gather public input, Library Development publicized the Collective Innovations webpage on listservs, email lists and social media. Thirty-two users registered with Collective Innovations and cast 313 votes in support of desired activities.
  7. In March 2017, a brief survey was distributed to a random sampling of 500 Alaskans. A total of 232 surveys were returned to the State Library. Another longer survey, which was created specifically for State Library staff and librarians statewide, generated 42 responses.
  8. During March and April 2017, the Governor’s Advisory Council and Library Development worked in three subcommittees to review and revise the current objectives and activities that would be pursued under each of the three major goals. In May, Library Development rewrote the narrative portions of the state plan. The GAC and the public reviewed and commented on the new state plan during June 2017.
  9. The Governor’s Advisory Council meets annually to review the grants and services funded with LSTA, state, and private funds under each state plan goal and to make recommendations to the State Library for revisions to the state plan and Alaska’s LSTA program. The Council consists of 12 members: 7 members appointed by the Governor, 4 members nominated by the Alaska Library Association to represent each type of library (academic, public, school, and special), the immediate past-president of the Association, and the state librarian in an ex officio capacity. Members broadly represent the library profession, library users, and the economically and culturally disadvantaged. At least 4 council members represent the public and library users.

Goals - Background Discussion

This state plan builds on the progress made in the past five years by continuing to focus on three major goals of equal importance that embody the aspirations of the Alaska library community and its users and encompass current and future service objectives and activities. The State Library will manage activities and award grants to advance each of the goals over each of the five years covered by this state plan. Library staff will pay particular attention to advancing goal 3.

The State Library distributes most of its LSTA funds to Alaska libraries as grants, rather than using the funds to support its own operating costs. Consequently the State Library relies on sub-grantees to collect end user outcomes and, therefore, has a responsibility to provide sub-grantees with OBE training and resources so they may successfully do so.

The goals and activities listed in this state plan include a wide variety of options addressing LSTA purposes and Alaskan needs. This allows libraries around the state to apply for grant funding for projects that fit within their communities’ needs and priorities. The State Library is aware that grant applications addressing all activities listed in this plan may not be forthcoming. Therefore, the State Library will proactively inform libraries of the state plan’s goals and activities, and develop and offer mini-grants targeting specific state plan activities.

Since the exact nature of potential grant applications is unknown, it is difficult to set measurable targets. Evaluation indicators have been developed for each activity. Information on the total number of survey respondents will be collected. As sub-grantee staff develop projects to address the needs in their communities, there will be outcomes that are not included in this plan. These unanticipated outcomes will be solicited and noted in the next five-year evaluation report.

Two broad customer groups for the LSTA-funded services and grants of the Alaska State Library have been identified. They are libraries and their staff and the citizens and library users of Alaska. The goals for the Alaska State Plan for 2018 – 2022 are:

  • Goal 1: Alaska libraries will support lifelong learning opportunities for all Alaskans. (Corresponds to LSTA purposes 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6, as shown on page 3 of this state plan)
  • Goal 2: Libraries will provide access to content and materials in various formats for all Alaskans. (Corresponds to LSTA purposes 1, 2, 4, and 7)
  • Goal 3: Alaskan libraries will explore evolving roles as anchor institutions that benefit their communities. (Corresponds to LSTA purposes 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7)

The goals of the state plan have been streamlined into a few major areas and the number of activities has been reduced, as recommended by the contractor in his five-year evaluation.

Each goal is introduced with a short background discussion. The activities under each goal are followed by evaluation targets.

Since the Alaska State Plan is based primarily on grants, no timeline has been developed to emphasize any goal over specific years from 2018 through 2022. Grant applications will be encouraged over all five years of the new state plan.

Information on targets and indicators will be gathered using the OBE for Library Programs survey model provided by the Alaska State Library to libraries that have been awarded grant funds. When appropriate, long-term outcomes will be measured for ongoing programs, to be supplemented with pertinent online surveys.

All of Alaska’s LSTA funds will be awarded to:

  • libraries and cooperatives that provide statewide services to other libraries;
  • libraries of all types and cooperatives for competitive grants that meet the goals, objectives, and activities in this state plan;
  • libraries to reimburse continuing education grants awarded to library staff; and
  • will be managed by State Library staff for initiatives that target a specific segment of the Alaska library community and their users.

The match and maintenance of effort required under LSTA is funded with Alaska state operating funds used for Library Development staff and with those Alaska state grant funds awarded to projects that meet LSTA goals. LSTA funds will be used to administer the LSTA program in accordance with IMLS and LSTA guidelines.

Goal 1: Alaska libraries will support lifelong learning opportunities for all Alaskans.

Lifelong learning and inclusion of diverse populations continue to be two long-held values of libraries in Alaska. This goal reflects many of the traditional activities of libraries and the role libraries play in supporting early literacy, formal educational pursuits and self-directed learning.

Libraries can provide lifelong learning services and programs that meet the needs and expectations of individuals of all ages, individuals from diverse cultural or socioeconomic backgrounds, and those with special needs. Through this work, libraries can help address several of the persistent and detrimental inequalities that exist in Alaska, including inequalities in access to quality healthcare, educational opportunities, income inequality and dependable and affordable broadband.

We continue to recognize the importance of creating libraries that are tailored to each community of users and that users will have different and varied needs for library services as they traverse their life spans. We will continue to advance the idea from our last state plan that “libraries are publicly supported and therefore should provide support for all members of the public, not just those in the majority.”

A snapshot of Alaska’s current demographics shows the richness and diversity of Alaska’s population of 739,828:

  • Alaska has a diverse and evolving population, with the majority of residents arriving as migrants. Only 41% of Alaska residents were born in the state.
  • Alaska’s population continues to be younger than the national average, with a median age of 34.5 compared to 37.6. The number of Alaskans aged 55 to 64 has grown sharply in the past five years and comprises 13% of the population.
  • Almost 10.3% of Alaskans live below the poverty level, with some communities’ residents living primarily on a subsistence, low- or no-cash basis.
  • 92.1% are high school graduates and 28% have earned a Bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • Almost 15% of Alaskans are Alaska Native, 7% report ancestry of two or more races, and 1.3% are Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.
  • 67% of the population is described as White, 4% Black or African American, 6% Asian, and 7% Hispanic or Latino.
  • 16,552 Alaskans from age 18-64 are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • The American Foundation for the Blind estimates that 15,372 Alaskans experience blindness or vision loss.
  • A total of 13,317 Alaskans are considered developmentally disabled.

Wide-ranging literacy and educational support are activities that the public views as key library roles. Not only are new technologies, social media platforms and mobile devices changing how teachers teach and students learn, they are creating new forms of literacy. The accelerated rate of technological change is leaving some segments of the population behind as the skills and competencies required for meaningful work are in a state of continuous change.

The mission of school and academic libraries is to ensure that students are effective and discerning users of information, empowered critical thinkers and ethical users of information, but public libraries are linked through partnership and practice with these efforts as well. Public libraries offer students support for their formal educational pursuits, but also are key community institutions in serving preschoolers before they enter school and teens and adults after graduation. Community libraries often are the school libraries for homeschoolers and prime resources for self-educating adults.

A special challenge in Alaska is how to serve a population that is flung across a huge and challenging landscape. With 80% of Alaska communities off the road system, our state faces challenges of service delivery for libraries that other areas of the country do not know.

This dispersion of population and the fact that no institution of higher learning in Alaska currently offers paraprofessional or professional training in library services means our state plan must include a heavy emphasis on training for the people who provide Alaska with its library services.

Objective

Alaska libraries will target lifelong learning services and programs that include individuals of all ages, of diverse geographic, cultural, or socioeconomic backgrounds, with special needs, and other underserved populations.

Activity 1.1: Assist libraries in determining and meeting the needs of people of all ages, who are disabled, or who have special needs.
Evaluation Talking Book Service patrons will report they experienced a change in knowledge, skills, attitude, behavior, or life condition.
Measuring Success focal area Information access
Activity 1.2: Support improved library service and accessibility to cultural and historical programs for and about Alaska Natives and Alaska Native culture.
Evaluation Count number of new or expanded programs for and about Alaska Natives and their culture.
Measuring Success focal area Information access
Activity 1.3: Assist libraries in determining and meeting the needs of people from various cultures and non-English speaking groups in their communities.
Evaluation Patrons will report they experienced a change in knowledge, skills, attitude, behavior, or life condition.
Measuring Success focal area Information access

Objective

Alaska libraries will support literacy, learning and life skills programs for people of all ages.

Activity 1.4: Support reading motivation programs, including statewide or individual summer reading programs for people of all ages.
Evaluation Count number of people who participated in reading programs.
Measuring Success focal area Lifelong Learning
Activity 1.5: Develop and publicize the early childhood resource center and train library staff and other service providers who w ork with children from birth through pre-K in appropriate techniques.
Evaluation Patrons will report they experienced a change in knowledge, skills, attitude, behavior, or life condition.
Measuring Success focal area Human services
Activity 1.6: Support author visits and cultural programming and learning opportunities for people all ages.
Evaluation Count number of people who participated in author visits, cultural programs, and learning opportunities.
Measuring Success focal area Lifelong learning
Activity 1.7: Provide library users with training in digital and information literacy, basic computer skills, research, electronic resources, and media creation.
Evaluation Patrons will report they experienced a change in knowledge, skills, attitude, behavior, or life condition.
Measuring Success focal area Information access
Activity 1.8: Support library users of all ages in their pursuit of formal education.
Evaluation Patrons will report they experienced a change in knowledge, skills, attitude, behavior, or life condition.
Measuring Success focal area Lifelong learning
Activity 1.9: Support financial literacy programs for people of all ages.
Evaluation Patrons will report they experienced a change in knowledge, skills, attitude, behavior, or life conditions.
Measuring Success focal area Human Services
Activity 1.10: Support health and wellness programs for people of all ages.
Evaluation Patrons will report they experience a change in knowledge, skills, attitude, behavior, or life condition.
Measuring Success focal area Human Services

Objective

Alaskans in unserved rural communities will receive library services.

Activity 1.11: Support reference service through the existing 800 # reference and ILL backup service and by exploring new technological means of provide reference.
Evaluation Count number of reference and interlibrary loan transactions.
Measuring Success focal area Information access
Activity 1.12: Offer Books-by-Mail or appropriate alternatives to Alaskans living in areas without public libraries.
Evaluation Count number of patrons served and materials circulated.
Measuring Success focal area Information access
Activity 1.13: Formulate strategies to determine whether local library service is desired and feasible in communities that do not have public libraries.
Evaluation Count number of needs assessments compiled and new services piloted in communities without public libraries.
Measuring Success focal area Institutional capacity
Activity 1.14: Work with school and tribal libraries to design and support library service for the public in communities without public libraries.
Evaluation Count number of new library services piloted in communities without public libraries.
Measuring Success focal area Institutional capacity

Objective

Alaska librarians w ill pursue the knowledge and skills necessary to better serve the diverse and dispersed population of Alaska.

Activity 1.15: Offer training and consulting services for library staff in new technologies, traditional library skills, and specialized service or topics.
Evaluation Library staff will report they experienced a change in knowledge, skills, attitude, behavior, or life condition.
Measuring Success focal area Institutional capacity
Activity 1.15: Offer training and consulting services for library staff in new technologies, traditional library skills, and specialized service or topics.
Evaluation Library staff will report they experienced a change in knowledge, skills, attitude, behavior, or life condition.
Measuring Success focal area Institutional capacity
Activity 1.16: Award scholarships for professional certification or advanced degrees.
Evaluation Scholarship recipients will report they experienced a change in knowledge, skills, attitude, behavior, or life condition.
Measuring Success focal area Institutional capacity
Activity 1.17: Provide continuing education grants to library staff to attend state, regional, and national conferences and other training events.
Evaluation Library staff will report they experienced a change in knowledge, skills, attitude, behavior, or life condition.
Measuring Success focal area Institutional capacity
Activity 1.18 : Support state, regional, and national leadership development programs for library staff working in all types of libraries.
Evaluation Library staff will report they experienced a change in knowledge, skills, attitude, behavior, or life condition.
Measuring Success focal area Institutional capacity

Goal 2: Alaska libraries will provide access to content and materials in various formats for all Alaskans.

Libraries are continually reinventing themselves and developing new ways to provide users with access to content. While modern libraries participate in the time honored process of acquiring resources, organizing them and making them accessible, the forms and the formats of the resources they provide to users have changed. Library users continue to link content delivery with libraries and changes in technology has given rise to a growing set of user expectations. A goal to deliver content to Alaskans by libraries has been included in every state plan developed since 1996. Over the next five years, efforts to provide access to traditional library formats, emerging technology and unique non-traditional library collections will be continued and expanded.

Alaska libraries have a strong tradition of collaboration across types of libraries and regions of the state. Building on a history of cooperative collection development and resource sharing beginning in the 1970s, efforts to make electronic resources available statewide began in 1994 with the formation of the State Library Electronic Doorway (SLED), a portal to Alaska online materials.

Alaskans have had access to statewide databases since 1999, under the monikers of the Alaska Digital Pipeline and now the SLED databases, a statewide collection of licensed databases available at libraries of all types and in Alaskan homes. A more recent example of statewide cooperative and collaboration collection development is the Joint Library Catalog, a consortium of 77 public, academic and K-12 libraries, which began in 2013 and contains 1.8 million titles and serves 65% of the population of Alaska.

The last five years has seen an expansion in the number of libraries participating in the near- statewide consortium of the Alaska Digital Library. Currently, patrons of 50 Alaska libraries have access to 25,000 audiobook and e-book titles. The Digital Library serves 15,000 unique patrons and circulates over 350,000 items annually.

Objective

Libraries will select and provide access to physical and electronic materials to meet the information needs of their communities.

Activity 2.1: Assist libraries in providing content and cataloging access to materials in formats and languages appropriate to their individual communities.
Evaluation Number of items cataloged.
Measuring Success focal area Information access
Activity 2.2: Provide consultation and assistance to libraries in assessing and evaluating local collections for inclusion in OCLC and other databases and catalogs.
Evaluation Number of retrospective conversion projects or number of library catalog projects.
Measuring Success focal area Information access
Activity 2.3: Support SLED, the Statewide Library Electronic Doorway.
Evaluation Number of SLED users each year.
Measuring Success focal area Information access
Activity 2.4: Help libraries pilot e-content, including e-books, e-magazines, dow nloadable audio and video, statewide databases, and other emerging options for delivering content.
Evaluation Number of materials circulated or accessed each year.
Measuring Success focal area Information access
Activity 2.5: Collaborate with statewide consortia and groups to expand access to Alaska’s online electronic resources and services.
Evaluation Number of resources or services accessed each year.
Measuring Success focal area Information access

Objective

Alaskan libraries will preserve and provide access to the unique resources of Alaska.

Activity 2.6: Assist libraries with local efforts to provide materials in Alaska Native languages.
Evaluation Number of materials in Alaska Native languages provided.
Measuring Success focal area Information access
Activity 2.7: Support creation or digitization of resources that document Alaska’s history and its peoples in a culturally responsive manner.
Evaluation Number of resources that document Alaska’s history created or digitized.
Measuring Success focal area Information access
Activity 2.8: Assist libraries in local efforts to evaluate and preserve unique library materials about Alaska.
Evaluation Number of library materials evaluated and preserved.
Measuring Success focal area Information access
Activity 2.9: Fund library pilot projects that support Alaskans in publishing and preserving their original creative works.
Evaluation Number of creative works published and preserved.
Measuring Success focal area Information access

Objective

Libraries will offer hardware, software, educational tools, and other materials to the public.

Activity 2.10: Acquire hardware and software to support access to electronic resources.
Evaluation Number of hardware and software products acquired.
Measuring Success focal area Institutional capacity
Activity 2.11: Support library pilot projects that create unique collections, such as tools, sporting goods, household items and other materials, for public use.
Evaluation Number of unique collections created.
Measuring Success focal area Lifelong learning
Activity 2.12: Support projects that introduce the public to STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics) content and activities.
Evaluation Number of STEAM projects created and number of participants.
Measuring Success focal area Lifelong learning

Objective

All Alaskans will have access to low-cost, high-speed telecommunications in libraries and communities.

Activity 2.13: Assist libraries and communities in developing strategies to obtain affordable bandwidth that meets local needs.
Evaluation Number of libraries and communities that increased bandwidth and the actual increase in bandwidth for each library and community.
Measuring Success focal area Institutional capacity
Activity 2.13: Assist libraries and communities in developing strategies to obtain affordable bandwidth that meets local needs.
Evaluation Number of libraries and communities that increased bandwidth and the actual increase in bandwidth for each library and community.
Measuring Success focal area Institutional capacity
Activity 2.14: Work with telecommunication providers and other agencies to expand low-cost high-speed access to libraries and communities.
Evaluation Number of libraries and communities that experience increased bandwidth following project with telecommunication providers.
Measuring Success focal area Institutional capacity

Goal 3: Alaska libraries will explore evolving roles as anchor institutions that benefit their communities.

Alaskans are known for their optimism and “can do” spirit. Alaska librarians have to think creatively in order to meet the challenges of operating libraries in a large and remote region that lacks basic infrastructure. In Alaska, libraries are the nexus linking social, cultural and technological changes occurring in society to more traditional cultural values. Libraries continue to play a vital role in economic development by providing job seekers with free internet and computer access so they can access Alaska’s job bank and other employment opportunities online. They also connect entrepreneurs to business planning resources, market research databases and outside experts. Each small business startup a library helps launch yields a return to their community in new revenues generated.

Government agencies use the internet to efficiently push information and provide online services to the public. Agencies continue to expand their e-service offerings, as they seek to improve customer service while reducing operating costs. Librarians are the human face of e-government, guiding users to federal government information and services such as tax forms, Medicare and Social Security resources, and citizenship and passport assistance, and to state and local government information and services, such as Alaska Permanent Fund applications, motor vehicle registrations, fishing permits, and local election information.

Libraries are communal and social spaces. New information technologies impact library functions, altering how space in a library is used and the services provided. While libraries continue to be viewed as learning environments supporting individual and collective forms of study and as ‘third places’ (accessible, inclusive and neutral home-away from homes), they have also begun exploring new roles in their communities, ranging from media labs, to temporary workspaces, to spaces for art and music events, and serving as local disaster centers. Responding to concerns about the erosion of civic engagement and civil discourse has led libraries to expand their role in promoting access to a diversity of ideas.

When libraries reach out and form beneficial relationships with organizations and agencies in their own community, they invariably add depth and breadth to their community impact. At a time when libraries need to increase their public relations activities, partnerships help libraries to be viewed as valuable assets on the local and national scene. LSTA funds will help libraries to develop partnerships and other cooperative ventures.

Objective

Alaskan libraries will support economic development in their communities.

Activity 3.1: Become idea incubators for local businesses and entrepreneurs by providing business information, services, and classes on how to start a business, e-commerce, funding sources, marketing, and management.
Evaluation People who attended business classes will report they experienced a change in knowledge, skills, attitude, behavior, or life condition.
Measuring Success focal area Economic and Employment Development
Activity 3.2: Become centers for workforce development by providing assistance with employment searches, vocational education, certification, job hunting, and career management.
Evaluation People who attended workforce development classes will report they experienced a change in knowledge, skills, attitude, behavior, or life condition.
Measuring Success focal area Economic and Employment Development

Objective

Alaskan libraries will facilitate participation in e-government and civic engagement.

Activity 3.3: Become centers for access to government information by providing assistance with electronic forms and online services offered by local, state, and federal government.
Evaluation Number of people who accessed government information.
Measuring Success focal area Civic engagement
Activity 3.4: Promote civic engagement and engaged citizenship by offering programs and venues to discuss issues of public concern.
Evaluation People who attended civic engagement events will report they experienced a change in knowledge, skills, attitude, behavior, or life condition.
Measuring Success focal area Civic engagement

Objective

Alaskan libraries will seek partners to transform themselves into local idea laboratories and multi-use spaces for their communities.

Activity 3.5: Support planning for the creation and equipping of flexible learning and meeting spaces and as venues for a broad range of cultural and community activities.
Evaluation Number of plans developed or number of items purchased for these spaces.
Measuring Success focal area Institutional capacity
Activity 3.5: Support planning for the creation and equipping of flexible learning and meeting spaces and as venues for a broad range of cultural and community activities.
Evaluation Number of plans developed or number of items purchased for these spaces.
Measuring Success focal area Institutional capacity
Activity 3.6: Provide computers, software and peripheral equipment for collaborative spaces to create and use digital and emerging media.
Evaluation Number of computers and software purchased for these spaces.
Measuring Success focal area Lifelong learning
Activity 3.7: Help libraries collaborate w ith local and state entities to become disaster response centers with equipment, supplies and training.
Evaluation Number of disaster response plans developed and equipment and supplies purchased for disaster response needs.
Measuring Success focal area Civic engagement

Objective

Alaska libraries will actively participate in networks, partnerships, and collaborative activities to improve library service on the local, regional, and statewide level.

Activity 3.8: Support the Alaska Library Network and other entities as they strengthen Alaska’s libraries through effective coordination of cooperative services and programs.
Evaluation Number of materials circulated through an ALN consortial service.
Measuring Success focal area Institutional capacity
Activity 3.9: Foster partnerships with community, regional and statewide organizations to meet community needs and improve library services.
Evaluation Number of public and number of private partnerships developed.
Measuring Success focal area Civic engagement
Activity 3.10: Assist libraries with strategic planning or developing alternative governance or financing structures or in developing regional, borough or statewide services.
Evaluation Number of strategic plans or alternative governance structures developed.
Measuring Success focal area Institutional capacity

Coordination Efforts

Measuring Success Focal Areas Crosswalk to Alaska State Plan Activities

Lifelong Learning

  • Improve users’ formal education
    • Activity 1.8: Support library users of all ages in their pursuit of formal education.
  • Improve users’ general knowledge and skills
    • Activity 1.4: Support reading motivation programs, including statewide or individual summer reading programs for people of all ages.
    • Activity 1.6: Support author visits and cultural programming and learning opportunities for people all ages.
    • Activity 2.11: Support library pilot projects that create unique collections, such as tools, sporting goods, household items and other materials, for public use.
    • Activity 2.12: Support projects that introduce the public to STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics) content and activities.

Information Access

  • Improve users’ ability to discover information resources
    • Activity 1.2: Support improved library service and accessibility to cultural and historical programs for and about Alaska Natives and Alaska Native culture.
    • Activity 1.3: Assist libraries in determining and meeting the needs of people from various cultures and non-English speaking groups in their communities.
    • Activity 1.11: Support reference service through the existing 800# reference and ILL backup service and by exploring new technological means of provide reference.
    • Activity 2.2: Provide consultation and assistance to libraries in assessing and evaluating local collections for inclusion in OCLC and other databases and catalogs.
    • Activity 2.8: Assist libraries in local efforts to evaluate and preserve unique library materials about Alaska.
  • Improve users’ ability to obtain and/or use information resources.
  • Activity 1.1: Assist libraries in determining and meeting the needs of people of all ages, who are disabled, or who have special needs.
  • Activity 1.7: Provide library users with training in digital and information literacy, basic computer skills, research, electronic resources, and media creation.
  • Activity 1.12: Offer Books-by-Mail or appropriate alternatives to Alaskans living in areas without public libraries.
    • Activity 2.1: Assist libraries in providing content and cataloging access to materials in formats and languages appropriate to their individual communities.
    • Activity 2.3: Support SLED, the Statewide Library Electronic Doorway.
    • Activity 2.4: Help libraries pilot e-content, including e-books, e-magazines, downloadable audio and video, statewide databases, and other emerging options for delivering content.
    • Activity 2.5: Collaborate with statewide consortia and groups to expand access to Alaska’s online electronic resources and services.
  • Activity 2.6: Assist libraries with local efforts to provide materials in Alaska Native languages.
  • Activity 2.7: Support creation or digitization of resources that document Alaska’s history and its peoples in a culturally responsive manner.
  • Activity 2.9: Fund library pilot projects that support Alaskans in publishing and preserving their original creative works.

Institutional Capacity

  • Improve the library workforce
    • Activity 1.15: Offer training and consulting services for library staff in new technologies, traditional library skills, and specialized service or topics.
    • Activity 1.16: Award scholarships for professional certification or advanced degrees.
    • Activity 1.17: Provide continuing education grants to library staff to attend state, regional, and national conferences and other training events.
    • Activity 1.18: Support state, regional, and national leadership development programs for library staff working in all types of libraries.
  • Improve the library’s physical and technological infrastructure
    • Activity 2.10: Acquire hardware and software to support access to electronic resources.
    • Activity 2.13: Assist libraries and communities in developing strategies to obtain affordable bandwidth that meets local needs.
    • Activity 2.14 Work with telecommunication providers and other agencies to expand low- cost high-speed access to libraries and communities.
    • Activity 3.5: Support planning for the creation and equipping of flexible learning and meeting spaces and as venues for a broad range of cultural and community activities.
    • Activity 3.6: Provide computers, software and peripheral equipment for collaborative spaces to create and use digital and emerging media.
  • Improve library operations
    • Activity 1.13: Formulate strategies to determine whether local library service is desired and feasible in communities that do not have public libraries.
    • Activity 1.14: Work with school and tribal libraries to design and support library service for the public in communities without public libraries.
    • Activity 3.8: Support the Alaska Library Network and other entities as they strengthen Alaska’s libraries through effective coordination of cooperative services and programs.
    • Activity 3.10: Assist libraries with strategic planning or developing alternative governance or financing structures or in developing regional, borough or statewide services.

Economic & Employment Development

  • Improve users’ ability to use resources and apply information for employment support
    • Activity 3.2: Become centers for workforce development by providing assistance with employment searches, vocational education, certification, job hunting, and career management.
  • Improve users’ ability to use and apply business resources
    • Activity 3.1: Become idea incubators for local businesses and entrepreneurs by providing business information, services, and classes on how to start a business, e- commerce, funding sources, marketing, and management.

Human Services

  • Improve users’ ability to apply information that furthers their personal, family, or household finances
    • Activity 1.9: Support financial literacy programs for people of all ages.
  • Improve users’ ability to apply information that furthers their personal or family health & wellness
    • Activity 1.10: Support health and wellness programs for people of all ages.
  • Improve users’ ability to apply information that furthers their parenting and family skills
    • Activity 1.5: Develop and publicize the early childhood resource center and train library staff and other service providers who work with children from birth through pre-K in appropriate techniques.

Civic Engagement

  • Improve users’ ability to participate in their community
    • Activity 3.3: Become centers for access to government information by providing assistance with electronic forms and online services offered by local, state, and federal government.
    • Activity 3.7: Help libraries collaborate with local and state entities to become disaster response centers with equipment, supplies and training.
    • Activity 3.9: Foster partnerships with community, regional and statewide organizations to meet community needs and improve library services.
  • Improve users’ ability to participate in community conversations around topics of concern
    • Activity 3.4: Promote civic engagement and engaged citizenship by offering programs and venues to discuss issues of public concern.

The Alaska State Library encourages the development of partnerships and the coordination of resources to provide more effective service delivery. The State Library will continue to work with other state agencies to coordinate resources, programs, and activities. Where appropriate, the State Library will leverage other sources of funding to enhance the federal and state investment in areas such as elementary and secondary education, early childhood education, workforce development and other federal programs and activities that relate to library services.

The Alaska State Library continues to work with state and federal agencies in four areas:

  • Early childhood education;
  • Elementary and secondary education;
  • Broadband development; and
  • Library renovation and construction.

The State Library has been using LSTA since 2006 to support early childhood education through the grant-funded Ready to Read Resource Center, located at the Anchorage Public Library. This program provides tubs of age-appropriate reading materials to families, day care centers, and libraries statewide and trains parents and caregivers on the importance of early brain development to long- term educational success.

The State Library is a unit of the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, so its activities must support the mission of the parent agency. The State Library uses State grant funds and LSTA to support elementary and secondary education. Since 2015, the State Library has administered the School Broadband Access Grants, which uses state funds in combination with E- Rate and school district funds to bring every school in the state up to 10 mbps. LSTA funds are used to pay for the school library media coordinator position in Library Development. This librarian works with schools and school librarians to develop and enhance local school libraries which support education statewide. LSTA is also used to pay for continuing education grants for school library staff to attend conferences and workshops.

The State Library funds nearly half of the licensing costs for the statewide databases with LSTA; the University of Alaska funds the remainder of these annual contracts. The databases are used heavily by students and teachers alike. A steering committee composed of academic, public, school and special librarians work with the University and the State Library to manage these contracts that benefit library users of all ages. LSTA funds have been used to pay for Live Homework Help from Tutor.com and Brain Pop, a lively curriculum support resource that teachers are eager to have in their classrooms.

From 2012 – 2015, the State Library coordinated an $8M Broadband Technology Opportunity Program grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce; this grant was supplemented with funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rasmuson Foundation, and State of Alaska grant funds. This project funded public computing centers and a videoconferencing network in Alaska’s public libraries; paid for information technology aides in these libraries; and heavily subsidized bandwidth costs in public libraries. Since 2015, the OWL Program has continued with funding from the State of Alaska; the program continues to operate the statewide videoconference network in libraries, provides videoconference content for libraries to use with their patrons, and continues to subsidize public library bandwidth costs. The State Library’s success with OWL led directly to the State Library taking ownership and implementation of the School BAG program, which has distributed more than $10M in state funds to schools for their bandwidth costs from FY2015 through FY2017.

The State Library assists the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development as the Department manages the Library Construction and Major Expansion Program. In 2009, the State Library worked with public librarians for the passage of the law setting up this program, helped the Division of Community and Regional Affairs write the regulations for this program, annually provides information regarding this grant program to librarians, and consults with the Legislature on the impact and benefits of the public library construction and renovation grants.

The Legislature has awarded nearly $53 million in capital funding to 14 public libraries since this program was approved in 2010.

Evaluation Plan

The Alaska State Library will follow IMLS guidelines for the evaluation of this plan. Based on the five- year evaluation for 2008 - 2012, the State Library will improve evaluation of individual activities carried out under the new plan by:

  • improving instructions and training for LSTA sub-grantees;
  • more aggressively pursuing reports of sub-grantees’ in-kind matches in order to provide a better picture of local and state funds leveraged by LSTA grant projects;
  • measuring continuing education grants against 21st century skills for librarians; and
  • improving evaluation of long-term statewide projects.

Projects that include components of public and library staff instruction; content creation, preservation, description, or lending; and planning and evaluation will be evaluated using outcomes- based assessment questions built into the State Program Report. Following federal guidelines, all grants and grant activities will be subject to evaluation. The Alaska State Library will share evaluative information concerning LSTA-funded grants with the Governor’s Advisory Council on Libraries during its annual meeting.

Data sources will include:

  • Input and output statistics gathered for each grant project;
  • OBE assessments or surveys that are part of workshops and training programs and other pertinent grant projects requiring OBE listed in the paragraph above;
  • Anecdotal evidence;
  • Surveys, performance measures, or benchmarks to measure needs and the changes which have occurred; and
  • Evaluation of each grant’s impact on the libraries, including the extent to which project objectives were met.

Stakeholder Involvement

The Governor’s Advisory Council on Libraries (GAC) remains the primary mechanism used to involve library users throughout the state in design of Alaska’s state plan for 2018 - 2022. In 2017, the Council reviewed the five-year evaluation report, planned the process by which it would revise the state plan, and brainstormed trends and issues facing libraries through 2022. The GAC analyzed the input and ideas the State Library solicited from the statewide library community, then incorporated their insights into the new goals, objectives, and activities for this state plan.

The Governor’s Advisory Council consists of 11 voting members who broadly represent the library profession and all library users within Alaska. The Council’s membership consists of: one public library representative, one special library representative, one academic library representative, one school library representative, and the immediate past president of the Alaska Library Association. Members are selected by their peers in the manner set forth in the Association’s Handbook of Procedures and Policies. In addition, the Council includes six voting members chosen by the Governor: one user representative for people experiencing disabilities, one rural library user representative, one public library user representative, one public library trustee representative, and two library user representatives. The State Librarian serves in an ex officio and non-voting capacity.

The Council’s ongoing duty is to advise the Alaska State Library on the LSTA plan and the development and evaluation of library services in Alaska. The Council assists the State Library in evaluating the effectiveness of programs and services paid for with LSTA funds. All meetings of the Council are open to the public and are advertised through online public notices.

The final draft of the Alaska State Plan 2018 - 2022 was widely disseminated in print, web, and electronic formats during the public comment period in June 2017. Comments were solicited from the following groups:

  • The Executive Council and membership of the Alaska Library Association
  • The Executive Board and membership of the Alaska Association of School Librarians
  • The Advisory Board of the Alaska Library Network
  • The Research and Resource Library Directors group, which includes library directors from the public libraries and the University of Alaska campus libraries in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau
  • DIRLEAD, the directors of the 20 largest public libraries in Alaska
  • Public library directors and school librarians through e-mail lists maintained by Library Development staff
  • Tribal librarians who belong to the Alaska Native Issues Roundtable of the Alaska Library Association
  • Library Development staff of the Alaska State Library
  • Subscribers to the State Librarian’s Friday Bulletin and the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development’s Info Exchange (electronic newsletters)

Library Development staff and the GAC used these methods to gather input on the 2018 - 2022 state plan from library stakeholders:

  • Postings and discussion threads on the Alaska Library Association listserv
  • Postings to email lists of public and school librarians
  • Feedback to the State Library’s Friday Bulletin electronic newsletter
  • Conversations held and surveys gathered during the Alaska Library Association conference
  • Library Development staff participation in a broad range of meetings and workshops held in- person and on the OWL videoconference network
  • Library Development staff participation in statewide and local chapter activities of the Alaska Library Association and Alaska Association of School Librarians
  • Surveys of stakeholders designed to gather information before embarking on new projects or initiatives
  • Casual exchanges in many venues; Alaska’s librarians are casual and such communication is actively encouraged
  • Gathering input via site visits at libraries for special events and review of their operations and grant-funded projects

Communication and Public Availability

Announcements concerning the availability of the finished plan will be sent to newsletters and email lists that serve the library and educational communities. Printed copies will be made available to the public upon request. Electronic versions of the state plan will be sent directly to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Libraries. State Library staff will post the plan on the Alaska State Library’s web site and will post it on Facebook and Twitter.

Information pertaining to the ongoing LSTA program will be disseminated as follows:

  • Major announcements pertaining to the LSTA program and process will be publicized on the Alaska Library Association’s listserv and in the following newsletters: Newspoke; Puffin; Friday Bulletin; and Info Exchange.
  • Current versions of the state plan and key LSTA program documents will be posted on the State Library’s web site and printed copies will be available to the public upon request.
  • Documentation pertaining to the administration and evaluation of the LSTA program will be available to the public upon request.
  • Results of program evaluations presented in the LSTA Annual Reports and those conducted by the Library Development staff will be disseminated to and reviewed by the Governor’s Advisory Council; copies will be available to the public upon request.

Monitoring

Monitoring the implementation of the plan and libraries’ success in meeting the goals listed in the plan will be the responsibility of both the Alaska State Library and the Governor’s Advisory Council on Libraries. The following methods will be used to monitor, evaluate and report on the services and grants projects supported by LSTA funds: All proposals submitted by libraries and accepted for funding will include an evaluation plan utilizing input, output or outcome measures or targets based on the project objectives.

  • The State Library will require proposals for statewide services and those requiring significant funds to design and apply outcome-based measures to demonstrate their impact on intended user groups.
  • At the six month mark of the annual grant cycle, State Library staff will contact grantees to: monitor progress on the grant project activities; make sure that the grant funds are on track to be fully spent; and offer any assistance grantees need to successfully complete their grant projects.
  • Library Development staff will review the effectiveness and impact of LSTA funded projects and programs in addressing the goals, objectives, activities, and output and outcome measures of the state plan at the conclusion of every calendar year after submission of the annual LSTA State Programs Report to IMLS.
  • The Governor’s Advisory Council on Libraries will review overall LSTA plan progress and grant program outputs and outcomes annually and may recommend amendments to the goals, objectives, activities, and evaluation measures contained in the state plan.

Certifications and Assurances

The required signed certifications and assurances are hereby submitted with the original plan to the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Grants to States Program, 955 L’Enfant Plaza North, SW, Suite 40000, Washington, DC, 20024-2135. The certifications and assurances include:

  • Program Assurances for 2018 Grant Award with Appendix A: Compliance with Internet Safety; Trafficking in Persons; Nondiscrimination; Debarment and Suspension; Drug-Free Workplace; Federal Debt Status; and Lobbying;
  • Assurances - Non-Construction Programs;
  • State Legal Officer’s Certification of Authorized Certifying Official;
  • State Information: Reporting Sub-awards and Executive Compensation; and
  • Internet Safety Certification for Applicant Public Libraries, Public Elementary and Secondary School Libraries, and Consortia with Public and/or Public School Libraries.

Appendix: 2017 Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) Members & LSTA Program Staff

Members/Staff, who they represent, and the location they're from.
Name Representative Location
Patricia Brown Alaska Library Association Past President Haines
Donna P. Huguelet Library User Representative appointed by Governor Kenai
Kay Jabusch Public Library Representative appointed by Governor Wrangell
Patricia Linville Library User Representative appointed by Governor Seward
Rachel Nash Public Library Representative appointed by Alaska Library Association Soldotna
Karen Petersen Library Trustee & Rural Representative appointed by Governor Thorne Bay
Deborah Rinio School Library Representative appointed by Governor Ester
Nancy Shafer Library User Representative appointed by Governor Fairbanks
Ruth Terry Academic Library Representative appointed by Alaska Library Association Anchorage
Arthur L. Walters Disabled Representative appointed by Governor Seward
Teressa B. Williams Special Library Representative appointed by Alaska Library Association Anchorage
Patience Frederiksen Alaska State Librarian Ex-Officio Juneau
Julie Niederhauser Alaska State Library Public Library Coordinator Juneau