Dear AkLA Members:
So far my presidential journey began as an advocacy marathon on three library projects waiting for the governor’s approval as of this moment. The first is to establish the Alaska Native Language Preservation and Advisory Council that was passed by the House and Senate on April 12, 2012. This act forms a department for the purpose of recommending the establishment or reorganization of programs to support the preservation, restoration, and revitalization of Alaska native languages.
The second project is known as S.L.A.M. (State Library Archive Museum): a new building to provide state-of-the-art protection for Alaska’s treasures as well as to preserve the history of Alaska’s peoples. Our association co-signed a letter of support with Alaska Historical Society and Alaska Museum Association urging the Senate and House Finance Committee to fully fund this project. In March, on behalf of AkLA, I had the experience of publicly testifying to the Senate Finance Committee, requesting full funding of the S.L.A.M project. There was only one minute to present our case. I provided recent examples of how our treasures are used by the public for educational pursuits, genealogy research, and how our archives house precious artifacts. These examples are the reasons that the history of Alaska must be preserved for generations to come.
Finally, the third project is the library construction for Fairbanks/North Pole, Talkeetna, Juneau Mendenhall Valley, and Sitka for $22.4 million. So far, the tremendous lobbying efforts of Judi Andrijanoff have successfully secured funding for ten Alaska communities. For more information about library construction, the link is provided below.
Also, I want to express my appreciation to Clark Gruening and Ron Inouye for their direction and support as I learned more of the political process. This appreciation is extended to Mike Robinson and David Ongley for their leadership in keeping the advocacy process moving forward in support of Alaska libraries.
Let’s all hope Governor Parnell does sign the capital budget and that we reap the benefits of having a stronger library community in our state.
I’d like to share with our members information about the Strategic Planning Retreat that just took place on April 28 and 29 in Anchorage. We had a great group who represented our organization to review mission and values statements. They identified three initiatives that include an action plan, timeline, and accountability over the next five years. The initiatives are advocacy, membership, and traditional Cultural Expressions. There are more initiatives to address and be added to the plan at a later date. The strategic plan will be edited by a sub-committee for a final presentation at the September E-council face-to-face meeting for discussion and possible ratification.
The process was facilitated by Nina Malyshev, State Librarian for the Alaska Library Network. Her guidance and experience are greatly appreciated.