Alaska Resources Library & Information Services (ARLIS)

by Ryan Nitz, Head Editor, INALJ Alaska

Alaska Resources Library & Information Services (ARLIS)

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Hi there. My name is Ryan and I’m the INALJ Head Editor for Alaska. As you may know if you’ve checked out the INALJ Alaska page, I am a Library Administrator for the Bureau of Land Management in Anchorage. In this initial post, I’m going to take the opportunity to tell you a little bit about my library, the Alaska Resources Library & Information Services (ARLIS).

ARLIS is located in Anchorage, in the Consortium Library building at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and is operated as a joint effort by the ARLIS Founding agencies: Bureau of Land Management, US Fish & Wildlife Service, National Park Service, US Geological Survey, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council, Alaska Department of Fish & Game, and the University of Alaska Anchorage. Our collection is focused on information resources that have to do with Alaska’s impressive natural and cultural resources, and we serve staff members of our Founding agencies as well as the general public. We have books, journals, scientific reports, archival materials, e-books, e-journals, maps, online databases, microforms, periodicals, government documents, audio-video resources, and even taxidermy in our collection—all with the aim of helping the people of Alaska (“lower 48-ers”, too…) connect with, learn about, care for, and improve America’s 49th State. Plus, we have a real-live stuffed bear in our lobby, which is pretty sweet.

ARLIS offers all the library services you might expect, like ILL, reference and research help, access to full-text resources, map digitization, public computers, etc., and we regularly take on special projects like scanning, cataloging, database creation for our Founding agencies and other organizations. We do a lot of good and, since our Founding agencies contribute to our collection and share our services, we help the federal and state governments save money and work more efficiently. Which we can probably all agree is pretty great. And, if that’s not enough to impress you, how many other libraries do you know of where you can check out a king crab, or a grizzly bear skull, or polar bear fur with your library card?

Of course, as is usually the case with cool libraries, it’s our cool people that are the main reason for our coolness. ARLIS is staffed by a mix of federal, state, and university employees, and a bunch of amazing student workers. I hope to be able to interview some of my fellow ARLIS staff members for future blog posts, but for now you’ll just have to take my word that they are all awesome. Which is a pretty good descriptor for the whole ARLIS deal: awesome people in an awesome library doing an awesome job in an awesome place for an awesome community.

I could go on and on, but I’ve already given you a pretty good idea about how I feel about my library, and all the other stuff you might want to know is probably on our website. So, if you’re interested in learning more, visit said website at http://www.arlis.org and poke around. If you have specific questions, feel free to shoot me an email or give me a call, and definitely come by for a tour if you’re ever in Anchorage, which you should be. You can find my contact info on the ARLIS website, in the About menu under Contacts.

 

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular webzine and jobs list INALJ.com (formerly I Need a Library Job) and former CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of T160K.org, a crowdfunding platform focused on African patrimony, heritage and cultural projects. INALJ was founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard. Its social media presence has grown to include Facebook (retired in 2016), Twitter and a LinkedIn group, in addition to the interviews, articles and jobs found on INALJ. INALJ has had over 20.5 Million page hits and helped many, many thousands of librarians find employment! Through grassroots marketing, word of mouth and a real focus on exploring unconventional resources for job leads, INALJ grew from a subscription base of 20 friends to a website with over 500,000 visits in one month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this with many new jobs published daily. She has also written for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 LexisNexis Government Info Pro and many other publications in the past decade. She presents whenever she can, including serving on three panels at the American Library Association's Annual Conference in Las Vegas; as breakout presenter at OCLC EMEA in Cape Town, South Africa; as a keynote speaker at the Virginia Library Association annual meeting; at the National Press Club in Washington DC; McGill University in Montreal, Canada; the University of the Emirates, Dubai, MLIS program and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and has been living and working in Budapest, Hungary and Western New York State. She spent years running her husband’s moving labor website, fixed and sold old houses and assisted her husband cooking delicious Pakistani food. She is preparing to re-enter the workforce and is job hunting. Her husband is now the co-editor of INALJ, a true support!  She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay. 

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