State Library Archives and Museums staff honored for preparations

The 2015 Award for Excellence in the Museum Field from the Museums Alaska/Alaska Historical Society has been awarded to the State Library Archive and Museums staff. Over the past year, the SLAM staff packed and moved 32,000 museum artifacts as well as the entire state archives, records, maps, and historical documents.

With the financial support of a major grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services, SLAM recruited and trained a cadre of Alaskan museum employees, providing people in various phases of their careers an opportunity to learn how professionals move a collection and gain hands-on experience.

SLAM also sent representatives around the state to query communities about what they wanted to see in the new museum. They developed a new museum exhibit floor plan, assembled a team of content experts, selected artifacts for each section, developed label copy, and built new mounts — a process that is ongoing.

At the same time, SLAM staff continued day-to-day operations, responding to general inquiries, meeting the needs of visiting museum professionals, maintaining reference desk hours at the State Library, keeping the Alaska State Library Information Services open, dealing with objects found in the collection, and more. The Museums Alaska/Alaska Historical Society noted that “all of this has been done with the utmost dedication to the people of Alaska, and the museums, cultural centers, and historical societies across the state,” according to a release.
The SLAM building is scheduled to open in May 2016.

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