Every once in a while when we get busy or it seems like projects are piling up, it’s nice to know that we will be hiring another archivist soon, hopefully this fall.
Since we won’t be opening the position til sometime in August, this gives us a little time to think about what skills and experience we’ll be seeking and how to best gauge those through the typical resume/cover letter/ interviews sequence. But it’s not just about what we want in our candidates (has s/he read Schellenberg? Has s/he even heard of Schellenberg? What about Jenkinson? Just kidding… Well, sort of kidding…) We need to make sure that candidates learn enough about us, too, in the process. What we’re like. What our priorities are. How we function, or maybe don’t function.
And another thing we have to think about when insuring that candidates have enough information about us to make an informed decision, is the whole Alaska thing. It’s not so much the winter that’s scary since Anchorage isn’t much different than the northern tier of states between Idaho and Wisconsin, but it can feel isolated. And expensive to get Outside, not to mention the length of flights. And for people used to large cities, well, Anchorage doesn’t really compare in terms of size (think Ft. Wayne, IN for a city that isn’t far off Anchorage’s population).
But we do have compensations. For those who like hiking and biking and such, we have lots of trails in town and tons of them within a 15 minute drive of the city proper. And the wildlife viewing opportunities are spectacular. Beluga whales swim up Turnagain Arm, usually chasing fish. Moose live in most neighborhoods and are frequently seen around campus.
We have an active and communicative group of archivists in the state dedicated to working together. That’s really important when some of them are in towns that can only be reached by boat or plane, like Juneau, or others that can be reached by road but it’s an 8-hour drive on two-lane highways, like Fairbanks. It’s not like we can just drop in on each other with no prior planning, though sometimes we still do that!
At any rate, we’ll be thinking about these things for the next couple of months. And then we’ll be posting the job ad. Good times ahead. Just don’t pet the baby moose.