Archivy etc.

opinions, occasional rants, and sometimes things that have nothing to do with archives at all. Nothing here should be assumed to be reflective of my employer's opinion(s) nor should it be assumed that at anytime afterward, this is what I still think.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

ADR-1: Business resources, question 3-8.

I am determined to get more than one question in this blog entry. Just FYI.

3) Staying with the Small Business Reference Center, find at least one item using the browse by category. What did you find? Use the browse by popular resource to look at one or two books. What did you find and did they look helpful to you and your patrons? 

I chose by industry type. The page was an alpha listing by industry type, as you might expect. Still thinking of my friend, I went paging down to find make-up and half the way down the page realized I should have been searching cosmetics (the database is only as creative as the person searching it) but then realized they didn't have either, so no such luck there. But there was a Crafts link! I clicked on that and in perusing the screen realized that there was the start-up by state link that I'd vaguely remembered from the tutorial (three days ago now) but couldn't find when I was doing question 2. I moved around a bit in this area, clicking on the boxes to the left to take me to other major categories, and at no time did I spot anything labeled "browse by popular resource" within though upon going back out to the main screen I did finally see "browse popular sources" and realized that I'd read the question as a series of instructions instead of individual instructions that weren't step-by-step. [Daniel: forgive me. This is the way my brain works--I hyperfocus when confused or tired. It makes for some fascinating research results, albeit not very helpful ones.]

I'm mostly going to skip the rest of this question on the books: I can't answer for our researchers since that's not within our purview as an archives. I read a few pages from the one on non-profits meetings and minutes because records-keeping of non-profits is something we deal with--even if only from the endpoint of when the created records end up as a permanent record in our holdings, and I can say I liked the writing style, the conversational voice, and next time one of the organizations who give us their records ask me about records keeping, I'll try and remember to go back and read a bit more.

4) Visit the Alaska Department of Law Consumer Protection Unit. What are the landlord's responsibility for a rental property? What are two examples of frauds and scams? Where can you file a consumer report?

If it's all right, I'll just copy out the bit from the table of contents from the The Alaska Landlord & Tenant Act: what it means to you - PDF(787K) on the CPU subpage for Landlord Tenant rights. Which I found on the right hand listing of resources on the main CPU page. I need to save some time here.

Living in a rental property
The landlord’s responsibilities ..............................................................................................................................................8

Here's the list of frauds and scams from that subpage linked from the same right hand listing.

 And as for a consumer report, I took that to mean a complaint because I really doubt anybody would bother with telling this agency that a business was doing good... So from the same right hand column of resources, I came to the Consumer Complaints page that has all the relevant data.

Can I just say? The AK Dept of Law's website is WAY easier to navigate than the EBSCO databases. Good job! Somebody appears to have done some user testing.

5) Visit Alaska Regional Information. Pick your community from the places menu. How many female workers are there in your community? Who is your top employer? 

I pulled up the resources page on Sled, clicked on the "Alaska Regional Information" and got this: 

Just FYI. Picked Anchorage Municipality as the location, chose the "workers characteristics" dataset only. Female workers in 2010: 149,571. Went back out, changed the dataset to employers, and got: State of AK (excludes U of A).

6) Visit the Alaska Small Business Development Center. What are the stages of the small business cycle? Where can you find a checklist for starting a small business?

Based on the Lifecycle page, the stages are:
I went back out to the main page, clicked on the Tools link at the top of the page, and on the right hand side of the Tools page, spotted the "Checklist for Starting a Business."

Just as a matter of practicality here, though, this is where the EBSCO SBRC won out for me. It looks like a lot of really good information on the ASBDC site but the language I found a little cutesy throughout. (think, launch, grow, reinvent, exit?) It's, I'm certain, meant to be friendly to people who are probably not accustomed to business-speak and may achieve that quite well, but if I were looking to start a small business, I think I would prefer the slightly more formal tone of the subject guides in the SBRC. Of course, an Alaska-specific focus is also the point of the ASBDC site, which the SBRC would not accomplish so well.

7) Visit the Institute of Social and Economic Research. What are two publications done about broadband in Alaska in 2011? Has Small Scale Modular Nuclear Power been considered as an option for Alaska? Do any of the Institute's research areas seem relevant to you?

Went to the ISER site, clicked on the Publications link to the left, sorted by date, and found the following two documents.
ID: 1477
Broadband Policies for the North: A Comparative Analysis
Heather E. Hudson
November 2011
35 pp.
ID: 1447
Rural Broadband: Opportunities for Alaska
Heather E. Hudson
November 2011
35 pp.
presentation to the AFCEA ( Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association)


  1. Great meanderings, Arlene. See you Saturday, Sadie

  2. Hi Arlene, While I'm sorry that this week took eight hours, I appreciate seeing your insights about when to use Google vs a database.

    If I had a time machine, I'd go back and change question 4 to "What is ONE responsibility of a landlord towards his tenant?"

  3. Poor Daniel! No criticism of the instruction was intended. I wasn't kidding when I said that I'm a much sought-after property for user testing--I can break anything! As near as I can tell, bunches of the others did not have the difficulties I was having. Us archivists, always going with the natural language skills...

  4. wow - this is just the kind of database instruction that we need here in Wyoming. We had something called Get on the Bus ( but it wasn't as detailed as this - not as much time spent actually constructing questions to answer so you had to dig down into the databases.

    congratulations on a great looking program! (and I agree that the EBSCO search mechanism can be very frustrating, especially to patrons.)