The Introduction to Alaska Digital Resources: Opening Your Info Conduit program developed by members of AkASL and the Juneau chapter of AkLA to introduce you to the statewide electronic resources available through SLED and the Digital Pipeline.

This is your chance to Explore...Discover...Play!...and Learn about the statewide information and research tools and how they can be useful to you both personally and in your library or classroom.

To get started, see the lesson list on the right of this screen.

Need an an id/password for the Digital Pipeline? Call 1-800-440-2919.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Lesson 1: Business Resources by Daniel

SLED and the Digital Pipeline offer a number of resources in the areas of business, both in general and specifically for business in Alaska. After you finish this lesson you will have hopefully found one helpful resource and will be able to direct people to a resource based on their business interest.

These general resources and more can be found at http://sled.alaska.edu/databases/#BusinessMenu.

Business Search Interface (EBSCO) - The Business Search Interface (BSI) is a browsing friendly way access tens of thousands of items including company profiles, country reports, market research reports, journal articles and more from BUSINESS Source Premier.

Vendor materials

Small Business Reference Center (EBSCO) - Resource focused on the small business owner. This database can be searched or browsed in the following ways:

Browse by Category

  • Business Areas (Including accounting, business and the internet, financing a business)
  • Industry Information by Small Business Type (Including art/graphic design/photography, crafts, research services)
  • Business Basics (Including doing business on ebay, hiring the first employees, starting a business from home)
  • Start-Up Kit & Business Plans (Including Writing a business plan, cash flow request, loan request)

Browse Popular Sources [Business Books], including:
  • Legal Forms for Starting a Small Business
  • Working for Yourself
  • Complete Guide to Buying a Business
There are also links to state specific startup information and small business videos.
Vendor Materials
Small Business Reference Center User's Guide
Small Business Reference Center PowerPoint Tutorial
Small Business Reference Center Flash Video (3 minutes)

Alaska Specific Business Information (Through SLED)

These Alaska-specific resources and more can be found on the SLED Business & Commercial page at http://sled.alaska.edu/business.

Alaska Department of Law Consumer Protection Unit - From the website, "The web site offers resources and information to help Alaskan consumers in making wise purchasing decisions and avoid becoming victims of consumer fraud. The site also includes information and forms for businesses and organizations (telemarketers, charitable organizations, paid solicitors, and sellers of business opportunities) that are required to register with the Department before conducting business in the state."

This site also has a topics index on the right hand side of the page. Topics include advertising, alaska consumer laws, debt collection, mail order & direct mail and telemarketing.

Alaska Local and Regional Information - Information available for all Alaska regions, areas and places from 2007-2010 on the following topics: worker characteristics, occupations, industries, employers, unemployment rate, population estimates, new housing units, and taxes.

Results include detailed tables and charts plus links to relevant Alaska Economic Trends articles when they exist.

Alaska Small Business Development Center - This site is aimed at small business owners within Alaska. The site is divided into the following sections: getting started, small business life cycle, workshops, tools, counseling and FAQ.

The tools section is divided up into business phases: think, launch, grow, reinvent and exit. Some of the tools are:

  • Break Even Worksheet
  • SBDCNet Research Packet
  • Fiscal Physical Checklist
  • Profit Plan and Cash Flow Projection
  • What is your business worth?

The workshops offered by the SBDC take place in six locations: Anchorage, Bethel, Juneau, Ketchikan, South West (Kenai Peninsula) and Wasilla.

Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) - Think of ISER as a university "think tank" for Alaska. ISER staff do research and publish reports in the following areas: applied social policy, arctic social systems, economy, education, energy and environment, fiscal policy, and fisheries. A few of the reports they issued in 2011 include:

  • ID: 1478 The Chaninik Wind Group Tobias Schwoerer, Ginny Fay, and Dennis Meiners November 2011
  • ID: 1447 Rural Broadband: Opportunities for Alaska Heather E. Hudson November 2011
  • ID: 1367 Alaska Energy Statistics 1960-2009 Data Ginny Fay, Alejandra Villalobos Melendez, and Amber Converse September 2011
  • ID: 1344 Alaska's Petroleum Industry: Transformative, But is it Sustainable? Scott Goldsmith April 2011
  • ID: 1474 Social indicators for arctic tourism: observing trends and assessing data Ginny Fay and Anna Karlsdottir March 2011
Reports are best found in the "publications" area of the ISER site. The publications may be browsed in reversed chronological order or searched by title, author or keywords. Clicking on "Advanced Options" gives you the opportunity to limit by research area, type (reports, presentations, article/book) and to limit by date.

Discovery Exercises

Bolded material added based on student feedback.
1) Go to the Business Search Interface. Click on Company Profiles. Find the Microsoft Corporation company report. Open the Datamonitor Report. Who is the Chief Financial Officer? What did he do before coming to Microsoft?

2) Visit the Small Business Reference Center. Do a search for handicrafts or crafts. Where could a person sell their work online? In person? Are there any books or book chapters on starting a crafts business? Search using words from a small business owner you've worked with recently. Anything of value in the results?

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?
4) Visit the Alaska Department of Law Consumer Protection Unit. What are TWO resposibilities that a landlord has toward a tenant? What are two examples of frauds and scams? Where can you file a consumer report?

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?  - 3/16/2012 Before you try this question, see Arlene Schmuland's blog post on the right way to find the correct number of female workers for your community.

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?

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?

8) Do you see a need for business information in your community? If so, what kinds? Do you think the resources here can make some or all of your communities business information needs?


  1. This is a test post.

  2. Into week 3 & I finally finished -

  3. I'm lame...life got even crazy than normal for me. Trying to catch up. Here is lesson 1.


  4. URL

    These are useful databases.