If you ask "what is a MOAS?" you will get many questions and most of them will be obscure. What follows is my opinion, for I feel that each MOAS must define the job for themselves.
The MOAS is the information officer.
It is not your job to know everything (yet, you find those who think you do), but to put the person who wants to know with the person who knows. On the surface that sounds easy..but sometime it is not. For people will not always tell you what they want to learn, sometimes they do not even know themselves. And, when they do know what they want to learn..than it can be very hard to find the right teacher: you know anyone who does Yak hair weaving? And the problem grows if you are new or in a smaller group and do not even know who to contact.
So what is a new MOAS to do? Looking up Yak weavers in the yellow pages will not work. The answer is talk, ask, look. Talk to the people in your group. Find out what they do, make up a worksheet for all to fill out that lists their interests and skills so that you may start a database, talk to your peers (other MOAS), talk to your boss MOAS, walk up to a Peer, any Peer and ask where are the Yak Weavers kept.
Look in the resources that you have, on the internet go to www.sca.org Click on People and Customs, than click on Rolls Ethereal, than click search..this is a online database, type in Yak Weavers. Do not worry if the person is not in your Kingdom..they might know who is and weaves. Find home pages of people doing the craft contact them..so what, if they are not in the SCA it is the knowledge you are seeking. Use the Atenveldt Teachers and Laurels Directory (shameless plug), use the atenarts list, use other online lists, make an announcement at court: "Would all Yak Weavers please see me after court." The key is do not give up.
The MOAS is the director of the Dream.
It has been said that with out the arts and sciences all you would have is a bunch of stupid, naked, starving stick-jocks. The MOAS is the person who clarifies the atmosphere of what we are doing. If the MOAS is over in the corner in jeans and a t-shirt talking about the Dodgers, or T.V. , or work it is very hard for the rest to "live in" the Middle Ages. Does that mean that the MOAS can never be a "real" person...no, but the MOAS should be the example of the illusion. It does not mean that they must be the best dressed, the most defined persona, but the MOAS is the one we look to..to set the tone. They are the window dresser of the game. If you do not have a special day where everyone comes dressed than assign one. Make or get Banners made. Make or get mundane covers made. Make or get the area made in a Mediaeval style as much as you can. Start A&S group projects so that people have more to do than talk about the Dodgers. And, please a word of caution : You may be the director but remember the actors are real people.
The MOAS is the Educational officer.
Teaching is the single most valuable tool we have. If you have not be trained on how to research and teach a subject than standing in front of a group of people can be very scary. You will find teachers and you will teach. And, if you are very lucky you will have a line waiting to teach, however, chances are that you will have to look for them and even train them. There are many resources on how to learn how to teach, the main think is keep it fun. The good news is that your students want to learn..they are just waiting.
The MOAS is you.
You have to decide what the MOAS's job is. You have help, all you have to do is ask.