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Prairie Librarian – On hiatus, but hopefully back someday!

It has been a very long time since my last post (May 2009). Though I’ve thought about many, many posts to add to my blog, and have a number of them in draft form, life and work hasn’t provided me with sufficient time to do so. After much thought, I’ve decided to stop adding to Prairie Librarian until I am able to do so consistently. I will keep the blog up though, as some posts continue to be of interest to the public.

Thanks to everyone for reading my posts along the way! All the best to you, and hopefully, I’ll be able to resume blogging sometime in the near future.

If you ever have a question about items I’ve presented or discussed on this blog, or those subjects in general, don’t hesitate to get in contact with me. I’ll always make time to respond!

Take note librarians everywhere – community engagement and library spaces

Here is a perfect example of community engagement in library space creation – from the Forest County Potawatomi Cultural Center, Library and Museum. They have generously shared a video documenting the creation of this incredible mural. The video is 19 minutes long, and worth every minute. A description of the project and the story told through the mural panels is also provided. What a meaningful and beautiful accomplishment – by all involved. Wow!

Another graphic novel!!

The Gabriel Dumont Institute has published a graphic novel featuring Metis stories. For more information and to purchase a copy for your library, visit Stories of Our People.

Online Cree Dictionary

I just wanted to share the link to the Online Cree Dictionary. If your library is involved in supporting the preservation and revitalization of Aboriginal languages, please consider linking to this resource. If not, how about starting today?

Mary Weasel Fat on libraries and librarianship in Alberta

The April 2009 e-newletter of TAL (The Alberta Library) includes an interview conducted with Mary Weasel Fat, Library Coordinator with Red Crow Community College Library. She shares her thoughts on librarianship in Alberta, her engagement in the profession and some of the challenging and rewarding aspects of the work. More information about the RCCC Library’s involvement in TAL is provided in Blood Tribe Administration Review.

The Alberta Advantage and Libraries

Well, the Alberta government has stepped up to the plate for libraries with a 39% increase in funding for Alberta public libraries. I hope that a significant percentage of funds is earmarked for Recommendation 13 of the MLA Committee on the Future of Public Library Services, which states:

Recommendation 13
Hold formal meetings with the federal government and First Nations and Metis settlements so they can be included in the vision of seamless access to public library services.

Accept. Municipal Affairs (working with Aboriginal Relations) will initiate discussion between First Nations and Metis stakeholders and the federal government on Aboriginal library services. 

I’ve always said that 13 is a good number (ah, I was born on the 13th)!

I’m interested to find out what role the province is willing to assume, with or without federal participation. If you’ve read Brendan Edwards’ Paper Talk, you would clearly see how Indian and Northern Affairs has skirted and/or denied support for First Nations run libraries. Is the province willing to provide financial support to First Nations (on-reserve) and Metis (within the settlements) to establish and sustain public libraries?

Some Canadian public library Aboriginal services updates

It seems that I have no time to blog since returning to work from maternity leave. Our organization isn’t core funded, so I’m busy with proposal writing, planning, and budget development. I come home and want to spend time with our 15-month old son, and before I know it, it is time for bed!

When I catch a spare moment, I take steps to remain current on where things are at regarding Aboriginal librarianship in Canada and/or librarianship for Aboriginal peoples in Canada. I’ve recently found the following items that identify some of the activities going on in urban, public libraries. Here they are:

Thanks go out to these libraries for sharing this information. It can be challenging to find out what libraries are doing (if you don’t ask each of them directly). Reporting on these activities and making this information publicly accessible is an important part of the process. These reports provide guidance to others, contribute to the generation of new ideas, and provide necessary information for analyzing trends in this area of librarianship.

If your library has a similar summary to share, please let me know and I’d be happy to add it to the list. As Kokum Mary from Wapos Bay might say, “Inquiring minds want to know, you know”. By the way, season 2 of Wapos Bay is now available for purchase. I highly recommend this program for all public libraries in Canada. It is an absolute gem.

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