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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!

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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.

Library programming for Aboriginal peoples

Public libraries are increasingly developing and delivering programs for Aboriginal peoples. Has your library developed any? If so, what has been developed? What segment of the Aboriginal community were you hoping to reach? Have your programs been well attended by the Aboriginal community?

Proceedings from IFLA 2008 – Quebec – relating to Indigenous peoples

If you were in attendance at IFLA 2008, you would’ve experienced firsthand a wonderful selection of presentations on a range of interesting topics. A number of the presentations focused on Indigenous peoples, which was nice to see. Though copies of presentations were not made available by all presenters, below is a list of those that were provided to the public. Thanks go out to these presenters for sharing their information with us.

There’s still time to register!

I’ll be presenting “Creating Living Library Collections for Aboriginal Peoples” via a webinar hosted by The Partnership – Education Institute on June 2, 2008 at 3pm EST. To register, please visit The Education Institute site. 

I hope to “see” you there!!

Advocacy for Tribal Libraries – Sandy Littletree

Sandy Littletree delivered a presentation on advocacy for tribal libraries at the recent gathering of Arizona Tribal Libraries. A big thank you goes to Kelly Webster for sharing this information.

The Working Together Project

The Working Together Project focuses on examining and developing tools to support public libraries in more effectively meeting the needs of the underserved and socially excluded. On the project website, it states that:

Libraries remain primarily successful in serving the middle-class while the disadvantaged, the non-literate and those from marginal social circumstances do not necessarily feel welcome and do not feel that the services provided are for them. A substantial body of literature going back to the Royal Commission on Poverty and further demonstrates that government offices, schools and hospitals/doctor’s offices are frightening and alien to many who are disadvantaged in society. Libraries are perhaps less intimidating but still not comfortable places for many socially excluded people.

The Project has recently released a very impressive resource, The Community-Led Libraries Toolkit. It provides a lot of sound advice and examples from community development librarians throughout the country and could be of benefit to many libraries.

Those of us who work for the members of our communities who are traditionally underserved by and underrepresented in libraries know that community involvement is essential to librarianship.  In order for us to better serve the traditionally underserved, we need to engage, engage, engage. I think that oftentimes we forget that our community members are the experts! We librarians and library workers are the facilitators.