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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!


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.

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.

UNESCO launches Memory of the World online survey

16-02-2009 (Paris)
A general survey on the state of awareness of the Memory of the World Programme has been launched in cooperation with InterPARES in Vancouver, Canada. This survey is intended for library, archives and museum specialists as well as anyone with an interest in preserving documentary heritage. The purpose of this survey is to increase and assess awareness of the Programme and to encourage nominations to the Memory of the World Registers. UNESCO will use the results to further develop the Memory of the World Programme. 

The Memory of the World Programme was created by UNESCO to promote preservation of, and disseminate information regarding, documentary heritage found in archival holdings and library and museum collections worldwide. The Programme includes national/regional committees, which help to initiate and support nominations within their respective regions.

Its Registers list documentary heritage of recognized world significance assessed on the basis of specific criteria outlined in the UNESCO Memory of the World General Guidelines to Safeguard Documentary Heritage.

The form, which takes just a few minutes to complete, can be filled in online, in English or French: please click here.

It can also be downloaded as a word document from this page to be filled in and returned to: j.springer@unesco.org

The deadline for the survey is 30 April 2009.

For more information, please visit the:

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?

Help keep the John Tetso Memorial Library open!

Text taken directly from NationTalk

January 13, 2009

The MLA for Nahendeh, Kevin Menicoche, would like to see the library in Fort Simpson remain open. The Deh Cho Hall, which is the current home of the John Tetso Memorial library, is scheduled to permanently close its doors next month. The Deh Cho Hall is an older building formally used for government offices, which are being relocated in February. Mr. Menicoche says, “A short-term solution is to continue housing the library in the Deh Cho Hall until the spring. This approach would provide more time to find a permanent space for it.”

Mr. Menicoche adds, “I have received many emails and phone calls from concerned citizens not wanting to see their library shut down. My constituents have been trying to find a solution on their own, but I think that the government should step-up to the plate and offer to find a solution. I have contacted the appropriate Ministers, but have yet to receive any positive response.”

Mr. Menicoche will be aggressively pursuing a viable solution during the Third Session of the Legislative Assembly which reconvenes on February 4, 2009.

For more information call:

Kevin Menicoche
MLA Nahendeh
P: 867-669-2294 or toll free 1-800-661-0784
F: 867-873-0276
E: kevin_menicoche@gov.nt.ca.