Librarians share stories of successes, challenges

Nov 3rd, 2011 | By | Category: 23-2: Climate Commitment, Tribal College News
By Mary Anne Hansen and James Thull

READING FACES. Montana State University has hosted librarians serving Native constituents for 21 years. Photo courtesy of Mary Anne Hansen

Thirty-six tribal college library personnel representing 27 different institutions attended the 21st annual Tribal College Librarians Institute (TCLI) on the Montana State University (MSU) campus in Bozeman, MT, June 6 – 10, 2011. The participants traveled from across the United States, Canada, and New Zealand.

A panel of people from First Nations institutions in Canada addressed the state of library services and resources for Canadian aboriginal college students. A panel on Accreditation (“A View from Both Sides”) included Ginny Weeks (Blackfeet Community College), Joan Hantz (Chief Dull Knife College), and Sheila Bonnand (Montana State University).

Utah Valley University Media Librarian Christy Goodnight talked about “Managing Media in Changing Times.” The manager of the Repatriation Office at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, William Billeck, discussed repatriation.

A panel discussed MSU’s Native American Studies Wikipedia Teaching and Learning Project. Presenters included Dr. Kristin Ruppel (MSU Native American Studies Department), Bonnie McCallum (MSU Library and Wikipedia Ambassador), and Mike Cline (Wikipedia Ambassador).

Jerry O’Donnell and Amadeo Shije of the U. S. Census Bureau gave a halfday presentation on Native American census information.

Gary McCone, a volunteer for the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) addressed the question “What Can AIHEC Do For You?” McCone is retired associate director of Information Systems at the National Agriculture Library.

Among the other presenters were Spencer Lilley, a Fulbright scholar, on “Library Services to Indigenous Students in New Zealand” and UCBerkeley Native American Studies librarian John Berry on creating a Native materials collection. Dr. Loriene Roy, an American Library Association past president, also gave a presentation.

Additionally, TCLI participants engaged in “Burning Issues” sessions during which they shared issues and successes that they are experiencing. These informal sessions allow library personnel—many of whom serve academic constituencies and the public in their tribal communities—to participate in group problem solving.

Mary Anne Hansen and James Thull of Montana State University Library (Bozeman, MT) coordinate the annual institute. For more information, contact Hansen by phone (406) 994-3162 or by email

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