Librarians Share Ideas At 15th Annual Institute

Nov 15th, 2008 | By | Category: 20-2: Native Green, Tribal College News

Dr. Loriene Roy (Ojibwe), the first American Indian president of the American Library Association, gave a presentation at the 15th annual Tribal College Librarians Institute (TCLI) in June 2008. Roy is a professor of library and information science at the University of Texas at Austin. She joined 35 tribal college library staff from all over the United States and Canada for a week of continuing education and cultural programming. The participants were able to celebrate Roy’s year as ALA president.

Hosted by Montana State University (MSU) Libraries and coordinated by librarians Mary Anne Hansen and James Thull, TCLI is a valuable knowledge-building and networking experience for librarians serving tribal college communities. Most tribal college libraries also serve as the public library for the tribal community, so tribal college library staff members serve in multiple roles, from supporting the academic information needs of the college to facilitating community programming, such as after-school, summer reading, and cultural programs for their communities.

This year’s TCLI theme was Indigenous Languages, in keeping with the United Nations’ declaration and recognition of the important value of Indigenous languages worldwide. Session topics included: the Fort Belknap White Clay Immersion School, with the director, Lynette Chandler; disaster recovery by two librarians who have overseen cleanup in the aftermath of library floods: Joan Hantz from Chief Dull Knife College and Victoria Heiduschke from MSU; and a session on Indigenous languages by MSU President Geoffrey Gamble, who studied a California-area Native language with the last surviving speakers. The conference participants also took a day-long trip to Little Big Horn College to help celebrate the college’s brand new library.

Many participants return annually for this intimate gathering of peers who serve the library needs of their tribal communities. The tribal college librarians come together not only for the cultural, knowledge, and skills programming but also for the invaluable networking and group problem solving of issues unique to tribal college libraries.

For more information on TCLI, visit, or contact the coordinators Mary Anne Hansen and James Thull at their email: or

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