Three Libraries Awarded Enhancement Grants

Feb 15th, 2002 | By | Category: 13-3: Sustaining Our Future, Tribal College News

The LCO library will expand its outreach programs with its new grant. This file photo by Lee Marmon shows David Bisonette (LCO tribal member) with the tribal college library bookmobile. A volunteer at the time, Bisonette is now a Native American Studies instructor.

The directors at the Fort Peck, Salish Kootenai, and Lac Courte Oreilles tribal college libraries have received Enhancement Grants for Native American Library Services through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).  This year 13 libraries in tribal communities and Alaskan villages scattered across the United States were awarded these highly competitive grants totaling $1,516,000.

The grants enable libraries to provide special services that would otherwise be out-of-reach.  The three grants awarded to tribal college libraries demonstrate a wide and innovative range of activities.

The Fort Peck Enhancement Grant is a one-year project for the amount of $122,581.  Anita Scheetz is the administrator for the program.  Funds will provide for new computers, furniture, and faster Internet access to library users.  Evening workshops will be offered to elders, parents with children, and the community at large. Nakoda and Dakota stories that were originally published in the 1960s will be reprinted and distributed to every library in Montana.  Archival training will be provided to several students enabling them to collect and preserve materials pertinent to the Fort Peck Reservation.  An effort will be made to collect local photographs, historical documents, and out-of-print materials.  The fourth component of the grant calls for the expansion of services to the community children.  The library will offer a summer reading program, plus new items will be purchased such as children’s materials, furniture, and computers with software.

Salish Kootenai College’s D’arcy McNickel Librarian Carlene Barnette received a one-year grant for the amount of $107,508.  The grant will be used to expand tribal library services to three outlying reservation communities through an improved web-based catalog. The main library is located on the Pablo, MT, campus. The library users will be able to access the catalog for requesting materials, and daily delivery services will be provided to all three sites.  The grant will also provide for digitizing 735 historical and cultural photographs form the tribe’s archival collection.  The photographs will be mounted on the library web site.

In Wisconsin, the Lac Courte Oreilles (LCO) Ojibwa Community College Library received $145,140 for a two-year project.  Cary Pfaff is the director.  The LCO Library will become the community center for life-long learning activities that will encourage community members to develop self-sufficient lifestyles through education and cultural awareness, according to Pfaff.  The library staff will develop and implement reading readiness and reading enrichment programs for preschool and school-aged children in conjunction with other tribal entities and programs.  Secondly, the library will expand and upgrade outreach programs targeted for the elderly, disabled, preschool, school-aged, and home schooled populations.  The third objective is to implement a community history center, which will expand current local history and genealogy resources and make them available to the community.  Local history and genealogy workshops will be provided that incorporate oral history tradition, indigenous ways of knowing, and ancestral knowledge.  The last objective calls for the infusion of the Ojibwe language throughout the library and community.

The combination of state-of-the art technologies with historical preservation and traditional library services demonstrate the diverse functions that tribal college libraries play for their tribes and their institutions. The IMLS Enhancement Grants along with the preceding LSTA Special Project Grants that were offered through the Department of Education have enabled tribal libraries throughout the country to develop innovative programs.

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