OLC to Improve Reservation Library ServiceFeb 15th, 2001 | By tcj | Category: 12-3: How to Build a Dream, Tribal College News
The Oglala Lakota College (OLC) Learning Resource Center (LRC) received a one-year grant of $150,000 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in Washington, D.C. Oglala Lakota College’s Library System was one of 11 Native American libraries selected because of its potential to serve as an outstanding role model. “These grants provide opportunities for improved library services to an important but often under-served part of the nation’s community of library users,” said Beverly Sheppard, acting director of the IMLS. “They are using the power of technology to connect people to critical information they want and need,” said Sheppard. (IMLS website is <www.imls.gov>.)
The funding will be used in the 10 district college center libraries to enhance the Native American materials and the Lakota language collections and to train college students to provide library services to the college and the communities. The OLC Learning Resource Center not only serves as the college library, but it is also the only public library on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, which has a population of approximately 20,000. The distance to library services will be greatly reduced by creating district college center libraries; the reservation is slightly larger than the state of Connecticut.
Ab Kader, Ph.D., directs the Learning Resource Center and the IMLA project. A native of Pakistan, he has experience in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Middle East as an information systems consultant. Kader said his purpose at OLC was training local people to organize the The information literacy coordinator, Irvine Twin (Oglala Lakota), has 32 years of experience working with computers including 14 years in public and college libraries. Twin said, “It is a challenge to work in an integrated system that provides services to the college network as well as to the public. This is an innovative approach to giving public access to library services, information technology, and research opportunities.”