tribal libraries chat

Archive of the April 12 2018 #critlib chat on tribal libraries. For more info about #critlib, including past and future chats, visit

  1. What do you know about the #Erate program and efforts to increase #digitalinclusion for Native libraries & schools? Take 5 minutes to give yourself a crash course via the resources for today's #critlib chat! β€¦
  2. Getting ready for today's #critlib chat by watching Hannah Buckland's wonderful #ALCTSx17 video, which covers tribal libraries, Ojibwe culture, and acknowledging injustice of metadata structures. β€¦
  3. Haven't been on twitter much lately but looking forward to today's #critlib chat about Tribal Libraries!
  4. Hello to all #critlib participants! This is the beginning of the chat on tribal libraries, specifically on #digitalinclusion efforts. Welcome!
  5. As part of #NationalLibraryWeek, this #critlib chat is happening at the same time as the #TribalConnect panel on improving access to high-speed internet in Tribal and rural communities. That panel is hosted by @ALALibrary & NM Senator @MartinHeinrich.
  6. We were hoping to have a tribal library worker as moderator for the #critlib chat, but that fell through. So this won’t look like an ordinary chat! I hope we can take this opportunity to ask Qs & learn more about the unique challenges facing tribal libraries.
  7. ALA will be collecting questions to ask the panelists; just tweet to @ALALibrary with the hashtag #TribalConnect. #critlib
  8. Provide salary ranges on job ads. Provide interviewees with questions in advance. Please! #critlib #vlacrlspring #vla
  9. If you feel completely out of your depth, you're not alone! Let's learn together! Find resources and a few key terms to know at β€¦ #critlib
  10. As always, if you would prefer to tweet anonymously during the #critlib chat, you can use the critlib anonymous Twitter relay: . Type your comments, and hit β€œTweet”. You'll see your tweet posted via the @CritLib_anon account.
  11. Please introduce yourself, even if you’re just lurking today! I’m Violet, metadata/cataloging person here in the middle of Minnesota, on Dakota land, near the Dakota-Ojibwe Treaty of 1825 line. #critlib
  12. Anne Heidemann, I serve as the Tribal Librarian for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan #critlib
  13. This livestream will probably be very interesting. Unfortunately, I can't watch because I am on the desk. Will it be archived anywhere? #critlib β€¦
  14. @anneheathen Glad to have you, thanks for being a part of the chat Anne! If you'd like to help shape the conversation, we'd welcome your input. #critlib
  15. @wanderingeyre Yes! It will be archived on both our website and on Sen. @MartinHeinrich's. We will be sure to put the link out. #critlib
  16. Anyone else participating in today's #critlib chat? We can just hang out and listen to the livestream, available at β€¦ (Elaine Silversmith just introduced herself), or we can chat! πŸ˜‰
  17. What do you know about the broadband challenges of tribal libraries? What would you like to know? #critlib
  18. It seems easy to overlook the difficulties that rural/tribal areas have in developing/maintaining/accessing broadband. #digitalinclusion #critlib β€¦
  19. .@anneheathen sorry to put you on the spot, but is there anything you'd like to share about your experience as a tribal librarian? (broadband related or not) #critlib
  20. RT ALALibrary "First question from SmithsonianNMAI's Smithsonian’s Elayne Silversmith: What kind of services do you provide in your community? What services are dependent on internet access? #critlib #TribalConnect"
  21. @violetbfox no worries! I feel like a lot of folks I meet don't really know what Tribal Libraries are. Not sure if there's anything someone would like to know? Definitely broadband is a real issue and the digital divide is super real (a lot of folks seem tofeel like it's been fixed) #critlib
  22. First question from @SmithsonianNMAI's Elayne Silversmith: What kind of services do you provide in your community? What services are dependent on internet access? #critlib #TribalConnect
  23. @anneheathen What's the size of the population you serve, both numerically and area wise? How long have you been there? #critlib
  24. @anneheathen Are there differences in the services you provide versus the majority of public libraries? Is there anything that surprises people to learn about your experience? #critlib
  25. @violetbfox that depends! :) I am responsible for three libs- 1 public, 1 college, 1 preK-6 school. Tribal population total is <4000, in this area <2000, but we also serve 3800+ employees of the Tribe and surrounding community #critlib
  26. "You have the tribe on your shoulder": describing sharing stories about the people who use tribal libraries. #critlib
  27. @violetbfox our public Tribal Library provides all the same services as the nearby public libs we cooperate with (we share a catalog and variety of associated services), we're just a lot smaller than most of them #critlib
  28. @anneheathen Where does your funding come from? Is it stable/predictable? Is it comparable to nearby public libraries? #critlib
  29. @violetbfox I've been here for 4+ years, previously worked in public and community college libraries for about 15 years before that #critlib
  30. @violetbfox Hi. I'm a science librarian in Philly. I'll mostly be lurking on today's #critlib/#TribalConnect chat.
  31. @violetbfox we are funded by the Tribe - not dissimilar from how a municipal library is funded by the municipality, except that money does not come from taxes. We rely heavily on grants (I am also responsible for writing those), so that part of it varies highly. #critlib
  32. @violetbfox our regular funding is substantially less than most of the neighboring public libraries and we have less staff (just three of us, myself and two library assistants, to cover three libraries) #critlib
  33. @akaur0 Welcome Aman, let us know if you have any questions. Happy to hear about any Indigenous people/tribal libraries ties to your work. #critlib
  34. @anneheathen @violetbfox What was the transition like for you when you switched from working in public/academic libraries to tribal libraries? #critlib
  35. @akaur0 @violetbfox it was mostly a matter of determining expectations and learning about how things work in Tribal Operations here - I've mostly worked in libraries that are not part of a municipality before, so those were more independent to some degree #critlib
  36. @akaur0 @violetbfox my service ethic is still front and center, and being that the community is relatively small, I get to know people much better than in the larger libs I've worked in #critlib
  37. From the #TribalConnect panel: Complexity of land regulations (federal trust tribal lands) makes providing internet infrastructure difficult. #digitalinclusion #critlib
  38. @violetbfox Unfortunately, I don't have any exp in tribal #libraries to add to this conversation, so I'll be lurking and asking Qs. Through my liaison duties, I have met students with indigenous backgrounds through events, at campus resource centers, and for research consultations. #critlib
  39. From the #TribalConnect panel re: #digitalinclusion: There's not just an urban/rural #digitaldivide, there's a rural/rural divideβ€”extreme differences in government funding lead to failure to provide adequate broadband service. #critlib
  40. i think Mukurtu is an incredibly useful and illustrative platform for engaging with tribal collections in respectful ways..have not used it personally, but saw a great demo/talk #critlib
  41. @anneheathen How are the other public services in the area for tribal members? Is there a sense that you're on your own in terms of providing help to users, or do you feel supported by other social service providers? #critlib
  42. @anneheathen @violetbfox Some public libraries and academic institutions have residency requirements or preferences. How familiar were you with the Tribe and surrounding community before you started working in the tribal #library? #critlib
  43. Next question from @SmithsonianNMAI's Elayne Silversmith: What is a tribal library and how does it differ from other libraries? #critlib #TribalConnect
  44. One thing I'd say that folks may not realize about Tribal Libraries is that they are all unique. There are nearly 600 federally recognized tribes in the US and each one is a sovereign nation, so there's no one way things are #critlib
  45. From @LLTribalCollege’s Hannah Buckland, her community is focused on digital literacy and inclusion. Having access at home and having access at school is important, especially when less than 50% of students have computers at home. #critlib #TribalConnect
  46. From #TribalConnect panel: Internet access is a critical part of nation building for tribes, essential to creating and nourishing community. #critlib #digitalinclusion
  47. @violetbfox there are a lot of great public services here for tribal members and descendants - the Tribal Libs cooperate heavily with other Tribal Ops departments! #critlib
  48. @akaur0 @violetbfox I had lived in the nearby town for 15 years earlier in my life, so I was somewhat familiar but not as much as I should have been considering. I have learned a lot and continue to learn every day #critlib
  49. @anneheathen @akaur0 With a full acknowledgement of how understaffed/overworked you are: do you feel educating the wider community about the tribal community is a goal of yours? Or are you focused on tribal members? #critlib
  50. @violetbfox @akaur0 definitely - a goal for me personally as a library professional but also a goal that has been articulated to me by the folks I work with. At their request I have started to present more and try to share information to raise awareness #critlib
  51. @anneheathen @akaur0 That's great! What kind of venues have you been sharing info? (Online? IRL presentations? Webinars?) What audiences? What would you like to do that you haven't done yet? #critlib
  52. @violetbfox @akaur0 this also translates to advocacy - I'm in the midst of working with folks at the state level to ensure that the (public) Tribal Library is eligible for e-rate #critlib
  53. From Cynthia Aguilar of the Santo Domingo Pueblo, she says her tribal library has changed over the past 12 years from a collection of donated paperback novels to a freshly renovated space with new computers, but broadband infrastructure is still an issue. #critlib #TribalConnect
  54. @violetbfox @akaur0 we also are open to everyone at the public and college locations - anyone can get a library card and use our services, spaces, and collections - so I try to get the word out about that, esp to nearby who are not served by any tax-funded public library #critlib
  55. @violetbfox @akaur0 I've done in-person presentations at conferences and in education classes at the nearby university, so far. Also happy to chat with folks to answer questions or whatever is useful #critlib
  56. @anneheathen @akaur0 Great to have you as a resource, thank you so much for your work and your willingness to discuss and educate about your experience as a tribal librarian! #critlib
  57. @violetbfox yes! it is so important! Tribal libraries like mine rely heavily on funding from federal sources (IMLS, etc) #critlib
  58. The study was released in 2014. Elayne asks the panel, what has changed over the course of the last four years? What are the challenges we face now? #critlib #TribalConnect
  59. @violetbfox @akaur0 my pleasure! I'm learning every day myself and always want to help others be informed #critlib
  60. @violetbfox @anneheathen Agreed! Thank you for your work in advocating for tribal library services and library users in the Tribe and in the surrounding area. Do you have advice for prospective and current #librarians interested in working in or partnering with tribal #libraries? #critlib
  61. Hannah Buckland from @LLTribalCollege says she started in her position in 2014, with only 8 public computers in a small space. They have since improved space capacity, but still face funding & staffing challenges in their work to serve the full community. #critlib #TribalConnect
  62. Hannah Buckland discussing difficulties of previous tribal college library space, which had few computers in a very tight space: "it was uncomfortable, especially for northern Minneostans, who are used to 10 feet of space between them, facing different directions". πŸ˜„ #critlib
  63. @akaur0 @violetbfox I'd say, look for opportunities to learn, be mindful of the constraints that library staff may have, try not to make assumptions that things will work the same as they do in other libraries - be open, I guess #critlib
  64. Final question from @SmithsonianNMAI's Elayne Silversmith: if you change one thing about broadband connectivity, what would it be? Where do you think we'll be in 5 or 10 years? #TribalConnect #critlib
  65. I also want to say that I'm doing my best in this job but I'm never going to be the right person for it - that would be a member of this Tribe. We all know that librarianship as a profession has a huge Whiteness problem - this is part of it #critlib
  66. Panelists from the #TribalCollege discussion are focused on future potential: they want more connectivity, green libraries, more resources to provide better services for their members. "We want tech comparable to Stanford, so students' future experience isn't foreign." #critlib
  67. Requests from #TribalConnect panelists: making well-connected tribal communities the rule, not the exception. Maintaining E-rate funding. Seeing some of the government subsidies that go to Internet companies going towards tribal community broadband. #critlib
  68. Cynthia Aguilar of the Santo Domingo Pueblo shares a story about respectfully educating community members about the potential benefits of broadband connectivity, delivering newsletter in person. "They want to know the story." #critlib #TribalConnect
  69. The panel has wrapped up, but @MClyburnFCC is now addressing the audience about discussing necessity of closing gaps in broadband access in rural/tribal communities. #critlib #TribalConnect live stream is still available at β€¦
  70. .@MClyburnFCC: "If you're connected, you're part of a game-changing opportunity. If you're not, you're not." As the #TribalConnect panelists mentioned, home Internet access is just as important as access at school, work, or library. #critlib #digitalinclusion
  71. The #TribalConnect event is wrapping up, so we'll end the #critlib chat. Thanks to @ala_wo for coordinating chat on this important topic! Thanks @anneheathen for sharing your experience, and to all who asked questions and took the time to learn something new.