Tribal Libraries can use public programs to enrich the lives of community members, celebrate heritage, foster connections, and contribute to the overall development of the community members. Programming, if done well, also established the tribal library as an essential community asset and can help generate more support.
ATALM and its newly formed Tribal Library Council is developing a Public Programming Toolkit that will provide practical step-by-step guidance on producing successful programs.
As background, the TLC is an outcome of the 2020 Tribal Library Needs Assessment that studied the unique challenges of tribal libraries. To address the identified needs, ATALM appointed an all-volunteer Tribal Library Council Leadership Team that has worked diligently to develop Action Items that will have a tangible impact on the future of tribal libraries.
The Leadership Team identified eight Action Items that align with the needs and aspirations of tribal libraries:
- Establish a network of tribal librarians that communities and meets on a regular basis.
- Organize monthly online gatherings that offer training, spotlight tribal library achievements, announce funding opportunities, and introduce new products and services.
- Empower tribal librarians and staff with the tools, resources, and funding they need to elevate the stature of the library to an essential community service.
- Ensure training programs and resources are tailored to the unique needs of tribal libraries which include resource sharing, capacity building, technology support, language and cultural preservation, community outreach programming, and other areas that make tribal libraries essential community assets.
- Elevate awareness about the importance of tribal libraries within both indigenous and mainstream communities.
- Advocate for the inclusion of indigenous perspectives in broader discussions about libraries and education.
- Collaborate with other organizations, state library agencies, public libraries, educational institutions, and government agencies to leverage resources, expertise, and support.
- Help tribal libraries bridge the digital divide by providing access to technology, digital resources, and training on digital literacy.
The Leadership Team looks forward to working with you to move these Action Items forward. We hope you will join us on this journey to ensure tribal libraries receive the support and recognition they need. Again, we encourage you to join this dynamic team and become a founding member of ATALM’s Tribal Library Council today!