EXAMPLES OF EXISTING TRIBAL LIBRARIES
Below are a few examples of some successful tribal libraries and archives. The similarities between them, and the reasons they are so successful, are that they all have adequate funding and are all current technologically.
Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center
This research center is one of the largest tribal libraries/archives in the entire United States and is a means by which the Pequot Tribal Nation can retain and preserve its culture. The collection includes manuscripts, documents, maps and photographs relating to the Pequot, as well as the unique feature of special collections about other North American tribes. Another unique aspect of this library is that it contains a children's library. It is open to the public, although its primary purpose is to support the local Pequot tribal community. It is supported by the tribe itself through the monies generated by the tribe's casino. (Black)
Navajo Nation Library System
This library system for the largest reservation in the United States is one of the largest tribal library systems currently in existence. The system includes 110 branch libraries holding tens of thousands of print items about Navajo culture and history, as well as music and audio recordings. (Dunn 106) The library is up-to-date technologically with computer and Internet access. The Navajo Nation Library is an example of how well tribal libraries can function when they have appropriate funding and support; in this case, the library is supported by the tribe itself.
Oglala Lakota College Archives
This library in South Dakota is both a college tribal library, as well as the public library for a nearby Oglala Sioux reservation. This is an example of a library that requires authorization in order to access the records as a way to protect the information resources of the tribal community. The collection comprises records containing the history of the Oglala Sioux tribe, a number of special collections with manuscripts, audio transcripts, photography, maps and books, as well as artifacts from the Oglala Sioux tribe. This library is supported primarily by the college, and is technologically up-to-date with an online catalog and access to computers and the Internet. (Black)
Seminole Tribal Library System
This library system, located in Florida, contains five branches spread throughout the six Seminole reservations. The collection primarily contains information and materials relating to the Seminoles, as well as items pertaining to Florida, and consists of more than 20,000 print items along with videos, CD-ROMs, a photography collection, audio recordings, and periodicals. This library system also allows Internet and computer access, and has a large Electronic Library with full-text articles and e-books. (Dunn 96) This library is open to the public, and is supported by the tribe through tourism and tribal-owned casinos. (Dunn 107)
Return to HOME