A note on TLAM Project

This page regards information related to my time living in Madison while I was working on my Masters of Library and Information studies (2012-2014). It was during this time I had the opportunity to be a part of the TLAM Project.

The TLAM (Tribal Libraries, Archives, and Museums) Project aims at bringing indigenous information topics into LIS education through service-learning, networking, and resource sharing with Wisconsin’s tribal cultural institutions. During my time in Madison, it had recently finished a series of Convening Culture Keepers mini-conferences for Wisconsin tribal librarians, archivists, and museum curators. This series of seven conferences led to the Convening Great Lakes Culture Keepers (CGLCK) Institute in April 2014 in order to expand the current network to include Minnesota and Michigan. CGLCK is still going strong and conferences are held each year.

I first became interested in the TLAM project through events provided by the student group in the fall of 2012 including going to Milwaukee to hear Sherman Alexie speak as part of his book tour. I then took the TLAM course in the spring of 2013 which included many amazing opportunities including working with the Ho-Chunk Youth Learning Center near the Wisconsin Dells and skyping with Debbie Reese. You can read about my experience from this by visiting her blog! Additionally, I had the opportunity of attending the Lac du Flambeau Convening Culture Keepers conference in May 2013 as a student to assist with logistics.

This was followed by another opportunity that consisted of completing an intensive summer course which incorporated a two week internship at the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College Library. The summer course was designed to inform the April 2014 CGLCK Institute through conversations and relationships with community members structured around the needs of the tribal cultural institutions we had formed relationships with. We focused on what their needs were and how we could assist in fulfilling them through the design of this institute. This information was used to draft potential plans. In addition, I planned and facilitated a week-long summer reading program for local youth with Robin Amado. Take a look at my post from week one or Robin’s post from week two to check it out, we were even on WOJB radio to share what was happening with the public!

In September of 2013, I was part of a team which presented to public librarians from the Northern Waters Library System in Wisconsin on the TLAM Project and evaluating children’s materials with Native American themes. We called the workshop “Evaluate it! Strengthening Relationships with American Indian Communities through Children’s Literature” and were happy with the results as there was good participation and all participants commented they learned many things during their attendance.

In the fall of 2013, another Convening Culture Keepers conference occurred hosted by the Ho-Chunk near the Wisconsin Dells. Here again I assisted with logistics and participated in the conference. During the fall of 2013, I was also completing my practicum at O’Keeffe Middle School in Madison, WI, and working at MERIT Library (UW-Madison). At both of these locations I created online library guides titled “Native Peoples of Wisconsin” to inform patrons of resources they could use to further explore and learn about the tribal nations of Wisconsin.

In April of 2014, I presented at the annual Wisconsin Indian Education Association Conference in Red Cliff with Robin Amado on an Act 31 Tiered Purchasing Plan for public librarians and library media specialists. After the conference, we edited and revised and I presented on it twice more before sharing a PDF of the main document through various networks.

Our planning commented on earlier for the CGLCK Institute was continued through April 2014 when the institute occurred at the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinaabe Culture and Lifeways in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. I assisted with the registration table, travel logistics, and photography throughout the event. I also presented about the Institute and how LIS education was paired with professional development for tribal cultural workers at the 2014 Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums Conference in Palm Springs, CA alongside Omar Poler and Jennifer McBurney.

In addition to assisting with the conferences and Institute, I was the chair of the student group from 2013-2014. In this role, I planned and facilitated monthly events including documentary screenings, attending the Indian Summer celebration in Milwaukee, and an evening with Finn Ryan, producer of the Ways.

The TLAM Project was something that had a significant impact on my life. Achieving my Masters of Library and Information Studies would not have been the same without the learning opportunities TLAM afforded me. Additionally, it is through my role in this project which led to working with the Act 31 Coalition and Aaron Bird Bear within the School of Education. I am eternally grateful to all of the people affiliated with the TLAM project for making Madison that much more influential to my life.