Sunday, June 11, 2006

Tribal Leadership Institute; Library Visits #5-#9; other events

I was in New Mexico from 5 to 9 June, attending the Tribal Leadership Institute on Cultural Preservation hosted by the New Mexico State Library. The Institute was held on the campus of the Santa Fe Indian School. The itinerary included tours (I visited the School of American Research), an opening reception at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, and presentations on libraries, archives, museums, and language as well as poster sessions hosted by organizations and agencies. I spoke on a Libraries panel, talking about innovations in public library architecture and services, and also gave a talk on professional involvement in ALA at the closing lunch.

I was fortunate to make a number of library visits. I stopped by the Pueblo of Sandia Tribal Community Library (Library Visit #5), visiting with the new librarian who has developed a strong collection and has a number of public access computing stations. The pueblo was quiet as community members were busy preparing for a feast day. Ms. Cynthia Crespin (Santo Domingo community member) is the new librarian at the Pueblo of Santo Domingo (Library Visit #6) Tribal Community Library, having previously served as librarian at the Laguna Elementary School. Her library was very busy and she logged in 76 visits over the day. All computer stations were occupied by adults and children. She had an able library aid, a young teen from the community. Heading north of Santa Fe, I visited the Pueblo of Santa Clara. It was Indian Day at the Santa Clara Day School and I was able to visit with faculty and see the library (Library Visit #7) at the School. They have a strong collection in a lovely building on school grounds. Former librarian Robin Rodar is now Principal of the School and a long time staff member is the new librarian. The Day School is known for its student library assistant program and involvement with other northern Pueblo schools in a Battle of the Books program. I walked across the street from the school to stop in at the Santa Clara tribal community library (Library Visit #8). Santa Clara has written a number of successful IMLS Tribal Libraries Enhancement Grants and has been able to develop strong collections and collaborate on Native language initiatives.
Back in Santa Fe, I was able to tour the new library (Library Visits #9) at Santa Fe Indian School, a wonderful facility. In addition to the strong collection, key features of the library include artwork from early students at the school, an archives room, and a television production room (in need of equipment). The librarian posted pictures of winning teams at the recent Battle of the Books competition. Our reading club, "If I Can Read, I Can Do Anything," has supplied book bags and incentives for the competition over the past several years.

Back in Austin, I've been attending a number of community events including a live taping of the radio program, "A Prairie Home Companion." I also attended a wonderful benefit, "An Intimate Evening Under the Stars," organized by the Friends of the David Powell Clinic, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization ( that provides medical care and other services for people in the central Texas area who are living with HIV/AIDS. Live music entertainment was provided by Omar Lopez, violinist, and his superb ensemble.