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Native Americans

posted Jul 20, 2017, 10:38 AM by Tyler Wilmoth   [ updated Jul 20, 2017, 10:38 AM ]
I will say that I understand that why denied services to Native Americans have happened in the past (and why they still happen), but I don't think it has really ever been justified, like many discrimination issues that have been allowed to happen in our country.

So this IS a discrimination issue. As librarians, we are supposed to offer information and services to all types of people in our communities. I like the idea of libraries working with Native American communities and libraries to share resources and learn from each other, with the byproduct of sharing patrons. There is no need to restrict access to materials or services of these populations...it isn't doing anything to better our society as a whole.

One barrier to the ability to share library resources is librarians' understanding of Native Americans' information needs. The article also states that in the past few decades, this understanding has increased greatly in our libraries. So my question is does the past discrimination come in part from an unwillingness to learn about and serve the Native American populations?

Another solution presented is Distance Education programs for Native American communities, and this refers to classes as well as the library's digital resources. In the Adams & Evans article however, it states that the Native American population does better academically in a face-to-face environment where they are allowed to have interactions and be prompted to ask questions to further their learning. Obviously, each individual is different, but this is a substantial enough observation to validate offering this community the ability to physically be on campus or in the library to use services.

In the end, I think if access to library resources is being denied to local Native American communities, it is an issue of unnecessary discrimination.


Post Reference: Adams, T. M., & Sean Evans, R. R. (2004). Educating the Educators: Outreach to the College of Education Distance Faculty and Native American Students. Journal of Library Administration, 41(1/2), 3-18. doi:10.1300/J111 v41n01_02
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