Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America
JULY 1, 2000 - Issue 13

American Indian Library Association

The American Indian Library Association is a membership action group that addresses the library-related needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives.Members are individuals and institutions interested in the development of programs to improve Indian library, cultural, and informational services in school, public, and research libraries on reservations. AILA is also committed to disseminating information about Indian cultures, languages, values, and information needs to the library community. AILA cosponsors an annual conference and holds a yearly business meeting in conjunction with the American Library Association annual meeting. It publishes the American Indian Libraries Newsletter, which appears in four issues per year.

AILA was founded in 1979 in conjunction with the White House Pre-Conference on Indian Library and Information Services on or near Reservations. At the time, there was increasing awareness that library services for Native Americans were inadequate. Individuals as well as the government began to organize to remedy the situation.

Any person or institution interested in AILA's goals may join. There are two categories of personal membership: individual and student. Institutional membership is for libraries and other organizations. You can link to a membership form to print out or download. It contains dues information. Members receive the American Indian Libraries Newsletter. The membership year is from July 1-June 30.

The American Indian Libraries Newsletter appears four times per year. It includes information about decisions, goals, activities, and business meetings of AILA, as well as articles on programs, projects, grants, and resources relating to American Indian culture and library and information services. A column by the current president is a regular feature. In addition, you will find books reviews, online resources, job announcements and other information that furthers the goals of the associati on. The first issue of the Newsletter was published in Fall 1976. Back issues may be purchased from AILA for $2.50 per issue, by contacting the Newsletter Editor (see section of AILA home page listing officers). The logo that has been used for the News letter since the first issue was designed by Mr. Ron Hernandez (Sioux) in 1974.

Libraries in schools or community colleges, community libraries and tribal libraries may serve peoples living on reservations. Since many such libraries are geographically remote, obtaining adequate staff, training, materials and facilities is ofte n a challenge. Native Americans who do not live on reservations often seek to develop or maintain cultural identity. Although they may have access to larger libraries, including academic libraries, such libraries may not have the kinds of culturally specific materials that meet the needs of these patrons. AILA helps to address these needs.


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