spring 2006 the California State Library sponsored
its second Tribal Library Training at the Pala
Indian Reservation in northern San Diego County. Infopeople
Project Director Holly Hinman and Infopeople
staff, using information needs identified during
the June 2005 Tribal Library Boot Camp, organized
an impressive agenda for the spring training.
Library Programs Consultant Susan Hanks with
Tribal Library Scholar
Bonnie Biggs (far right) at Pala.
[Photo courtesy Infopeople]
spring Tribal Library Training at Pala offered
Infopeople workshops, an on-line reference course,
and networking opportunities to 20 Tribal
Information professionals who all said they would
take the training information back to their
communities and share it with their colleagues.
Information professional Jennifer Ward of the
Barona Tribal Community Library said of the spring
found the Pala training very valuable…the
hands-on at Pala was great…it allows all of us
to get together and talk about our experiences
on what works in our libraries. From the
course I have learned some new tips and tricks
for Internet searches and reliable websites,
medical information (of which I knew nothing),
and the use of more reference materials (like
the biographical dictionary) just to name a few.
information resource experts who led the spring
training included Holly Tomren, formerly of the
Huntington Park Library’s American Indian
Resource Center, (County of Los Angeles Public
Library); Bette Anton from the University of
California, Berkeley, Optometry/Health Sciences
Library; staff from the California State Library
and California State University, San Marcos;
Infopeople staff; and Kay Deeney and Heidi
Sandstrom from the National Network of Libraries
of Medicine, Pacific Southwest Regional Office.
Biggs, former president of the American
Indian Library Association and current
Professor Emeritus and Tribal Liaison at
California State University at San Marcos, was
also on board for the training. Biggs has devoted
more than 20 years to working with Southern
California Tribal Libraries. Biggs’ work is the
cornerstone of Tribal Library training that the
California State Library sponsors.
Services for Tribal Communities”
Tomren led “Information Services for Tribal
Communities,” a one-day workshop that enables
information professionals working in tribal
communities to increase their reference skills.
The workshop covered general reference training
topics such as “What is Reference?” “The
Reference Interview,” and “Open and Closed
Questions.” Tomren’s class also received an
orientation for the CORE Online Reference course.
Library Information professionals at work at Pala.
worked closely with Native American Librarians and
Information Services providers to research and
assemble print reference collections for each
participant. Her collection contained many
standard reference books covering issues from
medications to careers, but also included a number
of impressive Native American resources including
Indian and tribal law, resources to assist in the
selection of culturally sensitive children’s
books, tribal histories both past and current,
Native American quotations, Native American
genealogical resources and United States Indian
policy. Tomren gave the participants annotated
bibliographies along with a quick orientation for
each reference book including unique information
and best use.
the afternoon session of “Information Services
for Tribal Communities,” everyone was introduced
to an on-line reference course in the computer lab
at the Tribal Digital Village of Southern
California (TDV). TDV connects tribes from rural
areas that previously had limited or no access to
cable, phone and/or power lines, from the Mexico
border to the edge of Riverside County. The TDV is
part of a three-year Hewlett
Packard grant awarded in 2001 to the Southern
California Tribal Chairman’s Association to
establish the high-speed, inter-tribal wireless
and Internet-accessible wide area network to
connect 18 tribes and other community agencies.
TDV provides high-speed Internet access to over
150 square miles, encompassing high desert,
forests, and valleys.
had weekly reading assignments and exercises
including ready reference, reference materials,
evaluating resources, library organization and
cataloging. The ability to post messages provided
a great chance to network. Self-paced modules on
business, genealogy, consumer information, and
legal information were offered at the end of the
course allowing students the opportunity to
further increase their reference knowledge and
health resources workshop
Pala consumer health resources workshop that
followed was a big hit. Participants learned how
to use Medline Plus to find reliable health
information, evaluate consumer health web sites,
and locate health resources for Californians. This
hands-on workshop also provided an overview of the
of the National Library of Medicine.
participant said, "the information is easier
to find than the patron thinks," and another
felt that she had "learned how to evaluate
more information about the California State
Library’s Tribal Library Trainings please
contact Library Programs Consultant Susan Hanks at
(916) 653-0661 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.