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Decolonizing practices at indigenous collections
Pacific Rim Research Library Alliance (2022)
  • Win Shih, University of Southern California
  • Lori Potel
With funding from PRRLA’s Karl Lo Award, this project surveys librarians who manage indigenous collections about their engagement with indigenous communities. In this presentation, we will highlight the strategies that the librarians employed to build lasting relationships with indigenous communities, to gain internal and external support in promoting indigenous culture, language, and collections, to develop sensitive protocols for handling and repatriation of indigenous materials, and to advance indigenous people and methods within their institution. The librarians we interviewed work at the following five institutions: Māori and Pacific collections at the University of Auckland | Waipapa Taumata Rau; Xwi7xwa, the Aboriginal library of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver; the Native American Studies Library at the University of California, Berkeley; Native Hawaiian and Pacific Collections at the University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa; and Research Services and Archives at the Autry Museum of the West, Los Angeles, California. In addition to describing institutional strengths and priorities, we will chart the leadership traits of the indigenous librarians we interviewed. As grassroots leaders, they are adept in cultivating long-lasting relationships with stakeholders and skilled in navigating institutional, government, and community protocols to promote cultural heritage. They impact policy through scholarship as well as leadership in campus and professional organizations. They recruit, promote, and mentor indigenous information professionals; lead the development of cultural and professional competencies; and advocate for indigenous rights and sovereignty through the worldview of indigenous people. This presentation will underscore the outsized impact of individual librarians in strengthening indigenous research libraries.
Publication Date
October 13, 2022
Citation Information
Win Shih and Lori Potel. "Decolonizing practices at indigenous collections" Pacific Rim Research Library Alliance (2022)
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