Tribal Libraries Program at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology

Eighteen tribal librarians from across New Mexico and one, Cordelia (Codi) L. Hooee (Zuni), the Knowledge River Scholar, MA/LIS Candidate at the University of Arizona School of Information Resources & Library Science attended the Tribal Libraries Program planned and mounted by the staff of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology for the Tribal Libraries Program Coordinator at the New Mexico State Library.

The Tribal Libraries Program was designed to orient and introduce the Librarians to MIAC/LOA resources, while also showcasing resources or using the Summer reading program theme of Heroes or Superheroes as the central topic.

The Laboratory of Anthropology Library Librarian Allison Colborne was one of four MIAC/LOA presenters. After touring and talking about the history of the Laboratory of Anthropology Library and its collections, Allison Colborne demonstrated how the Laboratory of Anthropology Library’s Koha Integrated Library System (implemented in July 2014) supports and delivers resources to tribal libraries throughout the State of New Mexico.

Allison Colborne researched and compiled resources that would support teaching people about the Real Life Hero Esther Martinez (Pʼoe Tsa̦wa̦) (1912-2006) from Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, a storyteller and linguist who was recognized and won many awards for her work conserving the Tewa language.

Allison Colborne generated a Heroes – Esther Martinez sub-catalog of resources in the LOA Library Koha Integrated Library System.

Resources Available Anytime, Anywhere (as long as you have access to to the Internet)

The Librarian researched and cataloged biographical and other Internet Resources highlighting  Esther Martinez and her accomplishments. Two of these sites were about honors and awards bestowed upon Esther Martinez. One was the federal act named after Esther Martinez on Indian languages revival as a result of her inspiring work at reviving and maintaining the Tewa language. One is a NPR sound recording of Esther Martinez storytelling a traditional Tewa story about a Bat and a Chickadee.

Laboratory of Anthropology Library Resources

During the orientation tour of the LOA Library, the Librarian pointed out the three Esther Martinez books written by, or that include, Esther Martinez, three magazine articles featuring Esther Martinez. The Librarian pointed out that in addition to the cataloging records for the books, records that one would expect for any library holding items, the LOA Library Koha ILS has journal article analytic records for each of the magazine articles that were on display as well as to a book chapter analytic record where a section of a book is dedicated to Esther Martinez.

The training exercise was designed to orient and introduce the tribal librarians to the Laboratory of Anthropology Library facility and its resources as well as the granular level of added value indexing the Librarian performs to make tribal information for all the cultures of the greater Southwest more accessible. The Librarian  demonstrated the LOA Library Koha Catalog List function demonstrating the resources she specifically research and cataloged or simply compiled and placed in the Esther Martinez sub-catalog generated using the Koha ILS ‘List’ function to show how the LOA Library can collaborate to support research on the tribes and on Indian arts and cultures throughout the greater Southwest.

The Program gave the Laboratory of Anthropology Librarian the opportunity to showcase and explain how the Laboratory of Anthropology Library catalogs traditional library materials, as well as creates analytics, and catalogs and makes Internet-based resources available via the catalog.

The session gave the Librarian opportunity to demonstrate examples of LOA Library locally generated subject headings so as to generate additional research access points. In other words, how the LOA Library generates “added value” through the Koha ILS.

The Librarian prepared and gave each tribal librarian an informational handout detailing the history of the LOA Library, with a table illustrating how many resources there are cataloged per tribe in New Mexico.

To highlight how granular the Laboratory of Anthropology Library cataloging is, the Librarian prepared a handout on Esther Martinez resources. The first record presented was Artists of New Mexico traditions : the National Heritage fellows.

Unless someone knew that Esther Martinez was a National Heritage Fellow, they would not have known that she is a featured artist in this catalog. In the case of this book, each of the Indian and Hispanic artists included in this catalog have had their names individually indexed in the MARC field 600 named person field.

Because Esther Martinez was one of the fifteen artists who was a recipient of a fellow, her Euroamerican name appears in the 600 field named person field of that cataloging record.

Esther Martinez Tewa authored books using her Tewa name. So, each cataloging record includes not only her Euroamerican name, but her Tewa name.

Further, Esther Martinez’s specific cultural identity (Ohkay Owingeh) was added in the MARC field 600 subfield c.

The cataloging record imported via OCLC Connexion subscription service did not include any of this’added value’ subject access points.

Nor did include subject terms in the MARC 650 field that enables researchers to research and pull up records according to the the ethnic identity of the artists showcased in the catalog.

Research according to cultural identity is one of the key means researchers want to determine what materials they want to use, the Laboratory of Anthropology Librarian augments cataloging records to make this information searchable and retrievable.

The Library of Congress subject terms assigned by the Librarian to this particular catalog making the two broad ethnic identities included searchable and retrievable were:

  • Pueblo artists — Biography
  • Hispanic American art — Biography
  • Hispanic American decorative arts — Biography

The Laboratory of Anthropology Librarian generated MARC 690 local subject field terms assigned to make New Mexico traditional artforms searchable and retrievable are:

  • Colcha embroidery
  • Hispano music
  • Rio Grande textile fabrics
  • Santeros
  • Storyteller figurines
  • Storytellers
  • Straw applique
  • Tinwork
  • Woodcarving
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