Bridging Knowledge Scholars Travel to Oklahoma for ATALM Conference


Nine graduate students from the San José State University School of Information attended the 2023 International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums (ATALM), which was held in Oklahoma City. The students are part of the Institute for Museum and Library Services grant-funded Bridging Knowledge project that aims to support “Indigenous librarians and contribute to growing a diverse and skilled professional workforce.”

The three-year Bridging Knowledge project provides funding and student resources to 15 iSchool students of “American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian” descent while they are completing the Master of Library and Information Science fully online degree program.

Brandon Castle at 2023 ATALM ConferenceBridging Knowledge project scholar Brandon Castle presented at the ATALM conference and states that one of the more memorable moments was “getting to meet and connect with Indigenous professionals across the country who are passionate about Indigenous cultural preservation and connecting with students from the iSchool in person.”

The 2023 ATALM conference had several programs and exhibits over the course of four days, ranging from field trips to different cultural and historical sites located in the area to workshops covering topics, such as community archiving and repairing broken ceramics. Castle learned about “various projects going on across the country and North America related to Indigenous information/knowledge preservation from Alaska, British Columbia to Hawaii and in Oklahoma, including projects related to metadata of Indigenous information and cultural accuracy.”

After earning his master’s degree from the SJSU School of Information, Castle hopes to take his knowledge and experiences from the Bridging Knowledge project into the library and information science field. His goals are to support Indigenous communities through “projects related to cultural preservation including the development of tribal archives, locating historical documents in repositories across the world” and continuing to network with other Indigenous library professionals.

Bridging Knowledge students and project leaders

The IMLS grant was awarded in July 2021 to the Alaska Library Network, in partnership with the American Indian Library Association, the Alaska State Library, and San José State University.

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services RE-250081-OLS-21.