Circle of Learning Scholars Give Back to Their Communities


The San José State University School of Library and Information Science (SJSU SLIS) is proud to present the latest issue of its biennial Circle of Learning (COL) program newsletter, the Fall 2013 COL News.

In this issue, you’ll read about student news and accomplishments, including recent scholarship awards, internships, and job promotions. In addition, the newsletter highlights the findings of a new case-study approach that assessed the impacts and outcomes of the COL program on tribal collections and communities.

The impact study focused on two communities where COL students serve in leadership positions in library and archival services. Researchers visited the Oglala Sioux Tribe of S.D. and the Yakama Nation, in northwest Wash., where COL students Tawa Ducheneaux and Merida Kipp are making a positive difference.

Tawa Ducheneaux is an archivist at Woksape Tipi Library and Archives, located at Oglala Lakota College on the Pine Ridge Reservation of S.D. Her research interests include development of an online database and investigations into the roles of cultural protocols and applied research on tribal lands. She is currently working on digitization projects to enhance the tribe’s access to their collection.

Merida Kipp entered the library profession with a computer science background, taking library and information science courses while transitioning into her library administrator leadership position at Yakama Nation. Her work to improve collection access and outreach through innovative programs and collaboration with the tribal school has greatly benefitted her community.

In both studies, the researchers found the COL student-professionals had dramatically improved services in their distinct communities in just a short period of time.

You can learn more about Ducheneaux and Kipp, and other COL students giving back to their communities, by reading the Fall 2013 COL News available on the COL program website.

COL scholars are students in the exclusively online Master of Library and Information Science program at the SJSU information school, living and working in their own communities while making impressive contributions to diverse library and information science fields, such as tribal archival and language preservation, academic librarianship, youth services, law librarianship, and medical and health information services and research.

With the support of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and in partnership with the American Indian Library Association, SJSU SLIS has designed the culturally-relevant COL program to support 19 American Indian and Alaska Native information professionals committed to serving diverse communities.