Elevating Native Voices in a Public Library

I’m a librarian at the Wayne Public Library, in the city of Wayne, MI. My awesome project is building a more diverse book collection in our adult and teen departments. I want this grant, specifically, to help contribute funds to purchase books written by Native and Indigenous authors.

Collection development is my favorite part of my job because not only can I purchase items that allow people to recognize themselves in the fiction, but I can also bring in items by people different than those represented in our demographics.

The reason I want the funds for the Native and Indigenous portion of this long-lasting, and ever-evolving project, is because it will help bolster a large collection that isn’t beholden to the requirements of other collection development duties. I can purchase titles that would otherwise by scrutinized, such older titles that were overlooked by the general public, or titles that were not great successes in the general public but considered classics within their given communities.

As a non-Native person of color, it’s important to me that everybody understands that we are trying to strengthen our communities on what is still occupied and colonized land, and the perspectives of those displaced by this colonization are vital to understanding not only their cultures and histories, but our own as well.

Funded by Ann Arbor, MI (September 2021)