This month, I had the pleasure to learn about the amazing library at Yellowhead Tribal College (YTC).
YTC is a college dedicated to supporting life-long learning through accredited degree programs while nurturing First Nations language, traditions, and cultural practices. The college serves approximately 150 students from members of the Treaty 6 community - the Alexander, Alexis, Enoch, O'Chiese, and Sunchild First Nations.
In addition to a tour of the library, the Digital Literacy Librarian, Jordan chatted with me about the unique resources and services offered at YTC Library.
As you can probably imagine, the YTC Library is a bit different from other academic libraries that you might come across. Not only is it responsible for library collections and operations, but YTC Library also looks after some aspects of student registration and student wellness including student ID card pickup, a student support space, Coffee Mondays, yoga classes, and traditional beading classes. To further encourage its students to make use of the library, it runs on an honour system with phone and laptop chargers for use within the library and no overdue fines. Because a lot of YTC students are also parents, they tend to go home to their families after classes are dismissed, therefore hours are generally from 8:30am-4:30pm on weekdays receiving an average of 30 daily, unless otherwise requested by the students during exam periods.
The YTC Library had a very humble beginning as a donation library due to the lack of a budget. Since then, through grant funding, the library has been able to organize and develop the collection to better suit its patrons. The catalogue is maintained through SirsiDynix, which has been kindly provided to them by the University of Alberta.
The library is very much a part of the YTC family, and has so much potential to grow and expand with its continued ambition to serve its First Nations student population. I love how closely knit the administration, faculty, and library staff are. Since YTC is a smaller institution, it doesn't have the intense level of bureaucracy that larger universities like the University of Alberta have, which lets the staff and students get to know each other better. I'm so excited to see what the YTC Library will accomplish next with their new Library Manager, Nicole!
A big thank you to Jordan, Ernestine, and Nicole for welcoming me!