The TLAM class was inspired by an independent study project in 2008 of three SLIS students, Chelsea Couillard, Christina Johnson, and Catherine Phan. Through funding from the Morgridge Center for Public Service’s Kauffman Entrepreneurship Community Internship Program and through SLIS, the students completed an interest and priorities assessment of the Red Cliff community to determine the potential role of the library on the reservation.
Through the work in this initial project, the students, along with new recruits have continued the experience by designing a course for SLIS: Tribal Libraries, Archives, and Museums. In this group independent study, the students have broadened their education and have sought to create relationships between SLIS, the Red Cliff community, the larger University, the library and information community, and other tribes and bands across the state.
Since 2009, the TLAM class has evolved into one of the regularly occurring topics courses at SLIS. It is now offered yearly during the Spring semester and has consistently generated increasing amounts of interest and enthusiasm among student, faculty, and the larger community. Course activities have expanded to include participation in conferences around the state and nation, including the Convening Culture Keepers; visits to Wisconsin’s tribal communities to learn and share experiences; and involvement in diversity activities on the UW-Madison campus. In 2011 TLAM students initiated several other projects with in the Ho-Chunk Nation at Baraboo and with the Langlade County Historical Society.
Above: members of the pilot TLAM class, Spring 2009.
Founding TLAM students standing from left to right: Christina Cieslewicz, Roy Brooks, Cecelia Hutte, Alissa Pruess, Cat Phan, Gabe Gossett, Omar Poler, Tyler Kennedy, Eric Harding, Christina Johnson
Original TLAM advisors sitting from left to right: Prof. Sunny Kim, Academic Librarian Janice Rice, Guest Loriene Roy, Prof. Louise Robbins, and Special Librarian Michele Besant (kneeling)