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News Release


Library and Archives of Canada Helps Set Up New Library in Kahnawake

Ottawa, May 15, 2003  -  On Friday, May 16, a mini-van full of librarians from the Library and Archives of Canada will be heading to Kahnawake First Nation to help volunteers set up the very first library in the Native community.

Under the leadership of Deborah Pelletier, Aboriginal Resources and Services Coordinator at the Library and Archives of Canada, this group of professional librarians with experience in information technology, cataloguing and managing library services, will be on hand to contribute their expertise during the final stages of the library’s development. Along with volunteers and staff from Kahnawake Library, they will spend the day processing and classifying the thousands of books that have been donated and purchased.

"Our goal is to have a system set up so that we can process and catalogue as much material, in a variety of formats, as possible," said Deborah Pelletier.

Kahnawake Library was the brainchild of Skawenniio Barnes, a 14-year-old student who started a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of having a library in her community. Her efforts won her the Peter Gzowski literacy prize as well as the attention of Dr. Roch Carrier, National Librarian.

"This young woman’s interest in her community and in reading is inspiring," said Dr. Carrier. "The Library and Archives of Canada is proud and feels privileged to be actively participating in this wonderful initiative. The creation of this library will bring books and the pleasure of reading closer to everyone in Kahnawake."

The Aboriginal Resources and Services Program of the Library and Archives of Canada provides a focus for the management and development of library programs and for the coordination of future initiatives in consultation with Aboriginal communities. The Aboriginal Resources and Services Committee, created last year at the Library and Archives, is determining ways to enhance and develop Aboriginal collections and to share these resources with communities.

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Pauline M. Portelance
Media Relations
Library and Archives of Canada