Washington State Tribal Librarians meeting. This year we met at the Port Gamble S'Klallam reservation. Fourteen librarians came. Well, maybe 11, three of the people were from the State Library. The library itself is a wonderful and busy place, stuffed full of local art and vast amounts of materials. It's a branch of the Kitsap Regional Library system. County provides materials, computers, employees. The tribe owns and maintains the building; it is embedded in their increasingly well-devloped campus of buildings. Their resident rez population is about the size of Elwha's, but the library serves also a wider population off the rez.
We had an agenda, but the main purpose was connection. Everyone brought something to share—lavender from a neighbor's garden, dreamcatchers that a bunch of schoolkids made but they were really messed up so she remade them into objects of beauty (thankyou LR!); a gorgeous calendar with native foods recipes, joint product of the Colville Tribe and WSU; a booklet describing the results of Jamestown S'Klallam's digitization projects; and so on. We got a tote bag (librarian conferences always get tote bags), lunch at the Port Gamble casino, wonderful baked goodies for our snacks, a tour of the library and of the Port Gamble tribal center complex.
It all worked as intended. A week after the meeting emails are still flying back and forth with followup questions, thankyous, lists. ("What was that book people were talking about at the end of the table during lunch?") Let's do it again soon.