Yawáyro Book Kits

The Yawáyro Book Kits are a collaborative project of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians and the Santa Clarita Public Library. Funding for the kits was provided by a Talk Story grant from the American Indian Library Association and the Asian Pacific Americans Library Association. The goal of the project is to foster cultural awareness and literacy of Indigenous People through a curated selection of book titles about, and/or by Indigenous Peoples with discussion questions and other supplemental materials to be used by families, classrooms and other community groups. The book kits are available at the three branches of the Santa Clarita Public Library, as well as the Tribe’s offices in the San Fernando Valley and will soon expand to the Palmdale office.

Yawáyro has been a successful collaboration between our library and the Tribe. The project started as a result of the Santa Clarita Public Library approaching the Tribe to participate in our Día de los Niños event in the spring of 2019. Their education department was unable to participate, but they appreciated our reaching out. We began a partnership and planned ways to expand outreach into Indigenous communities. We were able to secure the Talk Story grant and have been working closely with them as partners since. We launched the program at the beginning of November 2019 with a cultural event and blessing by a tribal elder that was very well attended and received local and national press coverage. To further celebrate the kits, the City of Santa Clarita declared November 2019 Native American Heritage Month, and Tribal Senators and Elders were on hand to receive the proclamation at a City Council meeting.

We are planning a spring schedule of monthly programs for the kids in the tribe at the library and the tribal office in San Fernando. In addition, we plan to expand the scope of the kits to include more resources and books.

The Tribe has created a landing page for all the information about Yawáyro at Check it out for further information!

(All photos courtesy of guest bloggers)

David Janning, co-author of Yawáyro articleLiza Purdy, co-author ofToday’s guest bloggers are David Janning and Liza Purdy.

David is the Senior Children’s Librarian at the Santa Clarita Public Library.

Liza is a children’s librarian at the Old Town Newhall branch of the Santa Clarita Public Library.

This post addresses ALSC Core Competency, Committment to Client Group.

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