Native Village Youth and Education News

April 1, 2009 Issue 196 Volume 2


Memorial Library embraces sustainability

Condensed by Native Village

Hoopa Valley Reservation, California: The Kim Yerton Memorial Library is located on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation. The library is named for the late Kim Yerton, a tribal member committed to preserving Hupa traditions and culture.  Kim developed and maintained Hoopa records, documents and photographs for Chicago's Newberry Library and the Smithsonian Library in Washington DC.  Hoopa Library was Kim's vision as a place where Hoopa (and other) reference and research materials could be made available to the local community.

KYML is unique in many ways.  It is the first library run as a partnership between a California tribe and county. 
This enables Hoopa Valley residents to access all of Humboldt County Libraries' collections, at no cost.  They can use the system's website to request items from home or from library computers. A free online resource library is available for those who have a library card. This collection is very useful for high school and college students.

The library also offers programs to both Hoopa preschoolers and those from the neighboring Yurok Tribe.  They visit the library for story time and check out books to read at home or in school. Elementary classes come to learn research skills and receive help with  class assignments.

Branch manager Kristen Freeman writes a weekly column, "Owhwhe," which means “read” in the Hupa language.  Her column appears in the local newspaper, The Two River’s Tribune. It covers library related events, highlights for the coming week, book recommendations and news.

Freeman has been a public library enthusiast all her life. She is also passionate about fiber and textile arts.  A group, “Thread Benders,” meets each Friday at the library.   Another of Freeman's passions is learning about and practicing sustainability,   “We have been adding related books in a number of areas including green building, and growing and preserving food, " she said. "Humboldt County Library system also recently received a grant from PG&E, which will be used to purchase titles for young adult readers in the areas of energy conservation, alternative energy, recycling, and science fair projects on energy. I think this is really awesome!”

Hoopa library recently received a copy of Food Security & Sustainability for the Times Ahead from Bio Diverse Press.  Copies are made available to Native libraries based on 10% of publisher proceeds.  Freeman noted that “Food Security and Sustainability is very timely; it has great ideas for people who may not be educated on the issues of sustainability. Small steps are presented, and individuals are shown how they can make incremental changes, one at a time.  To make a difference for yourself and the planet, you don’t have to wake up tomorrow and do everything differently.  The author, Harvest McCampbell, lives in our community and is a regular library patron.  We are excited to add this local contribution to the literature available on sustainability.”

For information on Food Security and Sustainability for the Times Ahead as well as Bio Diverse Press’s program to donate copies to Native libraries visit:


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