Who Was Ruth A. Myers?
by Erik Roadfeldt
Ruth Myers was the grandmother of American Indian education in Minnesota, and she consistently encouraged people to pursue higher learning, including friend Jack Briggs, through her outgoing personality and spirit.
As an education advocate, Myers was relentless and courageous, and she worked on approximately 70 boards/commissions in support of American Indians during her lifetime. She was the first American Indian to be appointed to the Minnesota State Board of Education, and the first American Indian to serve on the Duluth School Board. She also chaired the Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College task force in 1986 that helped establish the permanent campus in Cloquet.
Myers was born in Grand Marais in 1926 and was an enrolled member of the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. She was hired by the University of Minnesota-Duluth to co-direct the American Indian Programs (now the Center of American Indian & Minority Health) in 1979.
Upon retirement from UMD in 1994, Myers received an honorary degree that recognized her “distinctive achievements, which added materially to knowledge and the betterment of society.” She died in 2001 at age 75.
The mission of the Ruth A. Myers Library is to select, maintain, enhance, promote, and make accessible the information, material, and research resources necessary to support the Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College mission in teaching, cultural diversity, public service, and lifelong learning, and to serve Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College and the larger community as a repository of Native American, especially Anishinaabe, history, culture, and sovereignty, within the limits of the library’s resources and its primary commitment to the Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College community.
Borrowing privileges are extended to patrons with a valid Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College identification card (students and employees) and to community borrowers.
Basic Loan Periods
Books: 28 days (2 renewals)
DVDs: 7 days (1 renewal)
Periodicals: In Library Use Only
Internet hotspots” 1 month (student checkout only)
Laptops: 2 weeks (student checkout only)
Course Reserve loan periods are set by faculty. Generally, 2-hour checkout for in library use. Course Reserves can be checked out at the circulation desk.
All library material is subject to holds and recalls. Library users may place a hold at the circulation desk. All patrons are encouraged to return recalled items promptly upon the recall notice.
Searching for Missing Items
Patrons who are unable to locate library material may complete a search request form at the circulation/reference desk. Library staff will search for the missing material and notify the patron by phone or mail if the item is located or determined to be permanently missing.
Fines are not assessed on overdue items. However, patrons will be charged for the replacement cost of unreturned/lost items. Courtesy and overdue notices are sent via e-mail. Lost item fees may result in a hold on a student’s account.
The Ruth A. Myers Library is central to the academic mission of the college. The library, recently expanded in 2008, is located on the first and second floors on the north end the academic building.
The library serves a dual capacity as both a tribal college and a community college library, providing library users a full range of services and access to materials supporting the Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College academic curricula and emphasizing Native American history, culture, and sovereignty, especially of the Anishinaabeg.
The library’s in-house materials include monographic, audio-visual, newspaper and journal, and microform collections. Government document materials include Minnesota State documents on microfiche and federal documents as appropriate to the missions of the library and college.
Native American materials are a major focus of all collection areas. Special collections include the Anishinaabe and Minnesota regional collections and a juvenile/young adult collection of American Indian materials.
The library’s physical collection is accessed via an on-line catalog system linked with academic libraries in Minnesota and other states. The library also provides electronic access to subject databases and indexes, some of which are full-text, and to the Internet. In addition, the library provides interlibrary loan to assist users in obtaining materials from other libraries.
Integral to library services is the provision of reference and research assistance, available during library hours. Library instruction is available to classes and individuals, being tailored to meet specific needs from general and point-of use to subject-specific research.
Scope of the Collection
The existing library collection falls into three broad categories: general, specialized, and reference; collection formats include print, non-print, and electronic. General materials support and enhance Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College course/program materials/texts and include professional materials on theory and practice within instructed disciplines; education of special groups, particularly Native Americans; technical reports; and working papers on higher education, community colleges, and tribal colleges. Specialized materials include works by/about Native American authors/illustrators, works of or about Native American literature, works of Native American issues/themes, regional history materials, and archival materials relating to the college and tribal groups of the region. Reference materials cover the scope of the collection and disciplines.
General Circulating Collection
The general circulating collection exists primarily to support Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College courses and programs, with emphasis reflecting instructional disciplines, student assignments, faculty reserve requests, interlibrary loan requests, and other requests. Included are professional materials and materials specifically related to community colleges and tribal colleges. As need is demonstrated, materials in educational administration and policy related to higher education will be acquired. Specialized titles of advanced research, highly technical books of limited interest, foreign publications, international documents, and dissertations/theses are not usually acquired. The library does not collect materials of historical importance except for those relating to Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College; Anishinaabe and Fond du Lac tribal history, culture, and sovereignty; selected Native American materials; and regional history as defined by the scope of the Minnesota Collection.
The general collection includes subdivisions of Anishinaabe, juvenile literature, young adult, Minnesota/regional history, and oversized materials.
Includes materials directly related to or about Anishinaabe/Ojibwe and other American Indian history, culture, and sovereignty in Minnesota, Wisconsin, the eastern Dakotas, southern Ontario, and surrounding regions as appropriate. Due to interest in and course assignments requiring access to Anishinaabe materials, some titles will be purchased in multiple copies.
As Minnesota was historically part of larger territories, this regional collection includes current and historic materials relating to Minnesota, Wisconsin, the eastern Dakotas, southern Ontario. Works by or about regional, especially Minnesota, authors/illustrators will be included in the Minnesota Collection.
Juvenile/Young Adult Collection
A strong, representative collection of Native American literature for children and young adults will be maintained in the library. This collection includes materials written or illustrated by Native Americans and materials on Native American issues/topics. As budget permits, historic editions will be acquired.
Those materials too large to fit on the normal stacks are located in a separate area on shelves adjusted to accommodate the larger sizes.
The reference collection includes but is not limited to basic reference tools such as general interest encyclopedias, almanacs, dictionaries, handbook, and indices. However, the emphasis of the reference collection is on materials directly related to Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College courses and programs, including specialized indices, yearbooks, statistical sources, and bibliographies. Resource materials which support the library’s general collection are extensively acquired. Within budget and other resource limitations, the latest editions/revisions of specialized reference tools will be acquired. General encyclopedias are usually purchased on a two-year cycle. Reference materials in other collection areas, e.g., Minnesota Collection, Anishinaabe Collection, will be cataloged in the general reference collection.
The library provides a selection of periodicals, i.e., journals, newspapers, newsletters, supporting Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College curricular and professional needs. To the greatest extent possible, all Native American periodicals will be collected and maintained in their entirety. The periodicals list is reviewed annually for budget and use considerations by library staff as well as being submitted for faculty review.