Focus on Native Americans No. 97-02

Date:  Spring 1997


In March 1997, twenty librarians representing several Native
American tribes visited NLS as part of a tour organized by
Kathy Price, Office of Library Programs at the U.S.
Department of Education.  Devon Skeele, NLS network
consultant, coordinated the orientation to introduce the
librarians to the talking-book program.  The librarians came
from Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma,
and Washington state.  On their request, NLS is preparing a
press release about the talking-book program to be used in
their respective newsletters.  To further awareness of each
other and to promote outreach services, NLS will also send
names and addresses of tribal libraries to appropriate
cooperating libraries.

_Directory of Native American Tribal Libraries,_ compiled by
Lotsee Patterson and Rhonda Taylor, provides a comprehensive
listing of services and collections in libraries run by
individual tribes, bands, or communities.  Published in 1995
by the University of Oklahoma, this 100 page directory is
available from the American Indian Library Association,
School of Library and Information Studies, University of
Oklahoma, 401 West Brooks, Norman, OK  73019 for $14.95.

_Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA)_

The Clinton Administration's FY98 budget contains $136.4
million for LSTA.  The funding is earmarked for
technological innovation, outreach services, and a new
national leadership program.  Under LSTA, a new agency
entitled Institute of Museum and Library Services was
created to administer the library programs formerly
administered by the U.S. Department of Education.  The
director of the Institute is Diane B. Frankel.  The
Institute will also continue to administer museum grant
programs.  For further information on LSTA, contact Kathy
Price, Office of Library Programs, U.S. Department of
Education, 555 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC  20208.

_American Indian Library Association Meeting_

The American Indian Library Association and the ALA Office
for Library Outreach Services, Subcommittee on Library
Services to American Indians, are cosponsoring a panel at
the American Library Association's annual convention in San
Francisco.  Entitled "Native Visions: Native Writers Tell
Their Stories," the panel is scheduled for Saturday June 28,
1997, from 2-4 pm.

_Health Care_

According to the 1990 census, Native Americans are one of
the smallest minority groups in the United States with an
estimated population of two million.  The federal Indian
Health Service (IHS) designations of subgroups are Native
Americans, Alaskan Eskimos, and Aleuts.  This population is
disproportionately affected by serious health problems such
as diabetes, alcoholism, chemical dependency, infant
mortality, and heart disease.  Several organizations
concerned with the health problems of Native Americans
publish informative and useful materials.

The Office of Minority Health Resource Center of the
Department of Health and Human Services published a
directory of resources on AIDS, cancer, diabetes, nutrition,
and substance abuse.  Arranged alphabetically, the directory
includes a subject index to identify materials on specific
topics.  _Native Americans: Sources of Health Materials,_
4p, is available free upon request.  Contact: OMH-RC, P.O.
Box 37337, Washington, DC  20013-7337, 800-444-6472.

The National Indian Council on Aging conducted a study,
_Mapping Indian Elders,_ which identifies the availability
of healthcare and community services in relation to need.
Indian Health Service data reveal that the four most common
health problems of older Native Americans are diabetes, eye
disorders, respiratory problems, and joint problems
(especially osteoarthritis).  The report is available for
$25 from the National Indian Council on Aging, 10501
Montgomery Boulevard NE, Suite 210, Albuquerque, NM  87111,
(505) 292-2001.

The Administration on Aging, Native Elder Health Care
Resource Center at the University of Colorado, and the
National Resource Center on Native American Aging at the
University of North Dakota recently published a report,
_Home and Community-Based Long-Term Care in American Indian
and Alaska Native Communities._  This report describes a
wide disparity between the need for home and community-based
services by Indian communities and the availability of these
services.  It is available online at
under "What's new."

The Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service,
publishes occasional reports on such issues as Native
American health and heritage.  A recent CRS Report for
Congress is _Health Care Fact Sheet: Indian Health Services_
by Jennifer Neisner, March 18, 1997, #94-866 EPW.  2p.  The
report briefly summarizes the eligibility, benefits,
administration, and 1991-1998 funding of the Indian Health
Service (IHS).  For more information about this report,
contact your congressional office.