ULS Outstanding Professional Development Award Interview: Mary Anne Hansen
Mary Anne Hansen, Tribal College Librarians Institute Coordinator, is the 2020 recipient of the ACRL ULS Outstanding Professional Development Award. Sponsored by Library Juice Academy, the $1,000 award recognizes librarians, archivists or curators whose contributions to providing professional development opportunities for librarians have been especially noteworthy or influential. The Mary Anne was selected for her efforts in providing professional development for librarians in the US, Canada, and New Zealand who serve the needs of Indigenous college students in tribal communities.
Congratulations to Mary Anne, who agreed to do an interview.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and the work that you do.
I’m Research Services Librarian at Montana State University (MSU) Library in my hometown of Bozeman, MT, where I’ve lived my entire life. I feel so fortunate to have a great job in my hometown! The highlight of my career is serving as Coordinator of the MSU Library’s annual Tribal College Librarians Professional Development Institute (TCLI), a position I’ve held since 1997. TCLI is an annual week-long niche professional development opportunity for librarians working at tribal college and university libraries, serving the academic information needs of their college constituents, while also serving the needs of their greater tribal communities, thus serving in a dual role as librarians — academic and public/community librarians. I also serve as Subject Librarian to Education, Health & Human Development, Nursing, and Psychology at MSU, while also serving the information needs of students in any discipline via chat and email reference, along with targeted library instruction and individual or small group research consultations.
Why is professional development important for the librarian profession?
Professional development is critically important to the library profession in order that we stay abreast of the information infrastructure to effectively serve the information and research needs of our constituents. Among those librarians serving Indigenous college students, it’s also essential to have ongoing professional development in the realm of cultural knowledge and practices of Indigenous peoples they serve and in Indigenous communities beyond.
Tell us about a transformative professional development experience that impacted your career as a librarian.
My involvement with TCLI has been life-changing, both personally and professionally. Additionally, I’m involved with the larger organization, the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums, an important mechanism for convening tribal librarians and tribal museum professionals to share their best practices. As a non-Native librarian, I’m deeply honored to be a trusted ally in continually advancing Indigenous knowledge and practices in libraries and beyond.
What was the professional development contribution(s) you made that led to receiving this award?
I was nominated for and received this award for my contributions to the annual Tribal College Librarians Institute (TCLI) since 1997, an ongoing experience that has shaped so much of my professional and personal growth. While coordinating targeted professional development for tribal college librarians, I have learned so much myself along the way, both professionally, especially in continually honing my cultural knowledge of Indigenous peoples and their unique perspectives, cultures, and contributions. TCLI is like a family, and I feel so fortunate to have been a part of this inspiring family of dedicated librarians for so many years. I look forward to many more years facilitating this amazing group of professionals!
What is something about you that most people don’t know?
This is a tough one to answer because I’m such an open book. I don’t keep a whole lot to myself, having been raised in a large extended family that always knew and cared about everyone else’s business.