Beading Librarianship weaves together the stories of Indigenous librarians through conversational method interviews and shares those stories online. The Beading Librarianship website serves as a place of connection for Indigenous librarians who have come before and those who will come after. Indigenous peoples are underrepresented in librarianship, with percentages often described as “too small to count.”
In addition to serving as an oral history project designed to increase the number of Indigenous librarians, this project also seeks to model collaborative research practices. Research and educational institutions have a long history of harm toward Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous Research Methods that incorporate Indigenous Ways of Knowing need to be the standard when working with Indigenous Peoples to prevent continued extraction and harm. This includes reciprocity, relationship-based research, and Indigenous Knowledge Organization.
To model collaborative research practices, each Beading Librarianship interview participant has full control over the webpage where their interview lives. They can choose to remove their interview at any point for any reason. Participants are included in every step of the process, including editing their interview and transcripts. In addition to receiving monetary compensation, each participant receives a hand-beaded QR code made by Mandi (the creator and facilitator of Beading Librarianship) that links to their respective interview, a physical reminder of kinship, connectedness, and mindfulness.
Drawing on Amanda Tachine’s (Diné) weaving framework, this project implements a beading framework for interviews with Indigenous librarians that allows for reflexivity, responsibility, epistemic sovereignty, technological mindfulness, and reciprocity.