News Release – Diné College Libraries Receives National Grant for Small and Rural Libraries

Diné College Libraries Receives National Grant for Small and Rural Libraries
$3,000 Grant Will Help the Library Work with Residents on Building A Navajo Language Virtual Resource Center


November 29, 2021

TSAILE, Ariz. — Diné College Libraries has been selected as one of 100 libraries to participate in round three of Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries, an American Library Association (ALA) initiative that helps library workers better serve their small and rural communities – the only Tribal College and University library of this round.

The competitive award comes with a $3,000 grant that will help the library enhance Navajo language learning and teaching online resources based on community input.

“We are so proud to be chosen for this amazing opportunity,” said Library Director Dr. Herman Peterson. “This grant will allow our library to get to know our Navajo language learning community better and help us drive Navajo language collection development and resource sharing strategies, as well as focus strategic partnerships and projects.”

As part of the grant, Diné College Library staff will take an online course in how to lead conversations, a skill vital to library work today. Staff will then host an online conversation with residents about the accessibility of Navajo language learning and teaching resources and use the grant funds to help the library gauge what resources the community considers useful, how many self-created resources are out there and what they look like, and assess what types of resources are in most demand.

Navajo language learning and revitalization is a divisive topic among both teachers and learners, and the COVID-19 pandemic brought these issues of Indigenous language learning into a new light – virtual spaces. The experiences of both the teachers and the learners are important in exploring this topic and towards gathering/organizing/sharing resources that are helpful and available to both.

If you are interested in getting involved or taking part in the conversation, please contact principal investigator and project director Rhiannon Sorrell at for more information.

Since 2014, ALA’s Libraries Transforming Communities initiative has re-imagined the role libraries play in supporting communities. Libraries of all types have utilized free dialogue and deliberation training and resources to lead community and campus forums; take part in anti-violence activities; provide a space for residents to come together and discuss challenging topics; and have productive conversations with civic leaders, library trustees and staff.

“Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries is an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) in collaboration with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL).”


Jazzmine D. Martinez, Interim Marketing & Communications Officer

Dillon Nopah, Videographer

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