Libraries and the Arctic: Language Education Support
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The Arctic inspires awe. This unique region of the world has been studied in many ways by many different disciplines. The discipline of librarianship can also add to its study. In this article, the authors, a practicing Canadian librarian at Brock University in Ontario and an Inuktitut student enrolled at the same university, offer a suggested role for libraries to play in the ongoing study of the Arctic. They explore and describe the role of libraries in supporting native Arctic language education. Support for learning and preserving native Arctic languages can be found in library collections, spaces and services. This article looks at support of native speakers and other interested language learners, support of language research, support of language preservation, and support of new publishing opportunities that can be provided by or through libraries. These language support examples come from a document analysis that perused web sites, conference proceedings, published scholarship in the form of books and articles, newspaper sources, and personal background knowledge of the authors. Documents were collected, categorized, and described. The language support categories that emerged illustrate the many different ways that libraries can engage in native Arctic language education support. In offering this role, the authors hope to provide a means for librarians to learn more about the Arctic as well as a way for libraries to contribute to knowledge of the Arctic.