The S. Verna Fowler Academic/Menominee Public Library is pleased to announce the creation of an interactive language mural as the newest addition to the Youth area of the Library. Patrons can enjoy the beautiful artwork and at the same time learn Menominee words and phrases played on devices posted on the mural.
The American Indian Library Association and the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association launched a Family Literacy Focus project in 2009 called Talk Story: Sharing Stories, Sharing Culture. Talk Story is a library literacy model that reaches out to Asian/Pacific American (APA) and Native American/Alaska Native children and families. It promotes basic and cultural literacy in pre-readers and early readers by engaging children and their families in storytime, storytelling, books, art, music, dance, and other cultural activities.
In the spring of 2019, the S. Verna Fowler Academic/Menominee Public Library applied for a Talk Story grant to expand culture and language library programming for families. With programming being well received, the Library applied for an Improvement and Innovation grant from the Nicolet Federated Library System to continue the new programming and supplement the creation of the interactive language mural.
The purpose of the language mural is to welcome library patrons as they enter the youth area of the library in a way that celebrates Menominee language and culture. The interactive mural consists of a section of wall where Menominee artist Janice Rabideaux, Maec-Wiskenukiw (Great Bird Woman) designed and created a woodlands setting featuring the five clan animals.
Incorporated into the mural are interactive devices that library patrons can press and hear Menominee language recorded by the Menominee language educator, Kamewanukiw Paula Rabideaux, who is working with the library's monthly family program, Katāēs esēhcekasiq.
The Omāēqnomenēweqnaesenon - Speak Menominee mural will be an ongoing element of the youth library environment and provide audible pronunciations to enhance printed language materials. The devices are reusable, so the words and phrases people access by interacting with the mural can connect to the themes and content of the Katāēs esēhcekasiq monthly family program. With the mural being dedicated in the time of Pawahan Kesoq, the ricing moon, the current language presented by the mural animals speaks of the traditional process of gathering and preparing wild rice. The mural ties in with the woodlands motif of the youth library, which celebrates the sustainable forest of the Menominee Reservation.
The Library wishes to thanks everyone who worked to create this beautiful and educational addition to the Library.