How did you decide to become a librarian?
I have always had a love of books, but it wasn’t until I was in high school when I was a student working in the library. I got a better understanding of what librarians have to do to make libraries have all of the resources that their patrons need or want. It opened my eyes to wanting to help people find the materials that they want and need. In college I worked as a work study student in the campus library. I just love learning new things and sharing that knowledge with those around me. I want people to have access to a wide variety of materials and knowledge without the fear of being judge by what they want to learn about
What is your AILA passion?
I am so happy to be a part of AILA. I can’t wait to represent this organization to the best of my abilities. I want to help out with as much as I can. I want to be involved in projects. I know a lot of great people that are a part of this amazing organization. When I meet people out in the library community I tell people about the great work that AILA is doing and about the help that they give to Tribal Libraries.
What is your story?
My name is Joy Bridwell. I am an enrolled member of the Chippewa-Cree Tribe on the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation in Box Elder, MT. I am the Librarian/ Library Director at the Stone Child College/Rocky Boy Community Library (SCC/RBCL). I have been working at the SCC/RBCL since 2009 when I started out as the library assistant. I became the library director in 2014. I graduated with my MSLS from Clarion University in May 2016. I sit on various committees and boards at Stone Child College, in the Rocky Boy community, and other organizations. I have a B.A. in History from the University of Great Falls (2005) in Great Falls, MT. I have an A.S. in General Business from Stone Child College (2010) in Box Elder, MT.
I represented the American Indian Library Association (AILA) as part of the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2017 Emerging Leaders Program. The project that I worked on was the International Relations Round Table/ Building and Enhancing Global Connections through Sister Libraries. It was a great experience. I learned a lot and met some amazing people.
In my spare time I like hang out with my family and friends. I love to read to my son. I like to travel, visit museums and libraries, try new foods from all over, read and go to the movies, write poetry, go for hikes in the mountains, and take my son to the park. I love to cook and bake, which is a trait that I get from my mother. I enjoy holding community events in the library and love seeing community members smiling faces when they come to an event.