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Objective: We sought to identify trends and themes in how academic health sciences libraries in the United States, Canada and Mexico have supported engagement and outreach with Native Americans, Alaska Natives, First Nations, and Indigenous peoples, in or from those same countries. We also sought to learn and share effective practices for libraries engaging with these communities.

Methods: We conducted a scoping review utilizing Arksey and O’Malley’s framework for scoping reviews and followed principles from JBI Manual for Evidence Synthesis. We searched seven bibliographic databases, E-LIS (Eprints in Library and Information Science repository), and multiple sources of grey literature. Results were screened using Covidence and Google Sheets. We reported our review according to the PRISMA and PRISMA-S guidelines. We determined types of interventions used by academic health sciences libraries in engagement with our included populations, the level of public participation reached by these interventions, what partnerships were established, and what practices emerged.

Results: Database searching returned 2,020 unique results. Additional searching resulted in 211 further unique results. Full text screening of relevant articles found 65 reports meeting criteria for inclusion. Data extraction was conducted on these programs to identify partners, intervention type, and evaluation method. The programs were categorized using the IAP2 Spectrum of Public Participation.

Conclusion: Our scoping review found that many programs were health information trainings and did not move beyond informing the public with little further involvement. The need for sustained funding, greater community participation and more publishing on engagement and outreach are discussed.

Document Type



Scoping review, Indigenous populations, outreach, community engagement, public participation, academic health sciences libraries


Library and Information Science | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.