Organizational and professional values are the norms and guidelines that shape expectations for acceptable behavior and provide standards for both individual and group action. Establishing organizational and professional values that reflect cultural competence is an essential step in putting those values into practice.
Cultural competency can thrive within an organization only if a guiding framework for its development is thoroughly developed and clearly communicated to organization members. Because cultural competence is a critical component of user-focused service in particular, it is essential that its importance within the profession is evident across all organizational levels of a library. Thus cultural competency standards must be incorporated into each area of library infrastructure, from public service to policymaking, administration, and managerial practice.
For administrators, developing such framework entails multiple strategies, including, but not limited to:
Regular assessment of cultural competence goals, moreover, is an essential factor in their ongoing relevancy and effectiveness. Informed decisions regarding culturally sensitive services can be made through consistent review of competence standards within the context of organizational values as a whole. Because cultural competency standards are only as good as their effects can be measured, it is important that the profession put into place opportunities for training in diversity recognition and outcomes-based evaluation of culturally sensitive practice.
The library profession should be encouraged to take steps to ensure that cultural competence is a fundamental organizational value, and to foster research and scholarship on culturally competent practices among library professionals as a means of commitment to one another and the diverse communities served.